There’s a lot of buzz lately on the internet regarding the decline of car ownership in the United States. While statistics might show that we’re starting to rely less on vehicles, it doesn’t mean that they’re simply going to wilt away and that we’ll all be taking public transport or cycling to our destinations instead.
Of course, there’s always a good argument to do so. Using your car less often means great monetary savings and it also means that we’ll get some much-needed exercise, essential if your work is forcing you into a sedentary lifestyle. However, the use of a car is actually more important than ever nowadays.
In this article, we’ll be going over a couple of points to counteract the whole “car ownership decline” argument. We’ll be avoiding the statistics and tell you what’s really happening, and also explain why it’s never too late to actually invest in a car and driving skills if you’re still on the fence.
Car ownership is more important than ever
While many people are content with taking public transport (especially in urban areas like dense cities) it’s still important to own a vehicle regardless of the type of environment you live in. A car is one of the most convenient types of transportation that you’ll ever purchase. While a bicycle can get you in and out of small areas and is easy to store, a car offers you far more flexibility especially when you consider just how many options are available to you.
For instance, if you’re thinking of starting a family in the future or currently have a family, then investing in things such as a large trunk or more seats can be beneficial to you and worth every penny you spend. Additionally, you can tailor your vehicle to your budget. There are plenty of low-cost vehicles and second-hand cars to buy that are a fantastic deal. If you don’t need lots of entertainment features then you can get an earlier or cheaper model, but if you want a top-end vehicle that will last you many years, then you can always spend more to get something worth your money. In other words, the amount of money you spend is usually a good representation of how good your vehicle will be and it’s not always about the brand name or prestige of owning a certain model.
Cars can give you plenty of freedom in the world. Whether it’s freeing yourself of train timetables or giving you a larger vehicle to help you carry your shopping, it’s one of the most essential tools for people in the modern day. If you live in a suburb or country environment, then it’s even more convenient because you won’t need to rely on public transportation schedules to get where you need to. You can ferry your kids around in your car, you can make moving home easier and you won’t have any trouble when there’s an emergency that requires you to get somewhere far away in a short time.
Let’s face it; owning a car is still an essential part of life and as workplaces shift from offices to mobile workflows, vehicle ownership is going to become an even greater part of our lives. However, that doesn’t explain the dwindling car ownership numbers, so what gives?
Are cars slowly being phased out?
There are many considerations when it comes to owning a vehicle. Cost is a major factor that everyone thinks of first, but we also have to consider space and convenience.
The cost of owning a vehicle can’t be underestimated. Thankfully, there are plenty of helpful resources such as this article at DriverSide.com that contains a bunch of useful advice on how to lower the cost of your vehicle. From shopping around for insurance to looking around for better deals and reducing the gas you use, there are many ways to lower the amount you pay to own a vehicle.
Cost is perhaps the biggest barrier to owning a vehicle. You also need to consider maintenance costs and even what you pay to get your driver’s license. It could take several lessons just to get familiar with your vehicle and even more just to be able to pass your driving test. In addition, maintenance can be quite a large expense that you won’t expect. Thankfully, there are plenty of services like TelleTire.com that can help you keep your car well-maintained for cheaper. Instead of just relying on word-of-mouth or looking around for a local garage or auto shop, it’s a good idea to look online for cheaper services because car maintenance is something that can fluctuate greatly in price.
So there are plenty of ways to save money when buying a vehicle, so why is everyone so afraid of owning a car still? Simply put, it’s because of media influence. Far too many people rely on the media that spread information regarding the decline of cars, how it’s better to use public transportation or even how it’s more efficient to just use something like a bike. While there are plenty of good arguments to use public transportation or cheaper methods of getting around, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with owning a vehicle and the comments about it being expensive are largely exaggerated. Because this news is spread around friends and family, people will automatically assume that owning a car is far too expensive and that it’s not ideal for their situation. Sadly, the opposite is often true and almost everyone could benefit from owning a vehicle.
Another big consideration is how much space you have. Many people that live in cities usually don’t have parking space to store a vehicle, or they find that it’s too expensive to own a parking space they can rely on. Because of this, they often find that owning a smaller vehicle or not owning one at all is more efficient. This is usually the biggest roadblock when it comes to owning a vehicle and with increasing property prices, it’s understandable that people are shying away from owning a vehicle.
Owning a vehicle might still be expensive or inconvenient for some, but that’s not because vehicle ownership itself is looked down on. Rather, it’s due to a combination of factors that makes it difficult to own a vehicle which has caused a slight decrease in numbers over the past couple of years. However, given the right circumstances, most people would be more than happy to own a vehicle, hence why car ownership is here to stay and won’t be phased out anytime soon.
The fear of driving
People are also more afraid of driving nowadays. They’re worried about things such as their car being stolen, they’re scared of crashing their vehicle and they often don’t want to deal with things like insurance claims in the event that their vehicle does, in fact, end up in a collision. It’s a lot of stress and work that can be simply avoided by using public transportation. However, a fear of driving is usually something that can be fixed with the right assistance.
For instance, there are people scared of driving because they don’t think they’ll be good at it. They think they’ll panic and they’ll be afraid to actually get out on the road. However, this is something that is generally fixed with practice, much like anything else in life. The more you drive, the more comfortable you’ll be with both your vehicle and the roads you drive on.
Another common concern is that people are worried about the environmental impact of driving a vehicle. The solution that most people point to is an electric vehicle, but it’s not the only method for reducing your carbon footprint and there are plenty of efficient vehicles now that run on traditional fuels but are much more friendly to the environment. In addition, while electric vehicles are the gold standard for being green and friendly to the environment, you have to remember that producing electric vehicles isn’t friendly to the environment, and since they run on electricity, fuel is being burnt somewhere in order to power your electric vehicle. This article at Wired.com goes into more detail about Tesla’s electric cars and why they’re not as green as you might think.
So to conclude, cars are here to stay unlike what people claim. While statistics might show that there is indeed a decline in car ownership numbers, it’s only because of other factors that aren’t related to one’s desire to own a vehicle. Between the cost of owning a car and the lifestyle factors that could prevent you from owning one, there are many obstacles that could prevent you from purchasing a vehicle. However, it goes without saying that owning a car is still an integral part of the American lifestyle regardless of which state you live in, and it’s a convenience that many people wouldn’t be able to function properly without.