Don't have a car. Don't wanna car.

I know I’m a little unusual, but I’m wondering how unusual it actually is - I’m 26 and I don’t have a car. I’ve never had a car, don’t want one, and in fact I don’t even have a license.

Sometimes I get strange looks from people when they hear this, and once in a while some folks insist that in order to Get Along In This Modern World, you just gotta have a car. (Usually these speeches do nothing but reinforce my disinterest!)

I was thinking about it the other day, and I guess it’s all sort of a combination of phobia, rebellion, and financial necessity. (Although to be honest, the last two reasons are probably just complete and elaborately constructed rationalizations to support the first one.)

Phobia: All started eight-ish years ago after a nearly disasterous end to an already bad driving test, administered by the most intimidating man in Cabarrus County North Carolina. Still feels like yesterday when I think about it.

Rebellion: Hey, I got feet, I got a bus pass, I can get anywhere I need to in this town without my own personal monster of metal, rubber and glass that I have to pay to put somewhere when I’m not using it! Pollution? Traffic? You can keep it. Feh. All hail public transit!

Money: Look at all the money I’m saving without car payments, insurance, parking, gas and maintenance!
So, am I completely nuts and avoiding the inevitable? Is there anybody out there who’s with me on this?

I just want to be able to go where I want to the cheapest way possible with convenience factored in.

For me though, I have yet to be in a place where a car is not a necessity for me except for New York City, where I would need to at least double my salary is I wanted to have a car there (though I could make it okay without one with just a few more bucks).

Is there any place in America where you can live without a car and not be inconvenienced?

Yer pal,

Three months, two weeks, two days, 23 hours, 1 minute and 57 seconds.
4318 cigarettes not smoked, saving $539.80.
Life saved: 2 weeks, 23 hours, 50 minutes.

Vist the The Fabulous Forums of Fathom

If you can get along without a car then to hell with the critics, do what pleases you. If in your daily routine you can use public transport, why lumber yourself with a “status symbol” which only serves to impress others. Don’t let anyone tell you what you need and don’t need.
ME:- I need MY car. :slight_smile:

I don’t own a car. I don’t have a driver’s license. I walk the two miles to metro every morning to get to classes and take the bus to school from there.

I don’t have a problem with not having a car. I’ve gone periods in the past without one, and I have a friend in his mid-20s that has never even had a driver’s license (and he has lived in some places that were damned inconvenient without a car - say Durham, New Hampshire).

My big question, though, is: Don’t you ever want to go somewhere more than 30 miles away?

That is what I hated about my carless periods, if I wanted to go somewhere the buses didn’t run I had to bug a friend into taking me.

But if that isn’t a problem for you, more power to you.

Thank you, Drewbert!
I am 22, and have neither car nor license. I have to depend on -big gasp- Mom and Dad…lol…
Some people automatically assume I’m this little Miss Mommy’s Girl. Hardly.
I had a choice between spending money on school and spending it on a car. I chose school.
So deal.

I’m 32 and don’t have a license either. People think I’m strange and tell me they’d be lost without their car. Since I’ve never had a car I can’t miss having one. I live walking distance from everything-the doctor, restaurants, shopping, my son’s school and the hospital.

It’s also financial necessity. Even if I got a car for free I still couldn’t afford insurance, gas, and the inevitable repairs.

If I need or want to go someone farther around I don’t mind taking the bus or paying taxi fare. It’s still way cheaper than owning one. Plus I’m scared to DEATH to be on the road because there are so many stupid drivers that go through stop signs, run red lights, not use turn signals, etc. And the road test: no way, no how. Uh uh. Not gonna do it.

It’s "If I need or want to go someWHERE’, darn it, someWHERE! I keep forgetting about the preview button.

My mother is in her mid 50’s and never learned how to drive. She has her husband and a number of friends who don’t seem to mind driving her around. She takes the bus to work every day and her church is only a two block walk from her house, so she has never felt the need to learn.

I, on the other hand, love my car. Unfortunately, my car does not love me and has been broken down for a couple of weeks. We have a second car, but the hubby takes that to work with him, so I’ve been stuck at home lately (no bus transportation in my area and cabs are way too expensive).

My Uncle is 80+ years old and has never driven. Something about having an accident when he first started learning, he stoped and never looked back. I, on the other hand, enjoy driving. Not that I’m any good at it.MTS

I fucking hate cars. It’s one of the reasons I live in NYC.

When I was a teenager in Cleveland, Ohio, I used to take buses a lot, even after I got a driver’s license. I could take the 77 line from one block from my folks’ house right down to the base of the Terminal Tower. I don’t know if I could live in the Cleveland area today without a car, though…it’d be hard to obtain groceries and transport them to my fridge.

