U.S. News


Do Millennials Really Hate Cars?

Uber investor Bill Gurley says millennials just don't care about cars anymore. Really?
Posted at 8:44 AM, Mar 16, 2015

Turning 16 used to be a coming-of-age. You could get your license, your first car ... 

"Just stay off the freeways, alright, I just don't want you going out on those yet. ... Be careful."

"Thanks, Dad."

But apparently millennials just don't give a crap about cars anymore — according to Bill Gurley, venture capitalist and Uber investor, at least. 

Gurley said this at SXSW Sunday, stating Generation Y doesn't use cars as a social statement and that their parents are getting frustrated their kids won't get drivers' licenses. 

He also used this info as a plug for the ride-sharing service he's invested in, saying the company was "transformational," and touting some impressive stats. 

He said the company has 300,000 drivers around the world and is growing 300 percent every year. 

OK, let's get off the good PR train now. 

This isn't some innovative observation from Gurley. Others have pointed this out in the past. 

And the United States Public Interest Research Group did an entire study on it.

Between 2001-2009, the number of miles driven by 16-34 year-olds dropped by 23 percent, the study says. It says millennials use public transportation more, and between 2006-2013, the number of millennials getting to work using public transit, their own two feet, via bike or by working from home increased. 

So, Gurley may have a point. Or maybe not. 

A writer for Forbes thinks it's a pretty bogus claim, saying millennials are only turning away from cars because no one is "giving them vehicles they want." AKA, they're spoiled.

"Today’s teens and Millennials are often called the entitled generation for a reason. ... If they can’t have their specific dream car ... [they] won’t waste time getting a driver’s license."

So, give 'em what they want, and they'll drive it. 

"How many are there?"


"36? But last year, last year, I had 37!"  (Video via Warner Bros. / "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone")

And according to Goldman Sacchs, millennials have been gravitating toward cities, where public transit is prevalent and the need for your own four wheels isn't as important. It's really not just because Uber is so special. Sorry, Gurley. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.