Average Young Adult Finally Takes Car Into Shop After 8th Warning Light

ix in 10 Gen Zers and millennials have a complicated relationship — with their cars. A recent survey of 1,000 Gen Z (adults typically born between 1997 and 2012) and 1,000 millennial (those born between 1981 and 1996) car owners or lessees reveals that 59 percent are not sure whether they want to continue driving or replace their current vehicle.

People stop driving their car and get a new one when the upkeep surpasses their budget (39%), there are too many strange sounds or smells (38%), too many parts have to be replaced (37%), or too much of it is being held together by tape (37%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Kelley Blue Book Service Advisor, the survey also finds it takes an average of eight warning lights for people to schedule vehicle maintenance. Seventy-nine percent do their own research about what their vehicle needs before seeing the mechanic. Another 66 percent will look things up after their visit and return with a better sense of what their vehicle needs.

Although drivers seem proactive when it comes to their vehicle’s upkeep, they may not always be forward-thinking when buying a car. Six in 10 now regret buying a car before inflation began in 2021. The loss of purchasing power, along with rising gas prices, have led 42 percent to seek a better-paying job or side gig to help pay for vehicle upkeep. Another 40 percent turn to DIY solutions for some of their vehicle maintenance.

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