Is a car worth it?

Not considering seriously buying one but just looking at the future

Currently unemployed but do some volunteering work. Good bus service round here, got a bike and an electric scooter . Family live local too

As I take medication for mental health problems I’d need to consult and declare it to my psychiatrist and the DVLA

I had a car back in 2013 but due to mental health problems I got it taken off me by my parents

I have a clean license but as i don’t have a job and have to rely on benefits it’s probably not necessary at the moment

I think the best option would be to keep saving until I get a job then consider it

You’re asking if you should buy a car when you admit you don’t need one, nor can you afford it. Then finish by saying you won’t get one?


Doesn’t sound like it.


Cars are expensive to run but also a great way to get around more. I bought one just as a hobby because I find driving helps my anxiety by giving my mind something to focus on rather than just going around in circles.

I ended up spending twice the cost of the car on repairs in a year before upgrading to a bigger and slightly newer one as I will actually need it for a short commute soon

If your mental health is affected by driving or your ability to drive is affected by your health, it’s perhaps not the greatest idea to get one.

Also, cars have enough power to go up hills without having to run up to them at high speeds and shouldn’t be driven on pavements when more convenient than the road

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If you answer the following question with a ‘yes,’ then you need a car.

Do I frequently need to do things I can’t do because I don’t have a car?

Otherwise, there’s car hire, taxis, public transport, scooter, bike, or walk.

I really wish I had no need for a car. If you can do without one then I’d suggest don’t get one.

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Driver dependent (like e-scooters) of course. The car is a simple mechanical transportation tool, which is instructed by the controller (driver) how to ‘behave’ with its movement. It usually weighs 1.4 tons on average and at 40 mph will instantly kill most biological beings which cross its path. And it can - with only the sole input of the controller - be driven on pavements, through pedestrian areas, fields, playgrounds, shopping areas, wherever and historical facts are sobering.

Inconsiderate input = Inconsiderate and potentially deadly results

Driving lessons thread revisit at this point?; Driving Lessons


Yep. Sounds like you don’t actually need a car, given you have good bus service and other options. So save the money somewhere, then if you move or the local bus service goes to pot, then you can buy a car. But, my point of view? Cars are awful, horrible money sinks, and if I had decent public transport options I’d love to do away with mine (but I don’t, so I can’t).


Oh no doubt they can be driven anywhere, it was poor choice of words from me. What I meant was that they shouldn’t be driven on pavements.

But then neither should any other mechanical form of transportation, even if electric powered and on two wheels. Even if more convenient

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If you’re looking to get a bit further than you currently cycle, an e-bike could be an option, and would have an overal total cost of ownership likely being less than a car. I find bike rides are a good way to keep fit, and take my mind off things.

Could hiring a car, or being a member of a car club be an option for occasional car use?

When I first got my licence, I hired for 4 years. Comprehensive insurance was very cheap per day from third party providers, plus I got experience with lots of different cars. And, I wore down clutches that weren’t mine! It’s a great option for occasional driving, though picking up the keys could drive anyone to distraction

Ironically, hire companies make their money in the secondhand market, rather than from hire itself, so hire charges are very cheap, as long as you use comparison sites and buy insurance elsewhere

I need a car purely because of shift patterns at work.
(It gets used for commuting, nothing else)

They are, as others have said, expensive to own, run, and maintain.

Personally, I would say that if you can manage without one, save your money and spend it on something that you would really enjoy.

If I could get away with it, there is no way I would have one.

Just my personal opinion.


remember a car and any car is a luxury! It is good for when you doing grocery shopping or need to go to multiple places. Ownership of a car can get costly and you do need to look after it such as service etc. I like the sound of car sharing platforms but they can too get costly when you need it for more than a few hours. With covid, I have noticed more and more people buying a car and not taken public transport.

I’d only get a car if it’s absolutely necessary. Costs sky rocket the minute you own one.

Until recently, I cycled everywhere in all weathers (most extreme has been a 50-mile round trip commute but most recently, 25 mile round trip). In September, a part on my bike broke that would’ve cost a significant amount of money to replace so, instead -along with significant pressure from my wife- I learnt to drive. Luckily, due to my road experience on the bike and a helpful load of YouTube videos, I passed very quickly so didn’t have spend a lot on lessons.

However, costs related to the car have been quite considerable. For me, I spend a minimum of £100 a month on fuel, £17 for VED, £42 for insurance. So, straight away, there’s an increase in expenditure of £159 per month (even more if you finance your car). On top of that, there are many unexpected costs every now and then - punctures, if it starts misfiring etc… All of which have happened to me in the last year.

Cycle if you can. You save a lot of money in the long term and it’s better for your health.

Depends where you live. If I lived in London I would happily go without a car. No matter how much Londoners moan about transport, the fact is in London, it’s ubiquitous & it’s relatively cheap (for London at least, and certainly compared to all costs associated with a car!)

I however live in Devon. A place where sadly, a car is absolutely essential. I really wish it wasn’t but it just is. Public transport is utterly useless here. I struggled for many years without a car, The local operator (Stagecoach) does nothing except cancel unprofitable routes and services, and put prices up and up and up.

But I hate cars. I HATE them with a passion! We have 2 cars and they are both money pits. Every few months I swear we’re hit with a bill for something or other breaking on them. Sometimes £500, sometimes £300. Sometimes £800.

Literally just this week both cars broke at once. One car the clutch went. £500. The other had an engine fault. £120 for that.

Fuel is expensive. Tax is expensive (if you have older cars like us). Insurance is expensive. Tyres are expensive.

So it’s either that or pay out a lot of money for a new car but have the joy of being covered by a warranty/cheap or no tax/cheaper fuel, which is what we are now considering.

And another thing to rant about - the wheel was invented in approximately 3500 BC. And it was also around that time that I believe the very first DVLA training manuals and processes were invented, and they have stayed exactly the same ever since.

My V5C form has the wrong engine size written on it. It says it’s a 1399cc when it’s a 2l. Even though it also says quite clearly (ON THE SAME FORM!!!) that it has a 2 litre engine. Sent it off to them with a cover letter explaining this. Thought this is so obvious it should be no issue, even sent a pic of the back of the car where it says ‘2.0’.

They didn’t reply for 6 MONTHS.

I didn’t chase it up only because I had completely forgotten about it. And lo and behold, it came back ‘sorry we can’t update the information unless you get a signed letter from a garage stating this has a 2 litre engine.’


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I think you’ve already answered your own question.

I live in London, but originally from Cornwall. A car is definitely no longer essential for me, as it used to be when I lived in Cornwall - but I still keep an old one. There’s no doubt it’s a luxury now, as I drive so few miles (I’d hate to work out what it costs per mile), but the freedom it gives me on occasions is well worth it in my mind.

I love being able to drive back down to Cornwall at any moment I fancy, and not have to fit in with the train schedule or endless rail bus replacement services etc. There are odd moments where it comes in extremely handy in London as well though (moving house, picking up larger items etc).

My borough is very anti-cars - parking is a fortune, and they’ve now started blocking off all the residential streets, so you have to take incredibly inconvenient routes. So, like you, I probably need to have a re-think.

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