Zero Cars = Bad Idea.

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In a new book ‘How to Live Well Without Owning a Car’ by Chris Balish, covers the true cost of owning a car and how not owning a car can give us financial freedom.


The arguments against car ownership are car payments, insurance and gas, depreciation, maintenance and repair, financing, parking and parts, saying that cars are far more expensive than people think.
The second argument is the almost blanket coverage of car TV commercials and vehicle advertising across all media channels And how we are so heavily influenced by the mediun.
The book is filled with good arguments on how not driving a car will save you loads of money and reverting to things like car sharing, bicycling, carpooling and public transport are better ways to travel.

But as with all arguments, it’s not that clear cut.

The True Cost Of The Car
Cars do cost money. They cost money to buy, maintain, insure, etc.
This can be costly. It will cost more than a bicycle. It will cost more than walking. It may cost more than public transport ( depending on how much public transport you take)
But this is old news.

A car is like anything else in your life, if it becomes too costly or expensive, you have to start evaluating the benefits of the car to you and you only.
This will depend on your own personal circumstances, not just financially.
There are many caveats to owning a car or not, if you have one car or many.
Many caveats come up. You have to travel a long way to work, you have children to chauffeur around, a car as part of your business…. Many, many caveats.

If I went to work only a few miles away from home, could have everything I ever needed delivered to me, didn’t need to travel far, I could possibly get away with not owning a car, but I will always own a car because even if I paid double the amount I do now for the luxury of owning a car, I possibly would for the total freedom it gives me.
For me, the Freedom and inconvenience outweighs the financial cost and possibly always will. It was and still is the main benefit of the automobile.

This is the whole point of the car.
Remember when you first passed your driving test and the feeling you had of the potential to be able to go anywhere you wanted, whenever you wanted. That freedom does come at a financial cost but, the financial cost doesn’t have to break the bank.
This all comes down to smart purchasing. You research, research again, then look for a vehicle which does the job you want within your budget. It’s a planning your finances thing, just like in any other area of your life.
If you take out a loan for car which also needs lots of maintenance, has high insurance and you find you cannot meet the monthly payments, that is a financial planning error. You cannot blame the car itself and its industry.

Tomorrow no more cars will exist or can legally drive on the road.
No more cars being built, gas stations reduce in numbers, third-party parts manufacturers fold, the whole chain of industry will collapse, not just nationally, also internationally.
I really don’t see the bicycle industry or even the public transport industry being able to make up the difference, not even with other industries taking up the slack.

Zero Cars Will Not Save The Planet

The book is more about financial savings and how heavily we are influenced by advertising, but a big emphasis is always on, ‘saving the planet’ when it comes to not using a car or owning one.
Take away every car on every road on the planet today and it will only be one element of the total pollution going into the atmosphere.
It is not just about burning oil, its many other factors that influence the climate.

It’s not a mystery that advertising in any media is highly influential. It is why advertisers hit us so hard and push their messages so aggressively. We are raised on this diet of advertising and as time passes by, advertising becomes more sophisticated and clever.
Without going into the psychological nature of advertising, manufacturers of cars will advertise the hell out of something to the best they possibly can because it is in their interests to do so. This may seem very blase, but if they didn’t, they would only get a fraction of the sales and in the long term the industry falls apart.
So it is on our shoulders as discerning buyers to take a mental step back from advertising and see it as only that, an advertisement, not a way of life, not a solution to your problems, a commercial only.
Once you see a commercial with this mindset, you become far more discerning.

Strike a balance
The problem with blanket decisions or viewpoints is that it doesn’t consider situations that fall outside that viewpoints.
Getting more exercise by riding a bicycle, walking more and saving more money financially are all good things, but they can also be done while also owning a car. So basically, do both, not one of the other.
If you live in the city, a bicycle is probably faster than the car. If you live in a small town or the countryside, a car is probably more convenient and efficient.

If you drive to work 1 mile away from home in a 4×4, you are only just making the payments on your car, then you downsize your car or sell it, but if you work miles away from home, have children and can afford the cost of the car, then why not own one?

I’m not going to give you a link to the book as it will influence you!
Let’s have it all, let’s all get better at our own personal finances, not be as seduced by advertising, own a car and a bicycle, not one or the other.

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