Half of millennials take out car finance to match their social media dreams | Social
Forget fashion, music or gadgets. The desire to live up to social media aspirations has pushed more than half of millennials to buy a car for its status value, new figures suggest, and almost 40 per cent said Instagram or Facebook played a part in deciding which motor they went for.
With two thirds of younger drivers reliant on credit to fund the purchase – twice the number of 37-54 year old generation Xers – research from Admiral has revealed the new, expensive face of social media influencing.
Younger drivers were found to be more reliant on credit, with 64 per cent taking car finance to fund a purchase compared with 38 per cent of 37-54 year olds.
The consequences c have financial implications on younger generations too, as over half of drivers aged 19 – 36 admit to feeling pressure to buy a specific car for status or prestige. More than one in ten millennials said famous faces played a part in their choice of car, compared with just 4 per cent of gen X drivers.
They may currently own a Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, VW Golf or Polo, but millennials dream of BMW i8s, Audi R8s, Ford GTs and Aston Martin Vantages.
Meanwhile gen Xers would quickly hand over their Ford Focuses, Vauxhall Astras and Nissan Qashqais for a very similar list.
They just don’t have the budget. Most drivers under 55 have around £300-£399 set aside every month for cars with an average value of £6,900 for millennials and £10,000 for gen Xers. But more one in ten millennials say they would be willing to spend half their salary on the right vehicle.
Doctor Dean Burnett, author and neuroscientist said: “In the current economic climate where traditional milestones like owning a home or securing permanent employment are increasingly out of reach for the younger generation of millennials, it seems that other factors are influencing decisions like car buying. Social status in an increasingly interconnected world is becoming far more important as a result”
“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,” warns Scott 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.”
But the draw of a virtual tribe isn’t felt equally across the country.
Just 1 per cent of all drivers in East Anglia were influenced by Facebook in buying a car compared to almost a quarter in London. In fact, more than one in ten drivers of all ages in the capital said celebrities influences their car choice. In Yorkshire, the biggest influence was the driver’s partner, in Northern Ireland it was their parents and in the North East it was their kids.
The research comes after separate data found most Britons nationwide are ‘trend spenders’, those who are ruled by their heart when it comes to money and don’t feel worried about loosening the purse strings as long as they can maintain their lifestyle.
Meanwhile, at least one social media addict has attracted headlines on both side of the pond by revealing how she careered into debt trying to portray a lifestyle she couldn’t afford.
Earlier this year, 26 year old Lissette Calveiro revealed she had amassed a $10,000 (£7,775) debt trying to become an Instagram star. She admits she mostly spent money on pricey brunches for that classic overhead pic, clothes and designer handbags so she didn’t have to be seen in the same outfit twice and holidays she couldn’t afford to deliver the ideal backdrop for the perfect gram.
She says she spent up to $700 a time on flights in a bid to collect geo tags on Snapchat.
However, a move from her parents’ home to a new life in Manhattan made her change her ways and she got her finances under control within 14 months. These days she recycles old photos to keep her feed ‘fresh’.
“Nobody talks about his or her finances on Instagram,” she said.