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    Thread: Kids driving less? Low car passion? Time for a TCL roundtable discussion

    1. Member Volvo_D's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:35 AM #1
      http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/04/...ewer-licenses/

      Cliff Notes:

      •Fewer than half of eligible teens 19 or younger have driver's licenses, down from almost two-thirds in 1998.
      •Annual vehicle miles driven by Americans ages 16 to 34 have dropped 23% from 2001 to 2009.
      •Biking and walking as alternative forms of transportation have increased by 24% and 16%, respectively, among the same age group.

      Is the next generation of drivers really this out of touch/un-interested with an automotive culture? discuss...

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    2. Senior Member Hostile's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 10:37 AM #2
      A buddy has a teenage son who is graduating high school this spring. The kid had to be pushed to get a license and didn't even want the car his dad was going to give him, for free. Sure it is a Dodge Caliber but still, I would have taken it at 18! His reasoning? His girlfriend will drive him anywhere he needs to go. The kid has no desire to drive.

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      04-25-2012 10:38 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Volvo_D View Post
      http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/04/...ewer-licenses/

      Cliff Notes:

      •Fewer than half of eligible teens 19 or younger have driver's licenses, down from almost two-thirds in 1998.
      •Annual vehicle miles driven by Americans ages 16 to 34 have dropped 23% from 2001 to 2009.
      •Biking and walking as alternative forms of transportation have increased by 24% and 16%, respectively, among the same age group.

      Is the next generation of drivers really this out of touch/un-interested with an automotive culture? discuss...

      I believe finances are the cause of the decline.

      Considering new car prices, gas prices, insurance prices, low employment and starting wages, a shift into moving closer to work and urban centers, then this doesn't surprise me at all.

      I'm in the process of moving to a place that is significantly more walkable, and I'm thinking of selling my car and just having 1 car between my gf and I.

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      04-25-2012 10:38 AM #4
      Good.

      Fewer people on the road.
      Fewer inexperienced drivers on the road.
      Less fuel used.
      Less pollution.

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      04-25-2012 10:39 AM #5
      My 16 year old cousin has an '08 Bullitt pushing 290whp and can probably drive circles around most of TCL. His friends are pretty big car guys too.

      I haven't seen too much of a change since I got out of HS 6 years ago. Of course, he's out in the suburbs. Closer to the city and he probably be driving something different.
      Last edited by JustinCSVT; 04-25-2012 at 10:43 AM.

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      04-25-2012 10:39 AM #6
      The other issue here is the ongoing problem with the economy. Not that many parents can afford to buy cars for their teens.
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      04-25-2012 10:41 AM #7
      I personally take the bus to work everyday. Compare a $40/mo parking permit, plus gas to a $5/mo unlimited bus pass with a stop ~5 minute walk from my apartment with a convenient 7:30a pick up, and a 7:50a drop off right in front of my work place. Yea... why drive? I still drive to do shopping and what not a few times/month.

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      04-25-2012 10:42 AM #8
      Lets see....

      - The job market sucks, even for teens. (My 16yr old sister has been applying to jobs non-stop for the past year with little to no avail.)

      - Gas prices are astronomical if you're not working full time and make decent dough.

      - College has become crazy expensive, so most often then not I'm guessing they're opting to save for school and not a car.

      - Used car prices are absurd. People struggling to make ends meet think they can charge through the nose for their clapped out beaters because they need the cash.

      - Most kids these days are growing up in an Pro-Health Pro-Green environment so the biking and walking thing makes sense.

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      04-25-2012 10:48 AM #9
      I've mentioned this thought before in other threads, but there's really very little that's enticing about automotive culture for younger people these days. It's expensive as hell to insure and fuel a car and, statistically, a lot of teenagers and young twentysomethings are underemployed or unemployed. Even if they were inclined to cruise around looking for fun, they couldn't afford it. Even if they can undertake that expense, driving in most metropolitan areas is incredibly unpleasant, frustrating, and a waste of time and resources. And why would they need to drive? They can work out transportation pretty well anyway, and it's not really like they need to hang out at the mall or the arcade like us boomer spawn needed to do, because they've got smartphones and social networking.

