Anew research carried out by Admiral Loans answers the age-old question “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to see it, did it ever fall?”
For millennials, the answer is a resounding no. Pressure to show off on social media is so powerful that the younger generation would rather take out a loan or overspend on a flashy car, since not showing off at all is not even on their horizon as a possibily.
The company queried millennials (aged 19-36) and members of Generation X (37-54) to see how social pressure and social media in particular shaped their choices in terms of the car they bought. As it turns out, most millennials buy cars they can’t afford because they want to show off or emulate influencers and celebrities they look up to.
Only a small percentage of younger respondents said that they were influenced in their car purchase by one of their friends, iNews reports. Most of them cited celebrities who constantly show off their flashy wheels or rich influencers as reason. They also said they would pay half of their monthly salary on a car or would take out finance to get their dream vehicle.
Speaking of dream vehicles, the list included the Audi R8, Ford GT and the BMW i8. About 22 percent of respondents said that their dream car was inspired by what they’d seen on Facebook and 16 percent revealed that they made their purchase because of Instagram.
In short, when it comes to buying a car for millennials, it’s less about practicality or even common sense, and more about showing off and emulating celebrities, even if that means running into serious debt.
And this is not a winning attitude, to state the obvious.
“It’s really important that anyone taking out finance on a car remembers that the most important factor is not what social media, or their mates, think is cool, but picking a car that is affordable to ensure they don’t put themselves under undue financial strain,” Scott Cargill, CEO at Admiral Loans, says of the findings of the research.
“Celebrities and online influencers in particular are likely to be photographed in cars that they have been loaned as part of sponsorship or are using for advertising purposes, there’s a good chance they don’t actually own or pay the finance for those cars themselves and stretching yourself to copy them could land you in financial difficulty,” Cargill adds.