Nissan Altima Tops Among Millennial Buyers

The Nissan Altima takes the top spot of top 10 most popular cars among Millennial buyers nationwide, according to a new survey by LendingTree examining car-buying trends among those under 35.

The data team at LendingTree ranked 50 cities based on the percent of auto loan requests coming from Millennial borrowers, and also calculated the average amount Millennials (and older people) are borrowing in each of those cities for car purchases.

In addition to the top-ranking Altima, other popular Millennial cars are: Dodge Charger, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Tahoe, Honda Civic, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Malibu, Dodge Challenger and Toyota Camry.

Millennials in Memphis, Tenn., are looking to buy cars at rates higher than their counterparts in any other major U.S. city. Other top cities for Millennials buying cars include Milwaukee, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Houston, San Jose, Nashville, Buffalo, Columbus, Ohio and Los Angeles. 



Auto loans average $14,825.34, compared to $17,938.74 for applicants ages 35 years and older and 53.6% of Millennial auto loan requests in the past 12 months were for new vehicles; for borrowers 35 years and older, 55.8% of requests were for the purchase of new vehicles. 

For borrowers 35 years and older, 44.2% of requests were for the purchase of used vehicles, suggesting Millennials are slightly less likely to finance the purchase a new vehicle compared to borrowers 35 years and older.

Despite the widely held belief that Millennials will become an increasingly smaller segment of the total car-buying population, the share of auto loan requests from Millennials has been increasing in recent years. The share of Millennial auto loan requests has climbed from roughly 27% in early 2013 to about 34% in 2016, suggesting a return of younger buyers to the car market.  

“With unemployment among Millennials improving, coupled with lower interest rates and low gas prices, the share of millennial auto loan requests is on the rise,” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree, in a release. “Although the share of Millennial auto loan requests is relatively lower in densely populated urban areas, the auto market appears to be enticing aging Millennials.” 

LendingTree analyzed auto loan requests for consumers 34 years and under in the past 12 months, along with requests from the total population of auto-loan-seekers. The city ranking is created from the percentage of all purchase auto loan requests that were submitted by consumers in the Millennial generation. 

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