Older drivers more likely to buy new vehicles, says new study

Older drivers more likely to buy new vehicles, says new study

Auto marketers have chased after young drivers for years. But a new study from the University of Michigan says young drivers are not the ones who buy the most cars. The biggest buyers are consumers over 50. They are more likely to have the financial wherewithal and the interest in car ownership than consumers in their 20s and 30s.

The study, by a research professor at the universitys Transportation Research Institute, found that in 2011, those most likely to buy a new vehicle were aged 55 to 63 – a shift from four years earlier, when the peak buying group was aged 35 to 44.

Its partly sheer demographics: There were substantial increases from 2007 to 2011 in the number of drivers 55 [and older], said professor Michael Sivak. Not only is the population aging overall, but older Americans are more likely to have a drivers license.

The findings suggest that market efforts that focus on drivers 55 to 64 should have the highest probability of success per driver, Sivak said.

Download Bulletin PDF