      Given all that, there's a pretty large barrier to young people getting to really experience what makes driving and cars interesting and fun. Honestly, if I hadn't been brought up by a dad who loved cars and backcountry exploration and passed those interests on to me, I can't say there's anything about the daily driving I do that grabs my interest or enthusiasm. I'm really only happy behind the wheel when I'm on dirt checking out someplace new these days.

      And honestly, taking the long view, it's really hard for me to view the natural adoption of less resource-intensive transportation methods and lifestyles, even if it makes me a little sad that the magic of cars is going away.
      Last edited by Turbio!; 04-25-2012 at 10:52 AM.
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      04-25-2012 10:55 AM #10
      There's not much to discuss. If a teenager finds a job they're probably making around $8/hr and if they can somehow squeeze in 20 hours a week, after taxes they're bringing home $250 every two weeks? Hell, the gas getting to/from work in that scenario is probably gobbling up a full 1/3rd of that. I can see why teenagers are less interested in driving.

    11. 04-25-2012 10:58 AM #11
      I really need some sucker to get their dad to buy my old hunk o turds
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    12. 04-25-2012 11:00 AM #12
      I think there was a huge thread a few months ago on this.

      Though talking to my cousin, it seems due to the people around him at his high school, he wants a modded Honda and wants to learn how to drive a manual just like his friends do and doesnt want the elantra his dad drives. I just so happen to have this so called Honda he wants, but he isn't getting it from me

      I guess there are still car enthusiast teens, probably not as much as the FnF era, but there are always going to be some.
      Last edited by Aw614; 04-25-2012 at 11:02 AM.

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      04-25-2012 11:01 AM #13
      I am perfectly fine with this. Not that I want car culture to be limited to a select few but I would rather people seek out cars, and even their license, rather than it be a fad. Heck, I can see tons of benefits of this locally. More public transportation use and more car pooling; less emissions and lower teenage driving fatality rates. Yes, car sales might plummet but that just means manufacturers will have to come up with more innovating and exciting products. The car isn't dead, just needs to continue to evolve.
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      04-25-2012 11:07 AM #14
      The same trend is happening in the UK too. I read a few articles about it proclaiming the rise of social networking and environmental consciousness however I'd guess the main factor to be cost. As you all know fuel here is silly expensive but pales next to the cost of insurance for a young person, especially male. Throw in road tax, the cost of buying a car and its maintenance, there's very little incentive to buy a car or even get a license in urban areas at least.
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    15. 04-25-2012 11:09 AM #15
      I'm sure this has already been said, but cars are expensive, insurance at that age is expensive, and gas is expensive. Kids aren't getting jobs that can cover the cost.

    16. Member Bibs's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 11:13 AM #16
      Here in Ontario, the out-of-control insurance industry would have a 18 year old guy paying over $3k a year in insurance (sometimes much more)...how the hell can a kid in school afford it? Many parents are just trying to get some $$ together for their kid's post-scondary education (also out of control here in Ontario)...

      People are just tapped out.
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      04-25-2012 11:15 AM #17
      This may be an unpopular opinion around here, but transportation in the US needs to evolve beyond single occupant vehicles as the only option for most people. Will they go away in the forseeable future? Of course not, but I think there is a big shift happening towards higher transit use, more walking and biking, and more people living in places where you don't need a car. Personally, I would love to be able to live in a place where I didn't need a car. I would still have one as a toy and for weekend trips, but I hate that my only option for shopping, going out to dinner, and getting to work is driving my car.

      The more people that start adopting other modes, the more support there will be for building out a legitimate transit network, which most areas of this country are sorely lacking. It also means less congestion when you do drive somewhere, which can only be good.
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      04-25-2012 11:17 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Bibs View Post
      Here in Ontario, the out-of-control insurance industry would have a 18 year old guy paying over $3k a year in insurance (sometimes much more)...how the hell can a kid in school afford it? Many parents are just trying to get some $$ together for their kid's post-scondary education (also out of control here in Ontario)...

      People are just tapped out.
      Is it out of control or are 18 year old guys causing a couple thousand dollars per year in damage on average? I'd guess the latter.
      Quote Originally Posted by Captain 'Murica! View Post
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    19. 04-25-2012 11:31 AM #19
      My kid says driving is stressful. Between the XBOX live, phone with a million buttons on it, the social networking sites, local friends, and mom's rides, he just has no interest in driving.

