Young people and cars: bicycles, computers and smartphones are better

In France, Germany and the United States the new generation doesn’t long for cars. Young people want smartphones, computers and bicycles.

Smartphones and bicycles instead of cars. This is what teenagers these days prefer, while, on the contrary, in former times, young people craved to pass their driving test and get a car, as a means to become more independent adults.


So, it’s not due to diesel emissions scandal that Germans don’t drive as they did before. Considered as one of the birthplaces of cars worldwide, Germany is seeing a drop in sales, at least in the cities, as well as decreased use of this type of vehicles mostly by new generations. In 2010, only 7% of German car buyers were under 29 years old. In 2000, instead, they accounted for 15%.


Many European cities have an efficient public transport system and are investing in cycling infrastructures. This results in an increasing number of commuters who choose to ride bikes instead of driving their fuel-powered vehicles as well as the reduction of private traffic thanks to the creation of pedestrian areas.


<> on March 7, 2012 in Wolfsburg, Germany.
© Getty Images


Even in France there’s a similar trend and youngsters are giving up cars as status symbol. As the Transalpine newspaper Le Monde reads, young people demand their parents buy them technological devices such as computers and smartphones, or credit cards to go shopping. They also long for bicycles, mostly fixed-gear ones, that came back in fashion a few years ago. The driver rate among people aged 18 to 29 has stopped increasing, dropping from 76 to 73% between 1992 and 2012, the minimum rate being in the range of people aged 18 to 20.


Even in the U.S., the number of teenage drivers decreased: from 1983 to 2010, the number of eighteen-year-old people who got a driving license dropped by 20%.


In Italy, foldable bicycles are more popular than fixed-gear ones because they’re more versatile and comfortable for people living in the cities, or in case of intermodality, when people use bicycles with other means of transport to reach a destination. But in this country, as in many other European ones, people are tempted by cars, but with good important news: they want it to be sustainable and, possibly, hybrid.

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