Study: Many Young Americans Rejecting Driving

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Dec. 11, 2019—According to a report from Jim Lang, president of Lang Marketing, one-third of 19-year-old Americans currently do not have a driver's license. This is more than double the share without a license in 1985. 

The number of licensed drivers in the U.S. increased much more slowly over the past five years than it did between 2000 and 2013.  This could influence future aftermarket expansion, since the licensed driver population is one of the primary catalysts fueling vehicle ownership, miles driven, and aftermarket product use.

"There may be growth in the number of drivers over the next five years, but the rate of growth will be slow," Lang said.

The changing attitudes of younger American have important implications for vehicle use and aftermarket product volume and growth.

One possible outcome of such cultural changes is the evolution of the automobile (in the minds of consumers) into a service that is shared, rather than a product to be owned. This phenomenon is called mobility as a service (MaaS).

While the wide-spread adoption of such perceptual trends may be might be years away (if it occurs at all), vehicle sharing (as a stepped-up version of Uber) could change how Americans use and own (or do not own) vehicles. This has aftermarket implications.

Lang says that due to fewer cars on the road, the number of collision repair jobs will decline but the cost per job will increase.

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