Many Hispanic Millennials are living with their parents well into adulthood to reduce their overhead costs. But with the exception of those with public transportation access, most still need a car to get around. How do their behaviors and choices about cars compare to non-Hispanic Millennials and foreign-born Hispanics in their thirties?

Tr3s sought answers to this question as part of its 2012 research study, Hispanic Adult Millennials Living the Next Normal: Age of Uncertainty. Here are some of Tr3s’s key findings about Hispanics 18-29 and the automotive category:

Hispanic Adult Millennials have different car preferences than foreign-born Hispanics in their thirties. When asked (unprompted) what vehicle they would spend their personal money on, foreign-born Hispanic thirty-somethings were most likely to say Toyota – while Hispanics 18-29 chose Honda. Because Millennials tend to be frugal, practical, and risk-averse by nature, brands may need to stress different assets to win their loyalty. Ford was in second place among the older Hispanic group, while Toyota was number two for the younger adults. Among non-Hispanic Millennials, Toyota was the top choice.

Reliability and affordability are most important to everyone – but Hispanic Adult Millennials with kids also look for size and safety.  Those living with their parents are particularly interested in cars that work well and for a good price. Hispanic consumers with kids want cars that are large enough to fit their families – and related to their protectiveness toward their kids, safety is key as well.

While safety features appeal to everyone, Millennials (Hispanic and non-Hispanic) also want comfort and style. The most popular car options are security systems, climate control, side-impact airbags, and sunroofs. Over 4 in 10 Millennials say options on a car impress them (vs. 35% of Hispanics 30-39). Almost 4 in 10 feel their car should express their personality (vs. 26% of foreign-born Hispanics 30-39).

Loans are the most common way of paying for auto purchases –Hispanics 18-29 lean more on banks, while foreign-born Hispanic thirty-somethings opt for dealership financing. Hispanic Adult Millennials are more similar to their non-Hispanic counterparts in their car financing choices.

Hispanic Adult Millennials living with their parents frequently act as decision makers for household car purchases. More than a third of Hispanics 18-29 who live with their parents chose the most recent family vehicle (compared with 25% of non-Hispanics living with their parents). Nearly 30% of Hispanics 18-29 living with their parents drive most often in the household (vs. 16% of non-Hispanics living with their parents.

Belonging to an automotive club like AAA is a Millennial behavior. Risk aversion is a core Hispanic and non-Hispanic Adult Millennial value. As a result, both groups are far more likely than foreign-born Hispanics in their thirties to be auto club members. Over a fifth of Hispanic Adult Millennials and a third of non-Hispanic Adult Millennials belong to an automotive club – compared with just 9% of foreign-born Hispanics in their thirties.