, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 1227–1244 | Cite as

Car ownership motivations among undergraduate students in China, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Taiwan, and USA

  • Prawira Fajarindra Belgiawan
  • Jan-Dirk Schmöcker
  • Maya Abou-Zeid
  • Joan Walker
  • Tzu-Chang Lee
  • Dick F. Ettema
  • Satoshi Fujii


“Peak car” and related discussions suggest that especially younger people (age cohort until 30) have less desire to drive and purchase cars. This might though only be true for a limited range of developed countries. This study aims to understand the role of personal background and the country context influencing future car ownership decisions of younger people in seven countries (China, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Taiwan, and USA). The main foci of this research are undergraduate students where it is expected that their current attitudes and habits will influence their travel behavior after they graduate and obtain a job. A web survey asked students about their attitudes towards car and public transportation, social norms, their socio-demographic situations, current mobility patterns and the intention to own a car after graduation. We conducted a descriptive analysis as well as correlation analysis of the survey data focusing on explaining intentions to own a car in the future. We find that there is a significant difference between developing and developed countries; students in developed countries have less desire to purchase cars. Expectations of others appears an important determinant of purchase intentions whereas income and the symbolic affective meaning of the car are less correlated with intentions.


Car ownership motivations Developed versus developing countries Attitudes towards cars Social norms 



The authors would like to thank Lotte International Scholarship Foundation for supporting this study through a personal scholarship to the first author of this paper as well as UC Berkeley Global Metropolitan Studies, the National Science Foundation, and the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at AUB for supporting this work. We also kindly acknowledge the help of Mr. Zhang Dong, Tongji University with data collection in China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prawira Fajarindra Belgiawan
    • 1
  • Jan-Dirk Schmöcker
    • 1
  • Maya Abou-Zeid
    • 2
  • Joan Walker
    • 3
  • Tzu-Chang Lee
    • 4
  • Dick F. Ettema
    • 5
  • Satoshi Fujii
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Urban ManagementKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Center for Global Metropolitan StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.Department of Urban PlanningNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  5. 5.Faculty of GeosciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands

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