Enterprise Holdings, the nation's largest car rental firm, released a study that says car shoppers of the millennial generation often use rental cars to check out the latest models and features.
Of course, the younger drivers aren't leaving vehicle selection to chance. Fully 53 percent say they chose a rental car specifically based on their desire to test out a new model, with 28 percent reporting that the rental-car experience motivated them to begin shopping for a new car.
As might be expected, the millennials are very interested in automotive technology. The majority of those surveyed — 68 percent — say their first exposure to the latest electronic features was in cars they had rented.
These findings suggest that one way to reach younger buyers is through vehicle rentals, an important point to make for Enterprise Holdings, owner of such brands as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car.
"Millennial respondents were particularly influenced by the rental experience, indicating that car rental is one of the best ways to introduce an automotive brand to the next generation of new car buyers," said Kurt Kohler, senior vice president of acquisition and remarketing for Enterprise Holdings, in a statement.
The study also found that, contrary to popular belief, millennials are just as interested in car ownership as drivers in other age groups. Of those surveyed, 79 percent rated owning a car "extremely important."
Clearly, this generation of consumers will buy cars when they can afford them. And their preference for trying out vehicles and features through the rental experience may provide a unique channel for reaching them.
Sounds like a good strategy... Have you rented a vehicle to give it an 'extended' test drive?