      I try to explain to the crowd of 18 year olds at my house that cars=women+liberty but it is like talking to deaf people. Nobody cruises the local strips in my town anymore on Friday nights, not that I go or anything, but we just don't see it much anymore.

      I'm trying to pass it along to my son, but he's just not into it. He doesn't even want to go take his license test and drive our cars for free. I was going to put him on our insurance on MY dime and he just doesn't want to.

      I don't think it's a money thing, it is a fundamental change in how they treat cars. I believe that what you drive is no longer a large part of your identity with the younger generation so that "race" to get the coolest/fastest car just isn't there.

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      04-25-2012 11:43 AM #20
      the world has simply gone electronic, people are getting to the point where they don't know what to do with themselves if they don't have a computer handy, but the question when looking at a car for younger folks is why bother, you can get a car with all sorts of fancy junk in it, but within a year, well before it's paid off, it's out of date. Much easier to transfer that admiration and elevation of an object to a computer or cell phone.

      Those are the status symbols now, people would rather have a nice telephone than a nice car.

      Makes me want to move to Zimbabwe

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      04-25-2012 11:45 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by NashGTI View Post
      the world has simply gone electronic, people are getting to the point where they don't know what to do with themselves if they don't have a computer handy, but the question when looking at a car for younger folks is why bother, you can get a car with all sorts of fancy junk in it, but within a year, well before it's paid off, it's out of date. Much easier to transfer that admiration and elevation of an object to a computer or cell phone.

      Those are the status symbols now, people would rather have a nice telephone than a nice car.

      Makes me want to move to Zimbabwe
      Objectively, is there anything about a car that's more deserving of being a status symbol than a phone? They see cars as just as pointless as you see phones.
      Last edited by Turbio!; 04-25-2012 at 11:49 AM.
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      04-25-2012 11:48 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      My kid says driving is stressful. Between the XBOX live, phone with a million buttons on it, the social networking sites, local friends, and mom's rides, he just has no interest in driving.

      I try to explain to the crowd of 18 year olds at my house that cars=women+liberty but it is like talking to deaf people. Nobody cruises the local strips in my town anymore on Friday nights, not that I go or anything, but we just don't see it much anymore.
      But look at it from their side. They don't need a car to get women, and a car is, in this day and age, mostly a ball and chain. What could be LESS liberating than something that's stressful and inconvenient to use and costs an unbelievable amount of money they don't have to buy and maintain? Why would they spend four bucks a gallon to "cruise"?

      Not that I agree, but I've also got the income, history, and inclination to pursue driving for fun.
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      04-25-2012 11:54 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by JustinCSVT View Post
      My 16 year old cousin has an '08 Bullitt pushing 290whp and can probably drive circles around most of TCL. His friends are pretty big car guys too.

      I haven't seen too much of a change since I got out of HS 6 years ago. Of course, he's out in the suburbs. Closer to the city and he probably be driving something different.
      Unless your 16 year old cousin has been karting or in some fashion racing since he was a young child, I doubt this. And even if this were the case, while it does lend a hand to knowing what to do it doesn't substitute for real life experience driving on a public road. Also the fact of being 16 years old with a decently powerful rwd car aren't good.

      And before you say "but hes responsible"... I am too...and I regret some of the dumb **** I've done in the past on public roads.
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      04-25-2012 11:57 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Good.

      Fewer people on the road.
      Fewer inexperienced drivers on the road.
      Less fuel used.
      Less pollution.
      Exactly.

      I'll add, less buyers for POS E30s, Miatas, XJs, AWD diesel manual wagons, etc...
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      04-25-2012 11:58 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      My kid says driving is stressful. Between the XBOX live, phone with a million buttons on it, the social networking sites, local friends, and mom's rides, he just has no interest in driving.

      I try to explain to the crowd of 18 year olds at my house that cars=women+liberty but it is like talking to deaf people. Nobody cruises the local strips in my town anymore on Friday nights, not that I go or anything, but we just don't see it much anymore.

