Is Owning A Car Necessary, Or Just A Financial Burden?

When it comes to money, and most other things in life, you have to force yourself to think outside the box.  As we continue on our journey out of debt and to financial semi-independence, I’m constantly trying to what costs are truly necessary.



One expense to consider is your vehicle.  It costs a lot of money to buy and own a car.  The question is whether owning a car is truly necessary, or just a financial burden? 


The Financial Hassle Of Car Ownership

Most of you probably own a car and have experienced two different types of financial troubles.  On the one hand, you have financial costs you can’t avoid.  On the other hand, you have potential financial issues that could result in big expenses, but aren’t always guaranteed.


Costs You Can’t Avoid
  • Fuel: Every car runs on fuel (unless you’re driving electric) and will need to be refuelled regularly.  Some people may pay for fuel every week, which adds up to some huge costs.
  • Insurance:  You need insurance, or you’re not allowed to legally drive your car.  Premiums vary depending on how safe a driver you are, your age, gender, and the car you’re driving.
  • Taxes: If you purchase a car, you have to pay tax on it.  Uncle Sam always takes his share.  
  • Servicing: All cars will end up needing repairs at some point.  
  • General Maintenance: This is essential, but people often neglect routine maintenance, which usually leads to bigger issues with their vehicles and higher repair costs.  General maintenance includes things like changing the oil, putting air in your tires, changing washer fluid, changing tires, and so on.  All these things might not cost much individually, but they add up.


Additional Costs
  • Repairs:  If your car breaks down, then you need to pay for it to be repaired.  Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to you, but something is likely to break at some point, and it will cost you.
  • Car Accidents:  A car accident can set you back a fair bit of cash.  As it shows on the Hupy and Abraham Personal Injury Lawyers website, accidents can lead to injuries, which lead to medical bills.  Also, it could damage your car, which leads to more repairs.  Again, while you hope that this is never an issue, going without a car accident for your entire life is a pretty rare feat.


Why Own A Car?

It’s clear that owning a car is very expensive, and all the stuff mentioned above doesn’t even take into account the cost of buying a car.  So, why would you want to own one?  If you live in a location with reliable and inexpensive public transportation, you could likely save a lot of money by just buying train or bus tickets instead of a vehicle.  Just think about how much money you pay each month towards parking, let alone the cost of fuel.    


However, if you have a family, it may be necessary to own a vehicle.  If that’s the case, you can focus on reducing all of the costs associated with your car as much as possible.  Maybe take the plunge and buy an electric car to cut out fuel costs?  As it mentions on the Investopedia website, electric cars have fewer maintenance costs as they don’t have traditional engines.  Or, try to be a safer driver, to avoid accidents and costly repairs.  Our family slashed the cost of a new family vehicle by purchasing a used, short school bus to transport everyone.  


If you live on your own, don’t have children, and/or are close to public transport stops, then owning a car may not be necessary.  However, some people do depend on their car, so it’s a vital part of their life.  The important thing is that you make the decision for yourself, based on an honest assessment of your situation, instead of just blindly accepting that owning a vehicle is a necessary part of life.



  1. Hey, Harmony. I get so frustrated with cars. I “need” my car, but it sits idly in my garage on most days for 23.5 hours. And don’t get me started with repairs. Talk about asymmetrical knowledge. The mechanic could come out and tell me the “johnson rod” failed and I’d have practically no recourse but to assume the “johnson rod” 1) really exists, and 2) needs to be replaced. Meh. The electric car and ride-sharing world can’t come fast enough. Thanks for another thought-provoking post. And Merry Christmas to you and the family.
    Mr. Groovy recently posted…Egotrage: Taking a Step Back Socially to Advance Two Steps FinanciallyMy Profile

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