Help Deciding on whether or not to get a car


It seems that everyone has a car, even in the city. Every person I’ve spoken to here says ‘you don’t need a car if you live in the city.’ Well, that’s assuming there is proper public transportation…which seems to be lacking and most of the time is very unpleasant…even dangerous sometimes.
I can’t go anywhere late at night and it’s awkward to get to places. If, God forbid, there was an emergency, or I needed to evacuate, forget it.
I have no access to a garage, so the car would have to be parked on the street. It would be a major ‘game changer’ if I got a car…both minus and plus. Thanks for any input.


What about taxi service or Ubers? Or car rental or sharing programs?

If you regularly use a car or would if you had one, then it makes sense - IF you can afford the car, the insurance, the registration or other government fees, gas money, and regularly set aside money for repairs. But if it’s an irregular thing, it may be more cost effective to just rent a car or hire a taxi, on the occasions you need it.


Driving in the city can be fractious and slow, if I lived in a big city I’d use taxis I think.

As I live in the countryside I need a car because public transport is infrequent. Being able to go anywhere anytime is a liberating thing and something I did a bit of when I was younger. Now I’m older I mostly use it for shopping and that’s good too with a car as you can carry more in the boot than in a bag. They are expensive though and not just with maintenance issues, I’ve often found I’m in a quandary as to whether to spend a lot on repairs for the mot or sell it and buy another, problem is you can’t sell easily if it needs fixing! So to,avoid that conundrum I’ve bought a newer vehicle and of course it cost a lot more. Socialising is easier too and more convenient if you’re out late. I do few miles a year but it still costs a fair bit for fuel and regular servicing is a good idea if you intend on selling it on after a while which is expensive, though if you buy a car without a service record there’s no need to continue the regular services to maintain its value, apart from for your own considerations for reliability that is.

If money isn’t a problem then it’s a very useful tool and I wouldn’t be without one. If money is a real problem then beware of buying cheap and get it checked by someone who knows about cars before you buy.

One things for sure, as soon as you buy a car it’s lost some value! Unless it’s a classic and you garage it permanently I suppose.


Insurance, regular maintenance, unexpected repairs, a car is an ongoing cost.

If I lived in city with good public transport, I’d likely Uber when I could not use it and save the cost of a car.


Thanks to everyone for your input.
I had a little Smartcar in mind. I could spend about 8k (with financing) for a used one. I just pictured myself going out the door and having a vehicle. Today (and a few times a week) I do a one mile walk to get groceries even tho there’s a supermart across the street…for exercise. I know I probably wouldn’t do that if I had a little car. The public transport is okay (and free for people ‘of a certain age’ like me) but folks get robbed, stabbed, etc. and if I have to be someplace at 5 a.m. across town I’m taking chances. I do occasional background acting in films for extra income and I can’t work outside the city and missed the last job because I couldn’t make it to the 4 a.m. train. And one time after singing in choir for midnight Christmas Mass; no one gave me a ride and it was scary. as a result I skipped a year of choir.
Back to square one…I could rent a car for a weekend and see how that goes now and then. Thanks all!!


I think it makes a difference what city you’re in. Here in New York City it is entirely possible to live without a car. My father, for example, born, raised and still living here, doesn’t even have, and has never had, a driver’s license, let alone a car.

But we have a relatively safe public transit system that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it goes just about everywhere (except Staten Island, I guess).

We (my wife and I) have a car, mainly because she had it before she met and married me. We hardly ever use it. It’s 16 years old and has barely 50,000 miles on it, most of them put on before she moved to New York. I’d just as soon get rid of it and rent a car on the rare occasions when we would want one. But she grew up in a place where life is pretty much impossible without a car, so she can’t imagine living without one.

Parking on the street can be a little time-consuming where I live (Brooklyn), but it can be done. If you’re looking at a SmartCar, parking would be easier. You might also consider the Toyota Yaris, or a Mini, or a Fiat 500, all very small cars, but with a bit more space than the SmartCar.


Look at the repairs on smart cars, there is a gas powered car and an electric version. Replacement batteries for the electric or hybrid cars are not a small purchase.


If you decide to get a car never, ever lend it, esp. to your brother!


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