Making a new car that is more fuel efficient than an older model is certainly a good thing, but if that car sits still for 22 hours a day – when it could be used by someone else and thus eliminate the need for another vehicle to be built altogether – then that's even better, right? If you agree, you just might be a Millennial.

Millennials, the demographic group made up of 18-34-year-olds (and valued by Ford), like the concept of "collaborative consumption" of certain items a lot more than they do flat-out owning a thing. That's the main result of a new study commissioned by car-sharing group Zipcar and conducted by KRC Research. The study involved 1,045 adults (987 of them licensed drivers). Other numbers about Millennials from the study:
  • 55 percent are "actively" trying to drive less (in 2010, this number was 45 percent)
  • 78 percent (of the licensed drivers) say "car ownership is difficult" because gas is expensive, as is parking and maintenance
  • 53 percent say they would be likely to participate in a car-sharing service
Currently, Zipcar says, Millennials make up 23 percent of the U.S. population, and if the trend of younger people continuing to prefer sharing over owning continues, then the number of people who would be interested in something like Zipcar or Car2go or City CarShare will keep on going up. Now that Zipcar's profitable, we'd certainly be impressed if it showed off climbing adoption rates among Millennials to prove this study right.
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Zipcar's Second Annual Millennials Study Finds 18-34-Year-Olds Increasingly Embrace Collaborative Consumption and Access Over Ownership
Study reveals Millennials value saving money and protecting the environment when considering car ownership; social media is a growing factor for Millennials driving less

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIP), the world's leading car-sharing network, released its second annual independent study of Millennials (18-34-year-olds), which examines this generation's attitudes toward personal transportation and car ownership. The Zipcar membership base ranges in age from 18 to 80s; however, Millennials are an important segment for Zipcar, comprising more than half of all members. Millennials account for about 23 percent of the general population, according to the 2010 US Census.

The study, conducted in October 2011 by KRC Research, reveals that 55 percent of Millennials surveyed have actively made an effort to drive less, up 10 percentage points from 45 percent in 2010, highlighting the growing trend of consciously reducing road time.

Some of the factors that Millennials cite for driving less frequently include environmental concerns, total cost of vehicle ownership and an increased use of social media. More than half of Millennials surveyed stated "protecting the environment" as one key reason for driving less, also up 10 percentage points from 45 percent last year. The study also reveals that more than three quarters (78 percent) of 18-34-year-old respondents who are licensed drivers say car ownership is difficult due to high costs of gas, parking and maintenance. In contrast to other age cohorts, social media is increasingly another factor for Millennials driving less. Sixty-eight percent of 18-34-year-olds, up 14 percentage points from 54 percent in 2010, agree that they sometimes choose to use social media rather than go out to see friends and family.

"In our second year of this survey, we continue to see dramatic shifts in how Millennials think about personal transportation, the environment and social media," said Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of Zipcar. "One trend is abundantly clear: Millennials welcome the collaborative consumption movement with open arms, which we believe points to strong adoption of car sharing as a mainstream transportation solution for this influential segment of the population."

"Policy makers should also take notice and accept that our youngest generation will not think about transportation the way we have for the last hundred years, nor will future generations," continued Griffith. "Our most forward-looking policy makers are thinking about housing, land use, highways, bridges and gas taxes like it's 2015 rather than 1971. It is my hope that these thought leaders will inspire a broader dialogue on mobility policy instead of sticking with an outdated transportation policy that directs limited funds almost exclusively toward highways."

Compared to older generations, Millennials participate in and are more open to collaborative consumption programs, such as media, car and home or vacation sharing. More than half of Millennials, or 53 percent, indicated they would likely partake in a car-sharing service, like Zipcar. The study found that Millennials still value the mobility factor and convenience of driving but increasingly seek and use alternatives to personally owning a car.

This study included 1,045 adults, age 18 and over, with 987 licensed drivers. Conducted between Oct. 24 and Oct. 27, 2011, the online study utilized data weighted by the demographic variable to match the national Census. Full study and results can also be viewed at

About Zipcar
Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing network with approximately 650,000 members and 9,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car. More information is available at Photos and b-roll footage are available for media purposes at

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