I recently read an article from a new blog source I have: the 'Barefoot Investor' who specialises on providing financial advice for those not from the 'grey brigade'. The article was justifying why one would not own a car. I shared similar concerns when I sold my car earlier on this year and actually posted the costs associated with owning a car.
I have not owned a car for the last 6 months, although does it count if you are living in Europe? So what if I was living in Melbourne again? well - this is a thought I have tossed around recently.
It is true, the advantages of owning a car are predominantly subjective: (i) it can be enjoyable to drive (well I enjoyed driving my WRX); (ii) it is convenient (for shopping, etc.); (iii) it can be a part of your identity (status?). But, and this is a BIG but - a car is v.expensive! it does not make sense as an investment - by its nature it depreciates rapidly in the first few years of ownership; there are annual registration and insurance costs, and petrol is so variable - all these costs add up. Moreover, a car is not necessary - you can enjoy other aspects of traveling (e.g. reading in public transport), you can shop frequently (in small amounts) to avoid the need for a car, and even for weekend-getaways you can hire a car! There are also short-term hire car services available in the inner city suburbs of Melbourne - and your carbon footprint is significantly reduced.
So - I have decided - I am going to try not to own a car in the short / medium term. Like it is mentioned in the article - I am going to 'tread my own path' and bugger off status / perception.
Now all I need is that my girlfriend and all my mates to live near me ;)