The best part about owning a car is supposed to be the freedom it gives you. You can go anywhere you want, wherever you want. Just pick your destination (or don’t and just cruise), jump in the car, and you’re off!
Is owning a car really that easy?
When I first moved to Melbourne, I experienced the cold, hard reality about owning a car. It kills the freedom that driving originally promised me.
In the city, owning a car doesn’t make me feel free at all. It actually does the opposite: it adds responsibility, expense and angst.
But to be as unbiased and honest as possible, the reality seems to be that not everybody needs a car.
Think about it, if you live out in the bush, you probably need a car or truck to get from one place to another. Your nearest store might be 30ks down the road, which means you’ll have to wait a long, long time for bus or any other public transportation – if they even have it at all; or you’ll have to walk or bike it. And unless you’re Lance Armstrong, few people want to bike that far on a consistent basis.
On the other hand, if you live in the middle of Sydney city, you most likely don’t need (or want) a car. Keeping a car in the city is super expensive, and, trust me, it really is incredibly inconvenient. With copious amounts of public transportation there, you can easily get where you want to go without use of your own car (hello Uber!)
And for all your Suburbanites that think you need a car. You’re probably so used to having one that you can’t fathom actually having to use other means of transportation. But if you don’t have one, you’ve probably already figured out that you can get along without it. There would be an adjustment involved, but getting where you need to go wouldn’t be that big of an issue.
I can’t say that absolutely no one needs a car
When I get a little older, start a family, and have to take my kid to footy practice, then I’ll probably be more inclined to have a car. And that’s how I see it on a larger scale. When people mature and begin to have more of a need for car due to work and family responsibilities, then the should I own a car? conversation begins to be a little more realistic. Till then, owning a car will have to take a backseat to alternatives like public transportation and ride and car sharing.
I don’t need a car – not right now.
For years I have been attached to the perceived notion that there’s an independence that comes from owning a car. And to an extent, that’s truth. But the reality for me is, I’m freer without a car. I save money. I don’t stress about fines or parking. I lessen my carbon footprint on the environment. I get places faster. And I laugh at the occasion weirdo on public transport – it’s not a bad life.