Pros and cons of owning a car in a city

Pros and cons of owning a car in a city

Did you know that car ownership across the UK is on the decline? In 2022, the number of cars owned privately nationwide fell for a consecutive year - for the first time in the last century.

At the heart of the decline are those who live in the city, where low-emission zones and traffic are causing a lot of people to ask whether they need to own a car. 

If you’re debating whether to go car-free in the city you live in, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons to help you decide.

At Karshare, we want to create a world where we don’t have more cars than we need. That being said, there are plenty of perks to owning your own vehicle and it’s important to look at the pros before ruling a car out completely. 

It’s flexible

One of the obvious pros of owning a car in the city is flexibility. Driving allows you to travel wherever and whenever you want to and follow your own schedule. There’s no more waiting in the rain for trains, which is a welcome relief.

Get around quickly

Another advantage of owning a car is that you can travel quickly. Walking, riding a bicycle, and even (sometimes) getting the train can take a whole lot longer than popping in your car! 

But, it is important to consider traffic in the city you live in. The cities with the worst traffic where you might not save time by driving include:

  • London
  • Bristol
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham

This is a key reason why we operate in the above cities -  every shared car can take up to 10 cars off of our roads! Providing people in heavily congested cities with easy access to cars can help change the way we rely on cars for trips where a car isn’t necessary.

An all-weather solution

Rain or sun, driving in a car is an all-weather option for getting where you need to be. When the weather is grey and drizzly, it’s easy to pop behind the wheel and stay warm and dry in the comfort of your car. A raincoat while riding a bicycle doesn’t provide the same level of comfort, we must admit.

Cons of owning a car in the city

Owning a car can make city life more convenient, but let’s not forget that it comes with its fair share of downsides. Let’s take a look at some of the most important.

Owning a car is expensive

In London, owning a car costs an average of around £500 a month. With cities bringing in more charges for low-emission zones, that figure is only expected to grow. Privately owning a car is incredibly expensive, with insurance, fuel costs, and tax all adding to the fee! If it’s not essential, your money could be far better spent elsewhere.

A not-so-eco solution

By now, we all know that cars are not eco-friendly. In 2021, they accounted for 8% of the world’s total CO2 emissions and drastically increased local air pollution in cities. On central Paris’ first car-free day, levels of Nitrogen Dioxide dropped by 40%, showing just how unhealthy cars are for our local environment.

Driving everywhere isn’t healthy

Walking to the local shop becomes far less appealing when you have a car. But driving everywhere isn’t healthy, and a life of convenience isn’t the best for your body. If you want to get your 10,000 daily steps in, walking to your destination - or even to a bus stop - is going to be a far better choice.

So, is it worth owning a car in the city?

Whether or not you need a car in the city comes down to your lifestyle and values. Your financial situation will play a large role in your decision, too, with those hundreds of pounds a month adding up quickly.

If you do have the need for a car occasionally, but you’d like to cut down on your use for the environment, your health, or your finances, there is another solution: car sharing.

At Karshare, we make it easy to rent a car from people nearby, giving you the best of both worlds! Become a renter and reduce your carbon footprint (compared to owning a car) or share your car with others to reduce running costs.

“Great service and fills a perfect need in the market. Would definitely recommend this service to people who don’t own a car and are concerned about both the environment and their pocket. Will be using it again. Thank you!” - Trustpilot

Or if you find that you decide to own a car in a city, you can always choose to share it with your community. Earn some extra cash to offset the cost of car ownership and help others get by without needing to own a car themselves - it’s a win win!

Final words

Karshare can help you save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and still maintain the flexibility that owning a car offers. Sign up to become a renter and let’s create a cleaner, greener city.