Mike Stevens | Feb 10, 2010

AFFORDABILITY, RELIABILITY and styling; three factors most people consider when buying a new car. A new study by Deloitte in the US shows that 'Generation Y' is now putting more emphasis on fuel efficiency and environmental impact.

Surveying 1100 car buyers aged 18 to 30, the study found that 74 percent of Gen Y consumers consider the environment an "extremely important" factor when purchasing a new car.

In Australia, the picture looks to be much the same, with efficiency and a small carbon footprint proving to be increasingly important to younger buyers.

“We have found that Gen Y in Australia is starting to base their purchasing decisions on fuel efficiency and environmental impact,” Danny Rezek, Partner Deloitte Motor Industry Services Group said.

Interestingly, the study showed that young car buyers in Australia are more likely to buy a brand-new car rather than a used example.

In the US, 63 percent of respondents in the Deloitte survey said they would be more likely to buy a used car.

"Our Generation Y is typically a group that thinks 'newer is better' but industry research has shown that used car sales have remained high," Mr Rezek said.

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The 'bigger is better' perception in the US appears to be making a comeback, with 23 percent of respondents saying they would be likely to buy an SUV in the next five years.

In Australia, only 10 percent of respondents see themselves driving an SUV/4WD.

When buying a new car, 60 percent of US Gen Y respondents said they do not look to social media - blogs, forums and sites like Facebook - for advice or information.

Mr Rezek said that young car buyers in Australia consider online communities, blogs and news websites the best source of information and advice.

“Gen Y account for 25% of the marketplace in Australia so it’s important the industry provides these potential employees and recruits with clear goals and targets, and a thorough understanding of expectations combined with the freedom to work independently, to ensure the job actually gets done,” Mr Rezek said.

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