The surprising reason some millennials may be buying new cars

Roughly 1 in 6 millennial car buyers — or about 15 percent of them — plan to drive for Uber, Lyft or another similar service, according to a recent report by market research firm Mintel. That’s compared to about 9 percent of the overall population.

“A lot of millennials have the mind-set that they’ve got to have a side hustle, something like Uber to supplement their income,” said Buddy Lo, an automotive analyst for Mintel. “And now that the recovery is taking hold, they’re starting to buy new cars.”

Millennials, roughly defined as the generation born between 1980 and 2000, came of age during the financial crisis, with many of them graduating into the worst job market in decades. As a result, 20- and 30-somethings often put off traditional milestones, such as buying new cars and homes, getting married and having children.

But now they’re catching up, says Lo. And one way they’re doing that is by buying new cars.

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