Owning a car is seen as an Australian dream - a rite of passage that every teenager experiences. But does it need to be that way? Do young people in Australia need to own a car?
There are a lot of reasons some people need to own a car, but for those who are living in the city or nearby, having a car could be an expense they could do without.
Before we look at the advantages of not owning a car, we need to look at how you would get around without one.
How do you get around with a car?
Catch public transport
For your day-to-day transportation needs, you can use buses, trains and ferries to get around.
Catch taxis or use Uber
If you need to get somewhere quickly, or late at night, then calling a cab or an Uber car when needed is a better option.
For regular travel, like getting to work, you could always try getting a lift with a colleague or friend. Car pooling has been around for many years and it can be a cost-effective way of sharing travel costs.
Car share Companies like GoGet are becoming increasingly popular and have cars available most times in the city and inner suburbs.
Walk If you manage to live close to shops, work, or school you could easily walk to the places you need to go.
Ride a bike
City streets are not always bicycle-friendly, but most cities are getting better and you could find it easier and quicker to ride a bike, at least part of the way. An great example of this is riding to your closest train station.
Why give up your car?
So why would you give up your car (or not bother to buy one at all)? There are many reasons:
It's much more environmentally friendly to not own a car. Using existing services like public transport, taxis and share cars will keep more carbon pollution from entering the environment.
Saving money - big money
You can save thousands on not owning a car. It costs roughly $6,500 per year to keep an average-sized car on the road (and this doesn't include repayment costs). What would you rather do with that $6,500 each year?
Traffic, breakdowns, servicing, buying petrol, minor accidents - all of these can add stress to our daily lives. By not owning a car you eliminate or reduce much of this stress.
Owning a car can be major hassle sometimes. From accidents, to paying out for registration and petrol, to keeping it clean - a car can complicate your life.
Be more productive
When you drive a car, you need to concentrate on what you're doing so you cannot multitask. If you travel on public transport you can be much more productive by reading a book, catching up on study or paperwork, using your tablet or laptop to work on a project - whatever you can think of.
Be more social
When you are driving in your car you are usually alone. When you are on public transport or carpooling, you have the chance of talking to others and expanding your horizons. And when you talk to people, things happen.
Have I managed to cover all of the benefits of not owning a car? Share yours below.
Not owning a car isn't for everyone, especially for those people who live in country areas, or in places where public transport is limited, but for a great majority of people, not owning a car can save them money, save the environment, and improve their life.
Do you think you could live without a car?