Many young people not only crave getting behind the wheel as soon as possible, they apparently want to own the car they drive.
That's the upshot of a new report from industry analyst J.D. Power. Consumers age 25 and younger are steadily becoming a greater proportion of total retail vehicle purchasers -- a trend that's been ongoing since 2009, says Jeff Youngs, of J.D. Power's Web marketing group. The findings seem to dispel the common view that novice drivers don't have the means or the interest to make such large buys so early in life, says Arianne Walker, J.D. Power's senior director of automotive media & marketing.
"This age group really is passionate about ownership, their driving experience and the image associated with the vehicle they buy," Walker said in a written statement. "Not only do they enjoy driving, but they also want to personalize their vehicle with options and features, and tend to view it as an extension of their personality."
The "J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report - Winter," based on a survey of nearly 33,000 people who bought cars in 2012 and 2013, makes several points, including:
When it comes to motivations for the big buy, and what young drivers feel about that car, the study found that:
New cars, even the cheaper ones, are pricey. Figure in your auto insurance and the bill can be daunting, especially for a fledgling driver. But there are ways to trim insurance costs by being smart in choosing a vehicle and taking advantage of various discounts offered by most insurers.
One step to lowering premiums is to raise the deductible from $250 to $500 or $1,000. But, of course, you'll have to pay that higher deductible if your car is damaged.
Lynne McChristian, a spokesperson for the Florida branch of the Insurance Information Institute, has a few other suggestions:
Parents can also lower their premiums if they're insuring a young driver by signing a "parent-teen driving contract" where he or she promises not to drive at night or with friends in the car. Many insurers will give a small discount of less than 5 percent with proof of the contract.
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