Back in the 70s, driving a car was like a status symbol. It meant independence, wowing a girl and being able to take her to different places on dates and road trips. It meant having friends to cruise with along the city streets. However, such is not the case nowadays.
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Developed countries have better public transportation systems such as trains and subways. Taking the subway to work is infinitely better than driving your own car and getting stuck in traffic. Young people are saving up to buy the latest gadgets, laptops or game consoles instead of their first car, beat up and second-hand, but able to start their paths to independence. Cruising with friends or driving for the sake of driving, no longer has the same allure as before. People are spending their free time surfing the Internet and chatting with friends on social networks instead of at the backseats of a friend’s truck.
The financial costs of having a car are also a big deterrent to young adults getting their first car. Aside from the cost of the car itself, there are other costs that come with it. UK government requires car owners to get car insurance, as well as to pay road tax. Car insurance premiums depend on your post code, the brand and make of your car, its size, and other circumstances that enables them to assess your risks. Road tax depends on the car’s engine size or emissions. For older cars, the smaller the engine size, the smaller the road tax. For newer cars, the lower the emissions, the lower the road tax. Road tax is payable in two ways: annually or every six months. Annual payment is cheaper in the long run compared to paying two six-month taxes.
UK government likewise require drivers to have a driver’s licence before actually driving. To get your licence, there are generally two types of tests you need to pass—the car theory test and car practical test. Costs can range from £31 for the former, and £62 for the latter. However, these costs are the basic weekday costs. Test costs are higher during evenings and weekends. If you will be driving other types of vehicles like motorcycles, lorries, buses, and coaches; trailers, and tractors, test fees can go as high as £141. There are also additional tests that are specific for a certain type of vehicle. Costs are already piling up and you haven’t even started driving yet.
Costs of usage
Once you start driving your car, fuel costs rack up depending on your usage. Some of the factors that increase fuel consumption include driving fast and recklessly, storing heavy items in the car, and the size of your engine—the larger the engine, the higher the fuel consumption. The costs of maintenance include service fees, repair fees, and breakdown cover. Also, even though you buy your car brand new, the value of the car depreciates through time. Whether or not you are using it or just storing it inside a garage, the value of the car is reduced significantly when you want to sell it to get another one. These are the costs that deter young adults from going ahead and getting their own car.