Aug 02 2006

COOL Solutions: First-Time Used Car "Y'ers"


Few consumer events involve the emotional weight of a first car purchase. For young Americans, the automobile is a symbol of adulthood, with all of the privileges it promises – freedom, independence and distance from parents. It is usually the first big-ticket acquisition for young adults, a life event that is long remembered which could affect future big ticket purchases.

For the financial institution that finances the vehicle, the first car purchase has considerable traction. If the experience is positive, it could be the start of a lifelong relationship with the consumer. If the experience is distasteful, the young consumer will go elsewhere in the future.

To address these issues, the Filene Research Institute studied the habits, opinions and behaviors of Gen Y members. In First-Time Used Car “Yers.” Tammi S. Feltham, associate professor of Human Ecology at the University of Manitoba reports research centered on 217 young adult credit union members around the U.S. ranging in age from 15 to 24 years, and their experiences buying and financing their first used car.

Report Number 121