“Do I Need a Car?” Yes — 5 Things You Can’t Do without One

Asking yourself “Do I need a new car?” You’re not alone.

People don’t have cars for all sorts of reasons. But there comes a time when many non-drivers — yes, even those enigmatic millennials — do start to think they might want to buy a car.

So do you need a car? As an avid driver myself, I say yes. Sure, you can get by without one if you live in a major metropolis with awesome transit. But even then there are things you can’t do without a car.

1. Spend less time on the road.

Time is money.
—Benjamin Franklin

Public transportation is always an option, but it can be a very time-consuming one depending on where you live.

Let’s look at my own commute, which I think is fairly typical.

(30 minutes avg.)

Public Transportation
(1.5 hours avg.)

Roundtrip, that’s 1 hour driving vs 3 hours bussing/walking. Two hours of my life wasted, and that’s just one day. Here’s how it shakes out if I kept it up.

Time added by using public transportation:

2 hours/day • 10 hours/week • 43 hours/month • 520 hours/year

FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY HOURS A YEAR! That’s more than 21 full days of my life stuck on the road. No thank you. I love my car and I’m keeping it.

Obviously this applies more to me and my fellow suburbanites than other folks, but still a very strong argument for car ownership.


2. Go through drive-thrus.

For a number of reasons (safety, liability… pedestrian discrimination?) many drive-thru restaurants don’t serve people who try to walk up to the window.

I can hear you saying, “So what? People can just walk inside.” But! What about folks who are hungry late at night when the inside area is closed and the drive-thru is all that’s open?

What are these poor unfortunate souls to do for food? Buy a car, that’s what.


3. Go on a shopping spree.

You no doubt noticed this holiday season what Christmas really is all about — shopping. So. Much. Shopping. And I for one love watching the trunk of my car fill up with toys as I go from store to store. Toys, and also gifts for others…

If you don’t have your own car, you have to take everything you buy at one store to the next one. You can only do that for so long before you can’t take it all with you anymore.

You especially can’t buy anything too big. I’m not personally an Uber driver, but I can’t imagine them taking too kindly to folks trying to strap giant Ikea furniture boxes onto their cars.


4. Drive for Uber or Lyft.

You don’t need a car because you can just Uber, right? But those Uber drivers couldn’t come fetch you unless they had a car in the first place. So car ownership isn’t going anywhere just yet.

Ride-sharing can be a great way for car owners to earn income. I know some people who do it as their only job, and others who do it for supplemental income. Can’t do that without a car.


5. Take loved ones to/from the airport.

I’m fully capable of driving myself to the airport & paying for parking, or yes — taking an Uber. Even still, I favor having my husband drop me off so we can share that final goodbye before I leave.

The same goes for picking someone up. On those rare occasions that friends or family actually choose to travel to Cleveland to visit, of course I’m going to pick them up from the airport myself. Because I have a car.

If I didn’t have a car, it’s not like I’d tell them to find their own way to me (rude). I’d have to Uber there and back myself. First, that can get expensive. Second, something about it just lacks that warm, welcoming feeling. Third, if they have tons of luggage, you might be screwed since your driver is taking up an extra seat.


All these things you can only do with a car are all about the same thing — freedom. Having a car is all about freedom. And ‘Merica is all about freedom. Therefore ‘Merica is all about cars. Or cars are all about ‘Merica. I’m not sure. Just go buy a car, you unpatriotic hippie.