Not having a car, social situation?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by G5Unit, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    Now I'm only 16, but I think about my future a lot.

    One thing that always tends to come up is a car. I have a car already thanks to my amazing parents and 3000 my my own money, but I have questions.

    When I am older I plan on moving to the city; either Chicago or New York. Now I think that if I were able to accommodate things correctly, I could work fairly close to my residence. Would there really be any reason for a car?

    I figure that if I am in my 20 somethings, and everything I regularly do is within a few miles range, why should I own a car?

    I mean, the money saved would be incredible. No insurance, no parking fees, no car cost, no gas, reducing my C02 emissions.

    But then there always comes the social aspect of it. I am a very active person; I go to parties and relax with my friends, I help out with the community, and I run errands.

    How is someone looked upon in society when they do not own a car? Is this common? Does it impact the relationship life? Just some things I am curious about.

    I'd like to hear from some people!
  2. Erendiox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2004
    Brooklyn NY
    Wirelessly posted (Erendiox: Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I can't speak for life in Chicago, but in NYC, you do not want a car. The subways and busses will take you anywhere you need and there's definitely no social requirement as far as owning a car. A car can have its uses, but the hassles surely outweigh the benefits. As you can imagine, traffic and parking are both nightmares.
  3. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    I've been to Chicago once for a visit. It depends on where you live. If you're right on Millinium Park, you could get by. If you live in Naperville, then a car would be more than convient.

    You could always compromise by getting a motorcycle ;)
  4. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    Depends where you live I suppose. If you live within walking distance of your friends and stores, have public transportation, or live in a city, then I wouldn't see too much of an issue unless you wanted to travel somewhere every once in a while, in which case you could drive or you could take your parents car.

    If you are like me though, not having a car would have social implications. I am 17 and live in a very large town- 40 square miles, yet there are only 12,000 people or so. I also live in the more scarcely populated area of town so I only have a couple friends that live close to me. There are no sidewalks, my drive to school at 45-55mph is almost 15 minutes, and we get harsh winter weather. Getting to the center of the town takes 17 minutes, and getting to a mall is 45+ minutes. Going to the closest movies is probably 40.

    Its not to say I couldn't survive without one. Most of my friends have cars, and I suppose I could have my parents drive me places or take the school bus (bus comes at 6:35 :eek:), but its just not as easy to do things when you don't have a car and live far away from most of your friends.

    In NYC there is very little reason for a car. I lived there until I was five. My parents kept 1 car in the city and 1 car at my grandparents house (outside of the city). In a city there are buses and subways and few people own cars because there is no need for one. It's actually slower to take a car in a lot of cases and its expensive to park a car.

    If you are trying to decide whether or not to get rid of your car now, don't because it seems like you need it. When you no longer have the need for it, sell it. The less you drive the less your insurance is, the less your gas bill is, and the less your maintenance costs are.
  5. c073186 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    Just out of curiosity, where are you and how do you know that you want to be in either Chicago or New York?
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Flashing bread for a cab, in front of your date, is hardly a "social situation".

    Volunteering is another matter. We would have to know if it requires a vehicle, or if as suggested, you could get a M/C, or a scooter even.
  7. iJesus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2007
    Reno, Nevada
    I agree with the scooter.
    I'm 17 and I live somewhere where you need a car; but, I doubt you would need one in a big city.

    Just out of curiosity, what car did you end up buying?
    (I remember your old thread)
  8. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    You don't need a car. Learn to use your legs :).

    I'm constantly amazed by some people who claim "you need a car to get around here" and then when questioned it turns out to only be a 20 minute walk away. Hardly far, certainly not enough to warrant the expense of a car.

    For everything else public transport is actually pretty damn good. Trains and buses will sort you out for anything you can't walk too.

    I'm 23 and have never even learnt to drive. I don't really think I will either (unless of course I ever have children and then things obviously change somewhat).

    Edit : Just noticed your a yank, ignore the public transport part :).
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Walking is certainly good, healthy for sure.

    But it does consume time, which is a negative today.

    A 100 mpg scooter is a good compromise.
  10. G5Unit thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    Well I used to live in Naperville, IL and Chicago was always my favorite. In fact any large city I loved.

    Now I live in Orange County, CA.

    I have a VW GTI.
  11. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    You never know what the future will hold for ya, keep your car and see where life takes you. And drive safe, I knew someone who rolled their GTi going off a highway ramp... he was a jackass. :p
  12. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    I don't think it would kill your social life, although it might make things a bit harder.

    Personal, I'd have one for those "just in case" events, but wouldn't use it much.

    Or a Vespa would be a decent way to get around too....but that might not help the social thing.
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Your initial statements, your looks, social life, your great concern for how you're viewed makes more sense now that you said you live in Orange County. Unfortunately, in Orange County, in many of the cities here apparently not having a car or the right car for that matter certainly affects your social status. Sorry but you know I am right, you know well enough because it is actually something you have to ask about. :)

    Pubic transit here isn't good enough and cabs aren't cheap enough to be without a car. However, you didn't really say how far home was from work and school.

