Is It Okay Not to Own a Car?

decision money May 26, 2023

In a world so used to cars being the only means of transportation, it is easy to think that owning one is an essential part of life. But what if we consider another option? Is it really okay not to own a car? It may seem counterintuitive, but there are numerous reasons why this could be the best course of action, both economically and environmentally.

Is car ownership right for you?

Owning a vehicle for private usage seems necessary for the longest time, but it may not be for some of us. It may look weird to others why one may not want to buy a car, but there are good reasons why this may be the case for someone. So whether you need a reliable source of transportation or just value convenience, consider these critical arguments for not buying and owning a car.

1. Cars are expensive

Transportation is one of the necessary activities we need to do daily, so it is easy to think that getting a vehicle of your own, such as a new car, is only common sense. However, cars or vehicles that can be used privately cost a lot. One car is worth several thousands of dollars or millions in other currencies, and it gets even more expensive if you get the luxury models. Sure, one can argue that there are long-term payment plans to help people buy a car or any vehicle. However, in the long run, the total amount of money you spend buying the vehicle is still high, especially with added interest and penalty fees if you don't pay on time.

The money you spend for purchasing a brand-new vehicle is just one cost of buying and owning one. After that, you must also have cash for refilling it with gas, parking fees, and maintenance costs. Maintaining a vehicle also gets more costly as it gets older, as more parts may become faulty, increasing the number of times you must repair it. Also, if you plan to sell your vehicle, the value of it decreases yearly, so this is one thing to remember in case you want to get a good profit out of your vehicle after you decide not to like it anymore.

2. How often do you travel?

One good question to ask yourself if you need to buy your own car or any vehicle is: how often do you travel? A personal vehicle is primarily for its owner's convenience, so they can travel using it whenever and wherever they want. First, however, look at your lifestyle and see how many times you travel every week or daily. Then, try to evaluate if a car is necessary for you because there can be cheaper alternatives to a car for traveling, such as taking public transport vehicles or using ride-sharing services like Uber. How often you travel outside work and necessary activities can influence your buying decision. You probably don't need one if you park your car frequently in the garage, especially if you are the type of person that prefers indoor activities more or your place of work is near your house.

3. There are alternatives to going places

Knowing that car ownership costs can be very high, there are alternatives one can use to go to places. Taking mass transit for public transportation like trains or buses can still get you where you need to be, although they may be less comfortable and private since you have others using the same vehicles as you. If you can tolerate such inconveniences, you can save money in the long run by not having to buy an expensive vehicle, especially if you don't need to commute daily.

Another traveling alternative is using ride-sharing services like Uber. This is an alternative kind of transport where you get to book your ride with another person who drives their own vehicle, so it can help reduce traffic congestion if two or more people share the same vehicle instead of each person driving their own vehicle. One can also consider the proximity of the places you often visit with your house. It can be possible to reach them using a bicycle or a motorbike, both cheaper than buying a car. You may even be able to walk to some of your favorite locations and benefit from exercising your body rather than riding using a car.

4. Think about the bigger picture

Many car owners are in the world now, and some may even have more than one vehicle. Traffic will worsen with many cars and other vehicles running on our roads, especially during peak hours. This can affect everybody, wasting lots of precious time that could have been used for something else. Vehicles are also large objects that occupy a significant amount of parking space, and with so many of them lying around, they can congest roads. Concern for the environment is also another thing. We all know that cars and other vehicles emit smoke from burning their fuel, and all the fumes emitted by many vehicles will eventually add up and contribute to air pollution, causing health issues, particularly respiratory ailments.

People's lifestyles are also changing. Technology has significantly ramped up in recent years, and this can lead to people becoming less mobile as they may spend more time indoors tinkering with their gadgets and enjoying more screen time. You don't necessarily need to travel to your friend's house if you have some business with them, as you can text or use a video chat to tell them about your concern. Some services like ordering food or purchasing things can now be done online, so somebody else needs to deliver them to your house without you going out to travel. Working from home is also now a thing. If you find yourself doing more of these activities, you may not need to buy a car if you won't go out often to travel.

Your lifestyle and needs will determine whether you need a car or not.

Owning a car or any vehicle for private use can make you feel good. It can be a goal you have been working on for so long, and buying one gives fulfillment and happiness as long as you genuinely want and need it. However, you don't need to force yourself to buy one just because most people around you have one, and you feel some peer pressure. Cars are expensive; they are not commodities you buy from a nearby convenience store. It requires a large amount of cash to purchase, so it must be something worthy and necessary to you to justify its purchase. You must also know how to drive before buying one and know the machine's inner workings to save some costs from repairs and maintenance. Your lifestyle can also dictate whether you need to buy a car. If it's just convenience and status you care for when buying a car, you might be better off trading them for something more practical to save you more money. Otherwise, if you have the budget and need and want a car, you can go ahead and purchase it and be a responsible owner and user of a vehicle.

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