Undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons to own a car is the convenience it affords. Yes public transport here is already pretty good but for overall convenience, you really can’t beat the luxury of being able to hop into a car and drive yourself wherever you want to whenever you want to. Beyond a form of transport, it can also be turned into a very personal space that you can really set up like a second home of sorts. Having a car definitely provide a level of comfort and freedom that for many people is worth paying the premium for over taking public transport.
Having a car can also be especially useful in urgent or emergency situations where you might otherwise have been crucially delayed, say if you had to wait for a taxi or private hire booking to arrive. You could possibly even struggle to find one at the most crucial of times (thanks Murphy). Now those are just some examples and there really is a myriad of other situations where owning a car offers a lot of intangible value. Value which although hard to quantify, can be a very compelling reason that many car owners to continue down the path of car ownership for years. Now of course this assumes that you are in a position to responsibly afford one in the first place as it really is predominantly a quality of life improvement unless you happen to fall into the group of people who absolutely need one for their work.
A value generating tool
The high prices here every so often give us the illusion that a car is more of a luxury item than it is a tool and that is entirely understandable. But it is important to remind ourselves that a car is primarily a tool, a means of reliable and efficient transport and a very important investment to a large number of individuals who rely on it for their income.
For example, people who run a business or do outdoor sales will more than likely have their earning potential significantly limited if they had to rely solely on public transport. For this group of individuals, time is money and having a tool that directly enhances their ability to earn will easily pay for itself.
There is also a case to be made where having a car can help to project a certain image to potential clients or even be a relationship building talking point that could lead to better business relations and networking opportunities. Yes this is somewhat superficial but still true that the image you create for yourself and how you present yourself does have a measurable effect on the kind of opportunities that you are able to attract.
Fun and holistic hobby
So while not exactly a need (actually it is), having healthy and holistic hobbies is important, and being a car enthusiast is one such hobby. Now do not mistake car enthusiasts to be the same group of people who have a high tendency to street race and a habit of making it onto the news. Car enthusiasts are simply a community of people who love cars and enjoy driving them, customising them or simply just admiring and learning the history and inner workings about them. Car enthusiasts I would say are much more akin to watch collectors, albeit with much bigger toys, than they are to the errant street racer.
Joining the car enthusiast community is like joining a family of very different people who all share a common interest. From the veteran to the beginner, there is a vast wealth of knowledge and experience constantly being shared amongst those who have the interested and is a great place for the younger drivers to be educated and nurtured into safe and responsible motorists. The relationships and education to be gained from being involved in such a community is in my opinion very much worth the cost of owning a car.
You just want a car
If you simply just want a car and can responsibly afford one, that’s enough reason right there. Just don’t forget to consider the cost of maintaining one.
So yes, cars are without a doubt expensive and even more so in this country. However there are a myriad of intangible benefits that come with owning a car. Apart from those of you who use your car to earn an income, the majority of benefits are often quite intangible and can be hard to quantify. However I believe that the majority of owners will agree with me that there is a significant amount of value added to their quality of life from owning a car, so much so that it is reason enough to do so.
Now of course I am not suggesting that you should go out of your way to own a car if it is clearly out of your budget. What I am saying is that it would be a mistake to simply brush off car ownership as an illogical expense. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this so please share them with me in the comments below.