Could you give up your car?

With lots of car industry giants signing up to a Cop26 summit pledge to sell zero-emissions cars and vans by 2035 – including Ford, General Motors, and Jaguar Land Rover, we ask the question should we really have cars at all? And could you give yours up?

Benefits of giving up your car

The benefits of driving less are pretty indisputable. The big ones: cleaner air, lower emissions, reduced carbon footprint, fewer fossil fuels being sucked out of the earth; to the more personal: less time spent sat in traffic, no more MOT fear, avoiding traffic accidents, no longer being asked to give everyone lifts everywhere, and the sheer cost of running a motor.

In fact, once you start totting it up, it makes you wonder why we’ve chained ourselves to these petroleum monsters for so long. Especially when the alternatives can be so pleasant. Sure, taking the bus or train has its trials, but you can read your book, people watch, or relax!

And of course, if you do desperately need a car for a one-off trip or to move house, it’s still much cheaper to hire one for a couple of days than it is to own one. It just doesn’t feel like permanently occupying space on the road is justifiable anymore.

Drawbacks of giving up your car

The freedom would be tough to give up

It’s tough to not be attached to your car, even if it is a petrol guzzling non-eco machine. Cars offer freedom, ease, and choice. They get you door to door with minimal fuss and with all your stuff. Road trips are one of the greatest joys, while learning to drive is a right of passage in itself. And that’s just the fun stuff – so much of what our cars mean to us is dependent on where we live and what we do. City dwellers might not be so reliant on owning a vehicle, but that isn’t the case for everyone, especially in rural locations, or if your job requires lots of travel. And it might be easier to scrap your motor if public transport was equitably distributed and fully accessible, regardless of your circumstances. That just isn’t the case yet.

And the car industry is adapting (if slowly). Green technology is going to get there – and arguably it’ll be available more quickly and more affordably if there’s demand for it. There’s hope in driving, we just have to accelerate the tech involved.

Are you prepared to wait until ‘greener’ cars become more affordable or would you be happy to give your car up now? Do you already own a hybrid or fully electric car? If so, how are you finding it?

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