Author Topic: When do you need a car?  (Read 3384 times)

AlwaysDreaming

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When do you need a car?
« on: December 02, 2016, 02:14:26 AM »
I'm currently 25 y/o and currently have a stable govt job. This job requires an one hour skytrain/bus ride to get there. Financially I can afford to buy a car with cash such as a Honda Fit or something, but I don't see the need for it and would rather invest more into Vanguard. The commute is the same as when I went to university so I am already used to it for years now and will still be for the foreseeable future. Grocery stores, malls, family are all a few blocks or skytrain stops away from where I live. So my question is, how do you know when it's time to get a car? My co-workers keep telling me to get a car, even my dad (for girls) haha.

I do want an electric car someday, but that's because I just want one, not because I need it. It will hurt when I know I can buy the Tesla Model 3 with cash since it is my dream to own a Tesla or Nissan IDS concept if they ever make it, but have to pass since I can't justify the 50K price tag for it (rough Canadian conversion from 35K USD).

pbkmaine

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 02:33:02 AM »
Some people never need a car. Never buy anything as big as a car in anticipation of possible need. I think the bigger question is, why are other people's opinions troubling you?

lthenderson

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 10:03:23 AM »
I wouldn't buy a car ever if I lived someplace like what you describe. I however live in rural America where there aren't any trains, buses or even taxis and thus have no choice.

ketchup

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 10:08:56 AM »
Get a car if/when you need one.  It sounds like you don't need one right now.

bobechs

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2016, 10:54:01 AM »
Get a girl who has a car.

Problem solved.

galliver

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2016, 11:20:09 AM »
I thought I'd need a car when I went to grad school in central IL, but found out that the bus system in the college town was perfectly adequate and free to students. So I didn't. Even with taking the Greyhound up to Chicago to see bf (also carless) several times per month and occasional Zipcar rentals, I never hit a monthly expenditure equivalent to insurance, gas, and maintenance, not to mention upfront cost/depreciation.

We moved to southern California two years ago (LA area) and got a car with the primary goal of leaving town more often/easily. We're both glad we did. However, a colleague of mine who isn't as interested in camping/outdoors, and doesn't have friends/family in towns 2hrs away (4+ by transit), bought a condo near campus instead and finds that their Uber expenses don't approach car maintenance levels.

It really, really depends on your lifestyle, tolerance, and personal weighting of time vs money (errands by transit do take longer, typically). Don't get a car due to outside pressure if transit serves your needs. Girls impressed by cars (vs by sensibly doing without one) are the wrong girls anyway, and if you really want to show caring by taking her home quickly/easily, get an Uber/cab.

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« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 11:21:41 AM by galliver »

FIFoFum

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2016, 11:27:08 AM »
If you are asking, you likely don't need a car. Because you'd have a very specific reason why you DO need a car. Sounds like you don't.

nexus

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2016, 11:29:20 AM »
Get a girl who has a car.

Problem solved.

+1

You've gone this long without a car and been really successful, so why dig yourself a hole? Car insurance, gas, repairs, maintenance, and paying for parking will add up over time. Don't let your social circle influence you with their own silly norms. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I do recommend getting a driver's license if you don't already have one. That's a useful skill to have. I probably wouldn't date a girl without a license. If we went out for drinks and I saw an ID instead of a license, it would raise a red flag. I'd think she might have a DUI or some sort of other underlying issue (phobia, epilepsy, idk. My buddy's almost-fiancÚ won't drive on the freeway). Besides, I like having a co-pilot for long road trips or the option of taking turns being the DD if we don't just use Uber or Lyft.

Zikoris

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 11:38:57 AM »
I'm going out on a limb and guessing from "Canadian conversion" and "skytrain" you're in Vancouver - which is great, because the answer is never! This city is great for non-car owners. I've never even bothered getting a license.

If I were you, I'd try to move closer to work though - that's a brutal commute.

HipGnosis

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2016, 01:42:33 PM »
Get a girl who has a car.

Problem solved.
Are you kidding?!?  Do you realize how horribly expensive girls are!!!???

bobechs

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2016, 02:10:50 PM »
Get a girl who has a car.

Problem solved.
Are you kidding?!?  Do you realize how horribly expensive girls are!!!???

I didn't say all problems solved...

