As we head into the weekend, ponder these interesting insights into Canadian car shoppers:

Millennials are not happy shoppers

Millennials are, in fact, a tough sell. Fewer than half of them report being satisfied with their most recent car shopping experience (45 per cent), versus Baby Boomers at 62 per cent, notes the Canadian Car Shopper Survey from CarGurus.

A separate U.S. study from J.D. Power offers insights into how to make Millennial car shoppers happy: give them superb customer service, an outstanding product and a great deal.

J.D. Power’s first-ever Millennials Insight Report released last month found that Millennials “have the lowest tolerance for errors and delays of any other generation studied — they simply expect things to work.” That said, if a problem is resolved smoothly and promptly, they are likely to come back despite the initial problem.

As for the deal, Millennials “are most likely to make a purchase decision based on value for money—across virtually every product category.” Millennials are less likely to “buy things for status, image or brand loyalty” compared to past generations.

To summarize: Millennials can be forgiving, but in general they are also impatient, demanding and not overly status-conscious.

Anyone who wants to sell a car to a Millennial better be good and have a good product.

Canadians are opting for long loan terms

The average Canadian spends more than a week’s worth of take-home pay (about $538) on the average new vehicle loan payment (about $590).

Let’s dig into the numbers.

J.D. Power and Associates reports that for the 57 per cent of the Canadians who borrow to buy, the average car loan payment is just a shade under $590 a month. For the 26 per cent who lease, the average monthly payment is just under $530 a month.

Now StatsCan tells us that the average Canadian earns $943 a week, or about $49,000 a year. Various studies also suggest that about 42 per cent of that is vacuumed up by a variety of taxes and fees.

So where does that leave Canadians? With terms stretched out over many years. Three of every four Canadians stretch out loan payments over 72 months or longer. And it’s not uncommon to find buyers going for loan terms of 96 months, or even longer. This is how Canadians afford a new ride.


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