      I'm trying to pass it along to my son, but he's just not into it. He doesn't even want to go take his license test and drive our cars for free. I was going to put him on our insurance on MY dime and he just doesn't want to.

      I don't think it's a money thing, it is a fundamental change in how they treat cars. I believe that what you drive is no longer a large part of your identity with the younger generation so that "race" to get the coolest/fastest car just isn't there.

      I wish it was like that around here. Any given night I can hear the single cam honda's driving around town with the equivalent to a rail gun for an exhaust, like James Dean all over town. All high schoolers driving super piles of ****, or presents from mommy and daddy like Evo's and R32's.
      Quote Originally Posted by Ocean City PD View Post
      (ie....red light challenges, running over the hood of police cars etc.) Yes we watch youtube also....
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    26. 04-25-2012 12:02 PM #26
      This has turned into the Grumpy old man thread lol.

      You can't find an old mobile phone in a barn, knock the dust off, take it apart, clean it, put it back together, make it work again, make it take you 100 mph, drive to the top of a mountain and back.

      You don't look at calendars of phones or listen to the sweet purr of a ringtone. You don't meet up with your buddies on Friday and race phones.

      I have heard "I can't live without my phone" so many times it makes me sick. I don't own a cel phone and my kids friend's are shocked when they hear that. A successful adult with the means to buy whatever phone he wants refuses to own one. Mind blown.

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      04-25-2012 12:06 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Good.

      Fewer people on the road.
      Fewer inexperienced drivers on the road.
      Less fuel used.
      Less pollution.
      ^ this.

      and this...

      Quote Originally Posted by JacksSenseOfRejection View Post
      Lets see....

      - The job market sucks, even for teens. (My 16yr old sister has been applying to jobs non-stop for the past year with little to no avail.)

      - Gas prices are astronomical if you're not working full time and make decent dough.

      - College has become crazy expensive, so most often then not I'm guessing they're opting to save for school and not a car.

      - Used car prices are absurd. People struggling to make ends meet think they can charge through the nose for their clapped out beaters because they need the cash.

      - Most kids these days are growing up in an Pro-Health Pro-Green environment so the biking and walking thing makes sense.

      its too bad, when i was a younger (now 10 years ago) you had to have a car. you were nothing if you couldn't have a car. now it appears its pretty normal. i just hope as those young people without licenses age that they really take the time to learn how to drive. you can be just as dangerous at 22 without any experience as 15!
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      04-25-2012 12:06 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Good.

      Fewer people on the road.
      Fewer inexperienced drivers on the road.
      Less fuel used.
      Less pollution.
      my thoughts exactly
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      04-25-2012 12:11 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Good.

      Fewer people on the road.
      Fewer inexperienced drivers on the road.
      Less fuel used.
      Less pollution.
      THIS

      Quote Originally Posted by JohnRico View Post
      I personally take the bus to work everyday. Compare a $40/mo parking permit, plus gas to a $5/mo unlimited bus pass with a stop ~5 minute walk from my apartment with a convenient 7:30a pick up, and a 7:50a drop off right in front of my work place. Yea... why drive? I still drive to do shopping and what not a few times/month.
      a) because driving is fun
      b) re-read a
      c) Have you even been in a Chicago bus?
      d) re-read a
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    30. 04-25-2012 12:13 PM #30
      21 year old here. With a glorious iPhone. Couple of things:

      • Gas prices when you aren't working full time are rough
      • Used car market is just plain stupid right now, at least in my area there is almost nothing that runs with less than 200k miles for <$2000
      • Insurance is retardedly expensive for teens. When I was 17 I was paying $150 a MONTH (my own money... not mom and dad's) for limited coverage on a $1000 car ('94 ford escort) and I had zero moving violations. Now that I'm 21 with 3 moving violations I'm paying $60/month.
      • For a part-time working teen, say they make $400/month, it's no stretch to say at least half of that if not 3/4 is getting sunk into gas+insurance every month.


      Beyond that, I find it enjoyable to ride my road bicycle when applicable. Free, great exercise, and plenty of sunshine.

      About mobile phones, yeah, you can't pull one out of a garage, restore it and drive it. But most teens working minimum wage part time jobs can't afford to restore cars either.

