Published On: Mon, Aug 21st, 2017

Car Ownership Comes at a Cost: Is It Worth It For You?

Finally getting hold of your first car is an exhilarating moment. Being able to get around gives you freedom, independence, and can open up all kinds of opportunities, for many people learning to drive is an extremely worthwhile skill, and buying a car is a great purchase. However there are some downsides too, and things to think about before splashing the cash on a motor. Here are a few things to consider

Car Ownership Comes at a Cost: Is It Worth It For You?

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The Costs

Car ownership is expensive, there’s no doubt about it. Along with the upfront costs of purchasing the vehicle, you then have to pay to repair and maintain it if it goes wrong. You will need insurance, breakdown cover and depending on where you live in the world you may need to pay road tax too. Plus whatever fuel you use driving from A to B. For young or new drivers especially it might not make financial sense to get your own vehicle right away, using a parents or siblings car for a while could be better.

When you’re a little older, have had your license for longer and have experience driving your insurance costs will be lower- and during that time you could be saving up to purchase the car that you want. For the car itself, you also have the option to pay with finance, allowing you to spread the cost over a number of years. This will cost more in the long run since there will be interest added, but if you don’t have a huge sum of money up front to buy car, it’s one way to acquire one.

When you’re considering purchasing your own vehicle, make sure you take all of the costs into account. You need to ensure that not only can you afford the daily running costs but also maintenance and repairs when needed. It can be useful to set up a savings account and keep money aside just in case anything does go wrong. That way you can have it taken care of right away, and you’re not scrambling for money if you have an accident or breakdown.


Damage To The Environment

Cars burn fossil fuels and cause emissions which damage the planet. When you use a car, you help contribute to all of this which is bad news for the world we live in. If you live close to friends and to work, using public transport, carpooling, walking or biking could be a cheaper and more eco- friendly alternative. Alternatively, if you do own a car, you could stick to walking or biking for shorter journeys. It will save you money on fuel costs too.

Driving in a more eco-friendly style is also worthwhile, you can do this by ensuring your tyres are correctly inflated and keeping your engine properly tuned. Removing roof racks when they’re not in use and not driving with the windows down will also help. Plus, if you plan your journeys you can take the shortest and most efficient route. Of course, we should all be doing whatever we can to take care of the environment, if you hold strong views about reducing your carbon footprint then buying your own car probably won’t line up with your own personal beliefs anyway.


Dangers and Accidents

About 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic accidents, and up to fifty million more people suffer non-fatal injuries including lifelong disabilities as a result. Driving and being on the roads is dangerous, and while there have been improved driving tests and excellent new safety features in cars, it’s not foolproof. The dangers of the roads are something to be considered if you want to start driving.

Any criminal defense attorney will tell you that far too many people drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and so while you can be mindful of your own driving, you always have to watch out for others. During rush hour especially when people are keen to get home they can start driving in a far more risky way. Speeding, pulling out when it’s not safe and generally being more careless. You need to have your wits about you, both in regards to your own driving and of other road users too.


Where You Live

In some places in the world, owning a car is fairly pointless. If you’re in a large city or very congested area, it would make far more sense to walk, bike or use public transport than sit in heavy traffic every day. If this is the case for you, it could be worth holding off on purchasing a car. If you ever move a little further out, or to an area that’s less busy you could buy a car then for a convenient way to get around. There are also some places in the world which offer things like biking schemes, allowing you to save on the bike and equipment.

If you’re moving somewhere new, you could consider either getting a car or getting rid of your car depending on the location and other transport options available. Another thing to consider when it comes to where you live is where you will store your car too. If you don’t have a car or garage, you will need to park on the road which will bump up insurance and put it at higher risk of being vandalized. Some busy areas struggle for space at all to park meaning you might have to leave your car a fair walk away. Other areas will require permits, and you might have to purchase a visitor permit too.

Car Ownership Comes at a Cost: Is It Worth It For You?

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There are pros and cons when it comes to buying, owning and running a car. While they can massively improve the lives of many, they might not be the right choice for everyone. Think carefully and weigh up the positives and negatives before diving in.

Are you thinking about buying a car? What factors are swaying you into making your decision?



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- Young Entrepreneur & Daydreamer. Working towards making the HatchByte group among the top online media publication in India.