The Millennials Who Swore Off Cars Pre-COVID Are Now Buying Them

The shift in attitude can also be seen in places like Japan, where 10 million people per day used to cram into Tokyo's subway lines. Now, the article notes, interest in car ownership in rising. New licenses increased in 2020 for the first time in eight years, with most of the growth coming from people in their 20s and 30s. 

Gypsy Byrne, a 19-year-old student in Melbourne, also shifted her views on car ownership: “You can't trust public transport now. I got my driving instructor to start doing five-hour lessons instead of one because I just need my Ps [provisional license plates] to be able to get out and do things.”

Michael Brisson, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in the U.S. argued that while ownership may be on the rise, total miles driven still hasn't eclipsed previous highs. He concluded: “A resurgence of car ownership might be more of the story versus a resurgence of car usage. People may want the ability to travel and may be taking more short trips, but I can’t see anywhere that shows they are driving more miles.”

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