We dug deeper to analyze results specific to city dwellers. City dwellers in the U.S. and Canada had lower rates of owning and leasing a car than all global respondents–not surprising as city dwellers tend to have more public transportation options, greater access to scooters and less distance to walk between destinations.

Millennials Living in the City Expect to Purchase or Lease a New Car in the Next Five Years
Millennial City Dwellers Will Continue to Own/Lease Cars

There was almost no urban/rural divide in Europe, where ownership/leasing was 78% for city dwellers and 79% for respondents across the region. However, in Latin America and Asia, city dwellers were slightly more likely to own or lease a car at 73% and 74%, respectively, relative to respondents across the region at 70% and 71%, respectively. Rampant poverty in the rural and developing parts of Latin America and Asia may drive down car ownership and leasing. Additionally, scooters and motorcycles are offsetting lower rates of car ownership in these regions, as China alone has more than 300 million scooters and motorcycles on the road.10

Percentage of Millennial City Dwellers Who Plan to Purchase/Lease their First Car vs. City Dwellers Who Plan to Purchase/Lease Another car Over the Next Five Years


More city dwellers (88%) who have a car expect to purchase or lease another one in the next five years than the overall respondent pool (83%). Approximately 85% of city dwellers in the U.S. and Canada expect to purchase or lease another car in the next five years compared to 77% overall. In Europe and Asia, 87% of city dwellers expect to purchase or lease another car in the next five years compared to 83% overall. In the UK, city dwellers responded at a higher rate than the overall pool at 92% versus 83%.
Globally, for city dwellers without a car, the results were not materially different from all dwellers. Regionally, only Asia varied significantly for city dwellers relative to everyone else at 53% who expect to purchase or lease a car in the next five years versus 43% overall. In China (other than Hong Kong) and India, 100% of city dwellers who do not already own or lease a car expect to purchase one in the next five years. This compares to 82% and 69% of city, suburban and rural dwellers in China and India, respectively, who do not currently own or lease. That generally accounts for the regional difference of city dwellers compared to all dwellers in Asia and provides further support that millennials who live in cities in these countries likely see car ownership as a status symbol.

10 Katia Moskvitch, “The problem with China’s electric scooter revolution? It’s too quiet,” Wired, accessed September 25, 2019, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/why-electric-motor-scooters-are-leading-electric-vehicle-revolution-in-asia.


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