The numerous advantages of not owning a car mean that if you can manage without one, then it's well worth doing so. Cars are undoubtedly very convenient, and for many people are a lifeline. You can't really do without one if you live in a rural area. But for those who have access to good public transport and who live within walking distance of facilities, it's a distinct advantage not to own a car. Here are some of the advantages of not owning a car …
One of the biggest advantages of not owning a car is that you make enormous savings. Owning and running a car is expensive. It's not just the cost of gas; you also have to pay for insurance (which can be very expensive if you're young or live in an urban area), maintenance and taxes. If you can manage without a car, you'll have a lot more spare cash.
Cars cause enormous damage to the environment. It may be easy to ignore that in favor of your own convenience, but every time you take your car out you're adding to the pollution. Plus the manufacturing process uses a lot of resources and energy - and the car has to be disposed of at the end of its useful life. They can also be dangerous to wildlife - and people.
If you have a car, people often treat you as a taxi service. Your kids will expect to be driven everywhere and will call you to pick them up. Friends will want you to be the designated driver so they can drink. If you don't have a car, then you can't be people's unpaid taxi service.
No doubt you've complained many times about sitting in traffic jams. But if you're a driver, you're adding to the traffic. You're as responsible as everyone else. If your journey can be made by bike, on foot, or by public transport, you won't waste time sitting in a queue of traffic.
Owning a car means a lot of worry. There's the risk that it will be stolen or wrecked. You've got to find a parking space, which isn't exactly easy in cities, and when you do find a space it will be expensive. Taxis are often more convenient, and often cheaper than car ownership when you factor in the costs of running a car.
Have you ever wondered what your town would be like if it were car-free? That's unlikely to happen any time soon, but think about how pleasant it would be. Instead of cities being occupied by cars and traffic, they would be designed for the use of people. They'd be healthier, more pleasant places. Get rid of your car, and you would contribute towards creating a more people-friendly city.
Finally, if you only use your car for the occasional evening out or weekend trip, there are alternatives. You could hire a car - sometimes there are pretty cheap deals - or join a car club. Then you're not paying out to run a car that you may hardly ever use.
If you need a car to get to work or because your area isn't served by public transport, there's no alternative. But many people could easily do without a car; it just takes some imagination and looking at alternative ways of transport. Could you manage without a car?
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