Green Heart

It's my life and I'm trying to live it healthy, happy and enviromentaly friendly.

Do you need a car?

on February 23, 2012

Do you own a car? Maybe two? How many cars is in your household? These days almost everyone owns a car and it’s very common that mom has her own car, dad his own and kids that are old enough their own. So it’s not unusual if one family has three or even four cars. But do we really need them? Is really one or two cars per family not enough?

Let’s make a list of things why having a car is expensive and then think about what happens if you have more cars…
Buying a car – It’s not cheap, even if you buy old, used car. If it’s not in really bad state or something is wrong with it, you’re probably going tospend quite an amount…
Registration – Let’s not forget this has to be done every year…
Insurance – Even if we take just basic insurance that our car needs, it still costs a lot. Sometimes this costs more than the car is worth (if we have an old car). And let’s not forget that we need to pay this every year! Also if we want some extra insurance for parking, insurance for passengers, road assistance and so on, we need to pay some extra.
Tires – Car needs new tires every 2-3 years, and if you live in a climate with colder winters, you need winter tires as well. This can be quite an expensive but one of the most important things!
Maintenance – And of course there is maintenance involved. It’s not like you buy a car and everything will be ok with it for the rest of your life. No. Car needs to have regular checks, it can be damaged, it’s parts can just wear out. So this leads to more expenses that are usually not planed, and it can happen you will have to pay a lot of money for repairs. Many things can break down and most of the parts are not cheap.
Fuel – And last but not least, there is fuel. Prices of fuel are going up very fast and if you want to drive, you need to buy it. Ok, so maybe you have an electric car or hybrid or something like that – that means you have a bit less to worry about, but most of us still have ordinary cars which means we spend a looooooot of money on fuel.

I’m sure there are some more expenses that I could write down, but I guess these basics tell what I wanted to say. If you need even a bigger shocker, try calculating how much money you spend for fuel per year and how much you pay for insurance… That will give you an idea. Having a car is expensive. Ok, so maybe you will say: “But I NEED a car!”

Let’s think if you really do.
You need it to get to work? Really? There is no way that you could take some sort of public transport to work? Or maybe you can share a ride with a co-worker? Think about it.
You need it to go on vacation? Ok, so it might be convenient, but you can go on vacation with public transport as well! Or you can rent a car or borrow it from a friend. Also if you often travel by tourist agency they usually take care of transportation anyway.
You need it to go to the shop? No you don’t. You can walk to the nearest shop or you can go by public transport. Or you can make a deal with someone with a car, that you share a ride with him when they go shopping.

I know, I know, there are times when having a car is really useful thing and it makes life easier. But as I said before, usually one car per family should be enough. Not every member needs its own car. So if your family would have one car you would still be able to go on vacation with it, transport larger items, take kids to school and stuff like that.
I had my own car, sometimes I miss it, but when I think about how much less I spend and how much good I do for environment because of that, I stop bothering with this. I use public transport or I share a ride with others. If the weather is fine I use bicycle and this way I do something good for my body too!

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