Younger Generations Show Increased Interest in Car Subscription Services, According to Deloitte Study

As younger generations shape the future of the automotive landscape, a pivot towards car subscription services could spell out adapt or perish for automakers.

George Skentzos

Head of Customer Experience

Published on 

March 27, 2024


Last updated on 

March 27, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Younger consumers increasingly favor car subscription services, indicating a necessary shift away from traditional car ownership models.
  • The emerging preference for subscription models urges automakers to quickly adapt their business strategies to stay competitive.
  • The industry has an opportunity to innovate through subscriptions, potentially transforming customer engagement and accelerating EV adoption.

The automotive industry stands at a pivotal crossroads, with younger generations increasingly favoring car subscription services over traditional ownership models. This shift, indicative of broader changes in consumer preferences and lifestyle choices, underscores an urgent need for industry players to adapt and redefine their strategies to cater to the evolving demands of Gen Z and millennial consumers.

Recent research conducted by Deloitte has put numbers to the narrative, revealing that a significant portion of Gen Z and younger Millennials are showing a marked preference for flexible car ownership alternatives like subscriptions and micro leasing.

Approximately one in five consumers of all ages (18%) prefer a car subscription service, and this interest increases among 18-34-year-olds with 28% of consumers within this age group now opting for the flexibility and convenience offered by subscription models—a stark contrast to the 52% across all age brackets who still show no interest in moving away from ownership.

What does this mean for the automotive sector? It signals a generational shift in the perception of vehicle access and ownership, driven by the desire for flexibility, affordability, and a hassle-free experience. Jamie Hamilton, automotive partner and head of electric vehicles at Deloitte, commented on the appeal of vehicle subscriptions, noting they "provide flexibility and choice without the disadvantages of ownership," thereby offering a sustainable business model particularly suited to used cars.

This trend doesn't just affect how vehicles are acquired, but also opens avenues for integrating additional services such as insurance directly offered by manufacturers—a move that nearly a third of consumers would consider, drawn by the convenience and potential cost savings over traditional providers.

However, embracing the subscription model is not without its challenges for the industry. Adapting means rethinking not just sales models but also customer engagement, vehicle lifecycle management, and value-added services to enhance the subscription experience. It demands a significant shift from viewing vehicles purely as products to offering them as part of a service ecosystem geared towards meeting the dynamic needs of younger consumers.

Moreover, the industry must navigate these changes amidst the backdrop of other significant shifts, such as the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and increasing concerns about sustainability and emissions. The subscription model could potentially accelerate the adoption of EVs by making them more accessible to consumers hesitant to invest in new technology due to high upfront costs or concerns about depreciation.

For automotive professionals, the message is clear: the future lies in flexibility, sustainability, and adaptability. By embracing the subscription model and aligning it with the eco-conscious values of younger generations, the industry can pave the way for growth in an era marked by rapid change.

The rise of car subscription services championed by Gen Z and millennials is not just a trend but a clarion call for the automotive industry to innovate and evolve. As these younger consumers drive the market forward, their preferences will shape the future of automotive, making it imperative for industry players to adapt or risk being left behind. In responding to these shifts, the automotive sector has the opportunity to redefine itself for a new era, one subscription at a time.

About the author
George is the Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at Loopit. Having originally started his career as a motoring journalist and founding team member for one of Australia's top automotive startups, George has a strong passion for automotive, business and growth marketing.
Join our mailing list
Thank you for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

Recent Articles

Big Or Small, Loopit grows with your ambitions

Loopit is the technology between car subscription and your fleet potential.