- First-time buyers under age 25 are responsible for more than 6 percent of all new-vehicle purchases.
- The average "lease penetration" among young buyers has increased to 23 percent in 2013, from a low of 13 percent in 2009.
- The average finance term for the group was 68 months in 2013, about three months longer than the industry average. "Longer terms are an effective tool to allow young buyers to achieve affordable monthly payments despite higher transaction prices," according to the report.
- 33 percent in the 25 and below group say they "completely agree" that their vehicle should stand out from the crowd. Only 20 percent of new-car buyers across all age groups say the same.
- Nearly twice as many in this group say they "completely agree" that others can tell a lot about them by their vehicle, compared with all new-vehicle drivers (19 percent vs. 10 percent, respectively).
- Showing "a passion for driving," nearly 22 percent of young drivers say they "completely agree" that they like to drive on challenging roadways with hills and curves, compared to the industry average of 13 percent. Further, 41 percent say they prefer a vehicle with responsive handling and powerful acceleration (industry average of 36 percent).
- 29 percent in the youth group say they wash and wax their vehicle themselves, which the study says indicates ownership pride. This compares to the industry average of 24 percent.
Easing sticker shock -- at least when it comes to car insurance for young driversNew 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:
- Look for vehicles with safety features and good safety ratings. McChristian says your premiums may be lower because insurers reduce their risks when writing policies for safer cars.
- Be a good student. McChristian says students with at least a "B" average usually qualify for discounts, which can reach 5 or 10 percent.
- Take a driving course. Young drivers who pass accredited classes can qualify for discounts up to 5 percent. McChristian notes that many insurers accept online courses as well as those in the classroom.