Getting your driver's license used to be a stepping stone towards the freedom we all wanted at 16. It meant you had the ability to go where you wanted, when you wanted, and for however long you wanted... as long as your parents allowed it! But studies show that recently there has been a drop in teenagers getting their licenses, as well as buying a first car. Only about a quarter of teenagers have their licenses currently compared to 35 years ago when over half were licensed.

What could be causing this trend? 

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Well, the fact is, teenagers now live in a world much different than when I was their age. Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing apps allow transportation to be summoned at the push of a button. More and more driving-age teens are relying on these modes to get around!

We also live in the age of Social Media; communication has evolved right alongside the transportation industry. Video chatting, instant messaging, and many of the social media networks allow for teens to remain connected to their peers without having to leave the comfort of their room.

This has resulted in less face-to-face interactions, which means fewer teens on the roads. Many have said they stay busy with after-school activities, and rely on other friends or ride-sharing apps to get them places on the weekends. 

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Another factor is the rising prices of automobiles and insurance. The younger generation isn't as willing to pay these high prices for transportation that they could find elsewhere for much cheaper. Automobile companies are trying new marketing strategies to reach these targeted customers such as cheaper and more affordable models.

Volvo Cars released a car-subscription service, which targets those who do not want to own a car themselves. This includes insurance and excludes financing charges, allowing them to pay around $700 a month to drive a Volvo car and be able to switch it out at the end of the year. This shift of a generation's priorities has made quite the impact on the auto industry!

Isn't it crazy how each generation has interpreted getting their license differently over the years? 

Thanks for reading,

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Wade B. Coye
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Attorney/Author Wade Coye - serving consumers legal needs for over 27 years
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