AlwaysDreaming

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2016, 03:45:49 PM »
Some people never need a car. Never buy anything as big as a car in anticipation of possible need. I think the bigger question is, why are other people's opinions troubling you?

Other people's opinion are troubling me because I've only been on this journey of saving and changes towards my life for the last 2 years. I managed to save roughly 60K since. I am still fighting outside pressure since I feel it has not been that long since I had the "owning a car mindset" where you are not truly accomplished until you have one. I know it's quite silly of me and I know I am doing the right thing, but it still hasn't set in yet that I am. Maybe once I feel like I've paid off my mortgage it will. Thanks for everyone for their reassurance.


I'm going out on a limb and guessing from "Canadian conversion" and "skytrain" you're in Vancouver - which is great, because the answer is never! This city is great for non-car owners. I've never even bothered getting a license.

If I were you, I'd try to move closer to work though - that's a brutal commute.

Yes, I live in Vancouver =). Housing is painfully expensive, but I do have a driver's license just in case.

neil

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2016, 04:52:01 PM »
Normal people are broke.  Normal people have cars.  Don't worry about being weird.  If a "normal" girl dismisses you because of your choice of transportation, you probably aren't compatible anyway.  (It's hard to argue against a car making dating easier, but you shouldn't have a car to increase the pool of interested women.)

I went without a car until I got a stable full-time position.  I still went without one for a while, but after some time I got interested in exploring.  The day after I bought my first car, I went on a 1500-mile road trip.  (In retrospect, that probably wasn't safe.)

In my current relationship, I think we are both in fairly optimal work conditions but our jobs are on opposite sides of town.  (I would accept some of the reasons are complainypants.  Mostly from her!)  In our given location which was deemed "fair" from a commute point of view, I am looking at a 25 minute drive versus a 90 minute commute via public transport.  The car is to save time for the life we've structured together, nothing else.  Everything other need is walkable, though I will admit we only do that sometimes.  I won't say it's impossible, but it's really not likely for me to find a job near hers that would result in similar pay.

This pretty much sums up the purpose of a car.  It takes you places when no one else will and it saves you time.  You pay significantly for these benefits.  Don't let others dictate your priorities.  It's your money and you can set your own priorities on its importance. 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 04:54:25 PM by neil »

Fresh Bread

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2016, 11:37:41 PM »
Why not just join a car share club for dates, one off trips etc?

Goldielocks

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2016, 01:34:26 AM »
I'm going out on a limb and guessing from "Canadian conversion" and "skytrain" you're in Vancouver - which is great, because the answer is never! This city is great for non-car owners. I've never even bothered getting a license.

If I were you, I'd try to move closer to work though - that's a brutal commute.

Zikoris -  one hour commute via skytrain could be in Surrey, which is not nearly so great for cyclists or transit users!   I know that if I need to get groceries on transit, I need to go to New West (2 zones) which is faster than the store 2 miles away.


The times that I need a car:
1) Family shopping and errands   -- car is needed a whole lot more post kids  -- things like doctor's appointments, and lots of bulk groceries for family of 4, and home repair supplies scream "car" needed... as well, that "whole drop kids at daycare and still get to work on time" thing really impacts non-car users with demanding work jobs...   but car is not really needed before you have kids..

2) Fun.   The other time, is that we like to get out of town on the weekends.  We go hiking/ camping / skiing and drive to grandma's 8 hours to the north, and to Calgary, etc.     Note, Grouse by transit is doable from Surrey for skiing, however.  Night skiing this way is awesome, if you start at 3pm.

3) Work.
I also need a car for work about 4 days a month.   Without a car for work, i have to take the bus downtown, and then get a zipcar, adding 2 or 3 hours onto my day.  Hopefully more car shares outside of vancouver zone will be available soon.

So -- if you have access to a car share, you would not need a car, even if all three of the above applied.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2016, 05:41:55 AM »
In your case, don't bother. :)

I went without for a year, and ended up buying one mostly because I've got family outside of Melbourne in areas with pretty poor public transport (especially on weekends). There's a couple of other things that are made much more convenient with a car, but I could work around them if necessary (Ubers, the occasional rental, etc).

Metric Mouse

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Re: When do you need a car?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2016, 05:56:23 AM »
Sounds like there is no need for a car. I would struggle to purchase things I didn't need just because someone else told me to. (Outside of health insurance, obviously)