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Should I Get a Car? The Pros and Cons of Car Ownership


Car ownership may be headed for a decline. An AAA Foundation study found instead of rushing to the DMV on their 16th birthday, most teens in the U.S. are now delaying getting a driver’s license. Even by their 18th birthday, only around half of teens have a license. A study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that car ownership tends to decline in areas with Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services. Many experts believe that self-driving cars will make car ownership less common in the future.

In this moment of societal and technological flux, many people may be wondering whether they should get a car. To help you decide, here’s a look at the pros and cons of car ownership.


Cons: Car ownership is expensive. It’s not just the cost of the car itself, either. On top of that, you have many other expenses that can really add up. For the average driver, these expenses can include:

  • Gas
  • Auto insurance
  • Registration fees
  • Routine maintenance
  • Repairs
  • Tickets
  • Parking costs

Pros: Although walking is free, if you’re using public transportation, ride-sharing services or taxis, you will be shelling out some money.

Not having a car can get even more expensive when it comes to things like moving. If you own a truck, you might be able to handle small moves on your own. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to rent a truck. You’ll find yourself in a similar situation when you buy large items, including furniture and mattresses. If you don’t own a large vehicle, you’ll probably need to pay for delivery.

Owning a car can also help people make money. Some employers favor people with reliable transportation, and some jobs require a car. Car owners can also make some extra money by moonlighting as an Uber or Lyft driver.

Environmental Impact

Cons: Most cars run on gasoline, and this releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is responsible for 27 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Pros: Drivers can limit greenhouse emissions by buying a fuel-efficient car and keeping it maintained. It’s not as good as walking or riding a bicycle, but it’s a step in the right direction.


Cons: Cars do come with inconveniences, such as maintaining registration and finding a place to park. If you own a car and your friends don’t, they might want you to give them rides frequently.
Pros: Cars are associated with personal freedom for a reason. Having a car means you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, without having to check bus routes or wait for ride-sharing service. Cars are especially nice when rainstorms or hot temperatures make walking or waiting for a bus unpleasant.

Whatever your decision, FICOH is here to protect you with affordable auto, home and renters insurance. Learn more about our FirstSelect Portfolio.