Car brands with the youngest drivers

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Unsurprisingly, different car brands take different approaches to crafting their images. Some try to appeal to younger audiences, focusing on factors such as driving agility and design. Others emphasize luxury or practicality — things older drivers are more likely to be looking for.

A recent study published by CarMax shows which brands have the youngest buyers. Naturally, this study only focuses on the used car market. The study also doesn’t account for the length of ownership; a man in his 50s driving a Corvette may have bought it 20 or 30 years ago.

So, which car brands are the most popular with younger drivers? Here’s what we found, based on the 2017 National Household Travel Survey. One thing to note: The average American driver is now 48.4 years old (compared to 43.4 in 2009). To make the results more informative, we capped the drivers’ age at 60.

Unsurprisingly, luxury cars have the oldest drivers. In fact, four brands stand out from the rest: Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Buick and Cadillac. In contrast, BMW and Audi drivers are closest to the average age.

Mazda and Volkswagen catch our eye at the other end of the spectrum: Both brands’ drivers are much younger than people who drive any other makes. Among all luxury car brands, Infiniti has the youngest owners.

Our next chart shows the average age of drivers for each type of vehicle (irrespective of any particular brand).

As you can see, luxury vehicles’ drivers are only four years older on average than those of regular passenger cars. The other vehicle types, such as vans or sport utility vehicles, fall somewhere in between. That shows us that while some separation between categories clearly exists, it’s not as significant as we may expect. In fact, the next chart appears to be more interesting.

For the most part, our findings here mostly fall in line with those from the CarMax study. For example, a lot of people actually buy sports cars in their late 40s, while people in their 30s appear to show less interest in these vehicles.

Vans show even more pronounced peaks — they are especially popular among 35- and 70-year-old buyers. However, van owners are quite likely to sell their vehicles around the age of 45.

Source(s): 2017 National Household Travel Survey data

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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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