Students would keep their smartphone over a car, survey shows

Millennials would rather give up their car than their smartphone, a new study suggests.

Millennials would rather give up their car than their smartphone, a new study suggests.

A recent survey has revealed one big way Millennials are different from previous generations: Given the choice, they would rather get rid of their car than their smartphone or laptop. Members of the Millennial generation were born in the 1980s or 1990s.

According to a survey commissioned by the rental car company Zipcar, technology, and mobile devices in particular, are more important to Millennials than owning a car. Of the 1,105 adults surveyed, Millennials were the only age group that said losing a car would not have the greatest negative impact on their life.

Nearly 50 percent of Millennials also noted that using social media and smartphones to connect with their friends is simply easier than driving to see them, according to the survey. Millennials are also 73 percent more likely to purchase items online rather than take public transportation or drive to get to a store.

In addition, Zipcar’s results indicate that more than any other age group, Millennials are consciously reducing the amount they drive. They do this by taking public transportation, carpooling, biking and walking.

Millennials that were surveyed also revealed that they have not only reduced their driving to protect the environment, but also because of the rising cost of owning a car thanks to the additional expenses of gas, parking and maintenance.

“What I have heard a lot is that the cost of getting licensed, as well as purchasing, insuring, maintaining and fueling a car, has become an impediment to use of a car,” Ray Bingham, research professor with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, explained in the Research Review journal. “Prices have increased a fair bit since the mid-1980s for all facets of car ownership and operation. Cost pushes people to seek out transportation alternatives.”