Millennial Car Purchase Intent on the Rise in Europe, Despite Global Climate Concerns, Duff & Phelps Study Reveals

London – The global automotive industry is currently facing serious economic headwinds and declining sales, leaving industry players wondering if millennials–who currently make up one-third of the world’s population–will drive the industry forward or break from past generations on car ownership. The Millennials and Auto Trends Report released today by Duff & Phelps, the global advisor that protects, restores and maximizes value for clients, shows that concerns that millennials are less interested in car ownership are greatly overstated and rooted in misconceptions about millennial car-buying patterns.

  • 79% of EU millennials surveyed currently own or lease a vehicle
  • Approximately 83% of EU millennials say having their own vehicle is a “necessity”
  • Petrol or diesel engines are still the most preferred powertrain of choice for EU millennials (53%), only 39% of respondents considered purchasing a hybrid electric or electric only

Duff & Phelps surveyed 2,150 millennials (aged 23 to 38) from across the world on car-buying preferences and the factors driving these trends.
In Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy), the report found that most millennials already own a vehicle (79%) and half (50%) of respondents who do not currently own a car expect to in the next five years, suggesting that millennials may be responsible for turning around the struggling automotive industry in the coming years. The findings also suggest that factors including environmental concerns, city dwelling and availability of public transportation and ride-hailing services have not dampened millennial interest in vehicle ownership.
Despite the common perception of millennials as an environmentally conscious generation, gas or diesel engines are still the most preferred powertrain of choice (53%). The majority of millennials in Europe indicated that having a car is a necessity for independence (77%) and convenience (66%), and generally preferable to other, more environmentally-conscious options like ride-sharing or public transportation. When asked about their use of ride-haling services and car-sharing services, most respondents (82%) either never use these services or use them less than once a week. However, environmentally friendly options such as hybrid electric or electric only were on the rise (39%).

When analyzing the data on what European millennials are looking for in their vehicle, the most common features included: price (70%), fuel efficiency (59%), style (34%) and safety (30%).

Paul Teuten, Managing Director at Duff & Phelps, comments: “Our Millennials and Auto Trends Report challenges conventional wisdom that millennials prefer alternatives to car ownership and provides encouraging evidence that millennials will drive the automotive industry forward. The European findings, in particular with over 80% of millennials never or rarely using ride-hailing and car-sharing services, underscores this and casts doubt on the presumed notion that ride-hailing services are increasingly used by this population. The automotive industry should take note and adapt to this by continuing to make the right technological investments to satisfy millennial preferences.”

About Duff & Phelps
Duff & Phelps is the global advisor that protects, restores and maximizes value for clients in the areas of valuation, corporate finance, investigations, disputes, cyber security, compliance and regulatory matters, and other governance-related issues. We work with clients across diverse sectors, mitigating risk to assets, operations and people. With Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps since 2018, our firm has nearly 3,500 professionals in 28 countries around the world. For more information, visit

M&A advisory, capital raising and secondary market advisory services in the United States are provided by Duff & Phelps Securities, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Pagemill Partners is a Division of Duff & Phelps Securities, LLC. M&A advisory, capital raising and secondary market advisory services in the United Kingdom are provided by Duff & Phelps Securities Ltd. (DPSL), which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. M&A advisory and capital raising services in Germany are provided by Duff & Phelps GmbH, which is a Tied Agent of DPSL. Valuation Advisory Services in India are provided by Duff & Phelps India Private Limited under a category 1 merchant banker license issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

2019-10-17T04:00:00.0000000 0001-01-01T00:00:00.0000000 /about-us/news/millennial-automotive-purchase-intent-on-the-rise /-/media/assets/images/publications/mergers-and-acquisitions/automotive-report-2019/feature/will-millennials-drive-automotive-industry-forward-285-116.jpg news {D59CA77E-C551-45A3-BE89-F567210C5A60} {4DACD310-421A-42AC-BEF4-8AA7E70484CD} {B062D54C-1425-4A04-8F9F-95EA14068E6D} {C8894F56-FF6C-4DEA-AB91-58D66A7F0624}

Related Services

Corporate Finance

Comprehensive support throughout mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions.

Corporate Finance
M&A Advisory | Corporate Finance | Services

M&A Advisory

Middle-market M&A advisory differentiated by industry expertise and superior deal execution.

M&A Advisory

Valuation Advisory

Valuation and consulting for financial reporting, federal, state and local tax, investment and risk management purposes.

Valuation Advisory