    I'll tell you this, if you can't find a date because you don't own your own car then that girl isn't worth a damn.
  14. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    naperville does not equal chicago. its a far burb, if that.

    and just about anywhere in the city proper has plenty of public transportation.

    yes zip car is available here in chicago and certainly an alternative.

    that is part of the problem, especially in the US. people have a negative view of walking/cycling everywhere when in fact its quite doable in the urban areas at least

    in a city like chicago it wouldn't make things any bit harder. want to do anything downtown? you do NOT want to be taking a car down there. parking alone is outrageous, not to mention finding someplace either, or the traffic. the "EL" is much better use.

    i'm trying and slowly working myself up to being completely car free, but it takes time when you're used to it and work in the burbs. :p
  15. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    Mine is a bit of a pain sometimes. I have a eye disease that prevents me from ever driving car

    It is very difficult for me as all my friends all have cars, my family all are able to drive. I have to rely on people to get me to and from places. What makes it even harder is my brother can just get in his car and go somewhere wheres i have to ask my parents which the standard response is i can't be bothered or i am not going into town again etc.

    As someone has already said, "You don't need a car. Learn to use your legs" Thats how i get around.

    The plus side of me not owning a car, i don't have to pay insurance, petrol and to get the car serviced.

    Anyone else out there with RP PM i would love to hear from you
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wow, sounds difficult. I think your brother and parents should be more understanding if that's the case. They should help you get around.
  17. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    It is very difficult and most of the time it ends with a argument. How ever atleast my collegues at work are more understanding and willing to help.

    If i need to go somewhere during the day one of them will gladly take me where ever i need to go whether it to go a buy lunch etc.
  18. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
    If anyting thing, catch rides w/ friends or get a motorcycle or scooter. "if there's a will, there's a way", usually you can always find someone whose willing to give you a ride.
  19. dingster1 macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    My son just turned 18. He hasn't gotten his license yet and is taking his time about getting it. We live on a bus route, everything we need including his job is within walking distance and we have a good metro rail system. He also has a bicycle. Gas being what it is, most folks are re-thinking the social stigma of public transport/walking these days.
  20. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    <rant>You have a GTI and your 16. Thats a joke and a half.

    Im sorry but over here in the UK having a car like that at that age is just unheard of unless you have more money than common sense to pay for INSURANCE!!!

    So could someone enlighten me as to how that works in the US, I have no clue and would like to be educated.

    Also having a car like that as well would be seen as a bit irresponsible of many parents as its way way to powerful for a young driver, unless the one you have is some ancient shed VW??</rant>

    Ok thats the rant over, now for the advice section as I am actually in the EXACT same situation except I have already made the move.

    At home I live in the country and if I didnt have a car then doing all the things you talked about would have been impossible. Everything you have said is exactly the same as me, honestly to the letter.

    Regarding the social thing, yes definitely having a car makes a HUGE difference. There is no question about it.

    However in the city, where I am the rest of the time, having a car would have very little impact on anything, yes it may be handy having it there but unless you can afford to have it sitting doing nothing the savings you will make are, as you have stated, a lot.

    What I do at the moment is this. I share my car with the family, so when I am away in the city and not using it, they pay for everything and use it themselves. When I am at home I pay for and look after it and obviously use it whenever I want. That way I have the best of both worlds.

    Sorry about the rant but if you were in the UK you would understand, it seriously does my t**s in the way it is over here!!!
  21. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    If you're honestly thinking of moving to one of those two cities, lose the car. Period.

    Some people might even see you as snobby for owning a car in a big city in the first place. You'll also find yourself being asked to give people rides CONSTANTLY. Public transportation isn't just cheap. It's also faster in most cases, it's fun, it's easier to get places with friends (ie. you can go to a club with a group larger than 5 people unless you're taking cabs), and it's cheap. But I already said that.

    In fact, once you lose the car and start using your legs and public trans, you'll find yourself starting to hate drivers. They're always angry, they drive too fast, they ignore traffic laws, they honk at old women who walk across the street too slowly. I don't mean to stereotype but often the people I see in cars are a single person, downtown, with no excessive amount of luggage or baggage. If they took public transportation, they wouldn't be late.

    But hey, if you love your GTI so much, keep it and see what it does for you. It'll make you look cool, snobby, and rape your wallet at the same time. Weigh the pros and cons for yourself. I think you know what the right thing to do is.
  22. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Buy an SUV obviously. It is the American way!
  23. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    Hey, I'm 27 and a yank and have never had a drivers license! Though I have spent the better part of the past 5 years in either Germany or Japan, so theres that...
    Though where I live in Germany is the sticks, public transport exists but it is pretty rare, and of course the Germans are never on time. I never understood where the stereotype of German promptness came from... Anyway, even though public transport isn't good for anything that isn't long-distance, Germans love bikes and this is the best country in the world for cyclists IMO.

    To the OP, if someone won't be your friend/girlfriend because you don't own a car, you don't want to be hanging out with that person anyway.
  24. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    When I move to Boston this August (for college), I will not take my car. Currently, I live about 45 miles outside Boston, which, by train, is only an hour and 15 minutes... It's an easy ride to and from my school, so I figure when I do need the car, I can have my mom or dad drop it off, or I can just come and pick it up.

    In big cities, even in the US, public transit is pretty good. I plan on investing in a good urban bike, and I'm sure that will get much use. Additionally, I have cousins who live in Boston, and they have offered me their cars should I absolutely need one.

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