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Survey Finds Young Adults Prefer Used Cars for Affordability and Sustainability

Research finds millennials and Generation Z are more sustainability-orientated, even when it comes to money. From vintage clothing to retro furniture finds, thrifting is the shopping mode of choice for many in these age groups. It appears many Gen Z and millennial consumers feel the same about car buying, as they look for ways to lessen their impact on the environment.

A survey of 2,000 American adults conducted by One Poll on behalf of Ally Financial found 71% of consumers ages 18-40 would rather buy a used car than a new one, even as used car prices hit record highs. Sustainability is a key motivator for this age group, with 63% of used car shoppers stating they would prefer a used car specifically because it is more sustainable and draws on fewer resources than building new cars.

“Sustainability has become a key priority for Gen Z and millennial consumers, and it’s impacting the way they think about cars and their car-buying decisions,” said Doug Timmerman, president of Dealer Financial Services, Ally Financial. “Whether it be through purchasing an electric vehicle, or a used car, the goal remains the same: to lessen environmental impact.”

Among this age group, 82% percent agree that electric cars are the future, with 72% saying they would consider purchasing an electrified vehicle, compared to only 28% of drivers ages 57 and older. However, cost is still a major deterrent. Nearly half (45%) of Gen Z and millennial consumers said cost could hinder their EV purchase.

With used cars and EVs gaining in popularity as sustainable options, consumers recognize any vehicle choice brings additional expenses. To keep expenses under control in uncertain times, 81% of younger consumers surveyed indicate they are more inclined to purchase a vehicle service contract (VSC) due to the pandemic.

"Whether consumers are purchasing EVs or used cars in an effort to be sustainable, vehicle service contracts can provide peace of mind for unexpected repair expenses, and help extend the life of the vehicle,” said Timmerman, noting VSCs can help make it easier to manage unexpected repair costs and maintain vehicles over extended periods of time as they help cover expenses such as repairs and replacement parts that fall outside the factory warranty including costly high-tech features such as LCD screens, lane departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control and more.

Before buying a VSC, car shoppers are advised to consider the cost, length of service contract, repairs and services covered. Also check for duplicate warranty coverage, and if your lender requires a service contract.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned. CarouselPreowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa.

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