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      04-25-2012 12:17 PM #31
      I think it all depends on where these kids live. Large urban centre? There's really no need for a car. The suburbs and beyond? No public transit and you're stuck without a license.

      I grew up in the suburbs and EVERYONE got their license. I have friends now in the city in their 30's who have lived here their whole lives and still have no need for a license.

      A lot of it boils down to geography.

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      04-25-2012 12:17 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Objectively, is there anything about a car that's more deserving of being a status symbol than a phone? They see cars as just as pointless as you see phones.
      I never said my opinion was more correct than theirs, just different and I don't like theirs.


      One thing I will say though, I do agree with the guy above saying the quality of what a kid can get drives them away. I see tons of teenagers around the weekly cruise in here. So I'd imagine a lot of the stuff that appealed to us (car enthusiasts) growing up is still there, there is just more apathy about trying to get what appeals to them. It is increasingly difficult for everyone to buy what the widest swath of people consider desireable.

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      04-25-2012 12:20 PM #33
      I graduated HS in 2001...almost nobody I knew was a car enthusiast, but a lot of people had old beaters that were just a way to get around and do fun stuff. Some of the cars in my group's fleet included an '87 Cherokee, '87 Colt, '86 Corolla, '86 Integra, '92 Sable and 2 '93 Chrysler minivans. Not exactly Fast and Furious here. I did have a few friends who weren't interested and never got a license, so when I hear these "my kids aren't interested in driving" stories, I just assume they're in the minority as they were when I was young.

      I sort of doubt that young people today just want to sit at home and don't want to go anywhere...unless parents today are so protective that they won't allow it. We used to get a copy of the latest Weird NJ magazine and drive all over the state finding the weird locations. I have been under the city of Clifton NJ inside the storm drain system, and inside the structure of what was once the world's largest poured-concrete structure. You can't tell me that kids today don't want to do stuff like that anymore and just want to sit on Facebook instead.

      The gas-price issue is probably the biggest factor...I was paying $1.10 a gallon back then. I'm sure that's caused kids to drive fewer miles, but I doubt they don't want to drive at all.

      -Andrew L
      "The whole economy is hinged on potholes." --Ray Magliozzi
      Hubcap Business on hiatus while I finish the Pontiac Project and The House | Philly/NJ highways blog Windshield Time

    34. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:21 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by NashGTI View Post
      I never said my opinion was more correct than theirs, just different and I don't like theirs.


      One thing I will say though, I do agree with the guy above saying the quality of what a kid can get drives them away. I see tons of teenagers around the weekly cruise in here. So I'd imagine a lot of the stuff that appealed to us (car enthusiasts) growing up is still there, there is just more apathy about trying to get what appeals to them. It is increasingly difficult for everyone to buy what the widest swath of people consider desireable.
      I've personally noticed that a lot of teenagers have a dream car that they'd love to own....someday. Whenever they can afford it. But they're not wigged out about not having it, and it seems that most of them would rather wait until they can afford what they really want rather than start with some scabrous old beater or something.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      I have heard "I can't live without my phone" so many times it makes me sick. I don't own a cel phone and my kids friend's are shocked when they hear that. A successful adult with the means to buy whatever phone he wants refuses to own one. Mind blown.
      Just like they blow your mind when they don't give a damn about a stressful, expensive old guys' hobby?

      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zero View Post
      You can't find an old mobile phone in a barn, knock the dust off, take it apart, clean it, put it back together, make it work again, make it take you 100 mph, drive to the top of a mountain and back.
      .
      Well ****, I'm a car enthusiast and I don't give a crap about that.
      Last edited by Turbio!; 04-25-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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    35. Junior Member VW2SRT2VT's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:21 PM #35
      My two teenage daughters (ages 18 and 17) have no interest in driving what so ever. Even if they were to find employment (which they cannot at this current time), they still don't have the interest in driving. The only person besides myself in my house that has any interest in driving is my 14 year old son.

      Getting a license in CT is expensive if you are under the age of 18. So add in that cost in addition to the car, fuel and insurance...it's difficult scraping the money together to get it all accomplished. I am willing to help with some of the costs...but not all of them.
      "Go catch that dream - because a lot of times when you chase something you never get to it." Robert Griffin III

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