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Americans Have Lost That Loving Feeling for Their Cars

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On: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 2:35PM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

Americans Have Lost That Loving Feeling for Their Cars

Disappointing information over the last few years has shown a trend that was unimaginable 50 years ago—people just don’t seem that “into” their cars anymore. Indicators like the amount of time people spend in their vehicles, the number of drivers licensed issued, how many cars are registered, and public transit seem to indicate that people aren’t driving as much as they once were. So is the American love affair with cars over or will this trend of disinterst pass?

The changing economy, technology, environmental worries, and the development of urban areas in this country have all contributed to a downturn in the amount of time spend driving. In addition are extremely frustrating gas prices in the United States; gas really hasn’t been affordable for almost ten years now.

Most of the 30-somethings and older people in this country can’t even imagine passing up the chance to get a driver’s license. Almost everyone of us can remember the day we waited outside of the DMV to take our driving test for the first time (or second, in some cases!). Getting a driver’s license used to be an important passage into independence as we got on the road (literally), and headed right towards adulthood. Never could anyone imagine 10 years ago that young people wouldn’t care so much about getting their driver’s license—waiting much later or not even getting one at all!

More and more younger, would-be drivers are opting for public transit or biking, and even telecommute to work more now than ever before and can get around just fine without a car. If they do need a car, they just borrow one or rent one for an hour. Auto rental companies like Hertz are trying to get their operations set up in more communities that will make renting a car just like getting a movie from RedBox.

Many 20-something people in this country just aren’t even interested in cars. They don’t see much of a reason to get one—buying one really stretches their budgets when unemployment and underemployment is still a major concern in this country.

Beyond just being able to telecommute, the internet has lessened the need for cars in their free time as well. If you want to go shopping, just get online; the same goes for socializing, education, and more.

As it is now, it seems the upcoming generations will not really produce as many car lovers as generations past, unless something changes their minds. What it would likely take to see car shows filling up again and more enthusiasts in younger groups is some solution easiong the financial burden of gas prices as well as an improved economy that restores consumer confidence to pre-economy levels—or a sudden lapse in memory.


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