Once I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, though, I did accumulate an auto, which I use as infrequently as possible (I probably spend ten bucks a month on gasoline). It’s handy for buying beer in bulk. And rushing kids to the hospital if they damage themselves.

I’ve been a two car girl for many years (one’s a gas guzzling restoration project, the other I drive to work) and I completely respect most of the people that I know who choose not to own cars. I live in the San Francisco Bay area and there is plenty of good reliable public transport. I usually will opt to take it myself if I’m headed someplace within a few blocks of a BART station.

That said, there is one guy who I just want to smack silly, because he doesn’t have a license, but he also has decided that he needs a ride to get into Berkeley occasionally, so he can buy comic books. He doesn’t want to spend an hour on the bus to get there, so would I mind taking him? Random requests come from him at the rate of once or twice a week now. YES I MIND! If you don’t want to ride the bus buy a car. (This guy was my boss as well as a friend of a friend, so I often had no choice but to give in.)

So drewbert, I say more power to you, as long as you don’t become a mooching fool like that guy. And on the occasions when you do have to mooch, please don’t forget to offer to chip in for gas.

I do think that you might want to go ahead and get the license, just so you have it. You may want to take a vacation someplace where you need a car, or have some emergency which requires actual driving.

I’m so glad to b in good company!

I’ve never learned to drive either, in fact almost for exactly the same reasons as the OP.

And here in Australia they think I’m downright irresponsible for making such a decision! Which I think is unfair. The chances of a specific emergency happening, where my ability to drive is imperative, are extremely low, going by my past history. So I have no guilt at all for choosing to walk instead of drive.

I lived in Ann Arbor MI for quite a while, and I did not have a car for most of that time. I got by quite well. While I did not live on the bus line, I pretty much always had a roommate or boyfriend that was willing to cart my silly butt either in to the city or to a bus stop. The Ann Arbor buses were great. Cheap & on time. Never had a problem.

I live in a largish city now, with a bus system, but I don’t trust it. There’s too much crime in this city, and something’s always going on at the main bus terminal. I have a car now, and it’s a good one.

I’ve never had a car and dont want one.
It took me about 4 years to get my learners licence, but it’ll turn out to be a waste of money cause I dont plan to every drive.
Give me a bike anyday, it’s cheap, clean, quiet, fast(I can beat cars going through town) and safer.

I’ve got music from my discman and air conditioning, if we all rode bikes the world would be a better place.

Well, when I was a little nipper, I figured something out. A full-fare bus pass in Montreal costs $47 right now. $47 times 12 is $584. Insurance on a car costs less than that. And if you add gas, I’m saving enough money to take a $10 cab ride every single day of the year.

I will not ever own a car as long as I’m living in a city civilized enough to have a decent public transit system, which I hope will be always. Also, I like to walk (I think nothing of walking from my place on the Plateau as far as Guy-Concordia metro, and do it often).

My brother’s wife didn’t get her driver’s license until well after she was married, about age 27 or 28 or so. It was largely due to two things: one, she’s the youngest of 9 kids, so she always had someone to take her wherever she wanted to go. Two, she’s very very nervous about driving. Even now, she pretty much won’t drive unless it’s very important, like a doctor’s appointment for her son.

I do not have a car. I have never had a car. My ex had 2, but I drove exactly once… when he was too drunk. I do not have a license. I have never had a license… why would I? In an emergency, I can drive - but I don’t like it. I live in San Francisco, and - as Matt pointed out - I save enough that I could take a taxi every day and still be ahead. I have a bus pass, and I take taxies when I want to. I walk a lot, which is good for me. I don’t have to worry about “Spare the Air” days :slight_smile:

I suppose I will eventually get a car, but not while I live here… I can take the cable car to work! How cool is that?

Here’s another transit guy, this on in the Vancouver area.

$87 a month for a two-zone pass, a dollar extra if I want to go downtown on a weekday before the evening, 15-minute service or a 10-minute walk to the Skytrain, and I can read a book or chat up the ladies on my way. Why would I want a car?

I do have a license, and will probably renew it, just in case I ever want to drive somewhere.

I’m 23, and have neither car nor license. Everywhere I have to go on a regular basis, is in easy bicycle range. The only times it’s an inconvenience are when I want to head down to Yellowstone or one of the ski areas, and I wouldn’t be going either of those places alone anyways, so it’s not too much trouble to mooch a ride. I don’t have to worry about payments or gas or insurance, and I’m getting good excercise. I would like to get a license though, eventually, just in case.