What are the Advantages of Travelling By Car?

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There are lots of good reasons to own a car. Cost and convenience are two of the main things, but there are lots of other positives that you might not have considered.

Let's celebrate all the great things about our four-wheeled friends.


Convenience of going by car

So what do you think is the biggest benefit of travelling by car? For many people, it is the convenience. When you want to go somewhere, no need to plan, you can just lock your front door, get in the car and you are off.

Compare that to almost any other form of transport. There is no need to check the train or bus times. No time taken choosing the best plane ticket. No worries about whether you'll be able to get a taxi.

You also have flexibility. If your plans change then travelling by car makes it easy. Just point the car in the new direction. No wasted train tickets or long treks to a different bus stop.

Travelling by car is very secure

Locking the car door

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If you drive yourself, then you are generally much more secure than if you take any other form of transport. You aren't sharing your space with strangers, so you don't need to worry about becoming a victim of crime.

For example, if you travel by public transport you are exposed to the risk of theft of your belongings. Even worse, there is the possibility of physical assault. Both of these risks are reduced dramatically if you are in your own car. See here for a discussion of safest places to travel in Europe.

In addition, if you drive, then you can leave your luggage and other possessions in the car. So long as you park in a sensible place, your things are going to be much safer out of sight in a locked car then if you are carrying them around.

Your own car is much more comfortable

If you are sitting in your own car, you can set everything up perfectly to suit you.

Of course if you bought the car, then you have the freedom to choose the right vehicle to suit you physically, with a good driving position for you, great visibility and seats that you find comfortable. You'll also be able to set the vehicle up to suit you perfectly.

You will also be able to set the car up so that everything is to hand. This might be a holder for your phone. Or maybe you like a box of tissues and a snack to hand? If it's your car you can make it so.

Another factor is temperature; we've all sat on boiling hot trains or freezing buses, wishing for the journey to end. This is a problem that you won't have in your own car, with heating and probably air-con, or at least ventilation that you can adjust until you are happy.

What about music? Again, in a car you are free to choose.

Ultimately, a car is your own personal space, an extension of your home, just for you and a few chosen people. So you can be more relaxed and more at home than in any other method of transport.

You can transport much more in a car

Car with boot open

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Cars also transport small loads

Compared to travelling by public transport, you can carry much more in a car.

If you are travelling by train or bus, there is a limit to the amount you can take - you can't take more than you can carry, for starters. Travelling with a big suitcase and other bags isn't a lot of fun if you have to navigate curbs, doors and escalators. Even if you are travelling by taxi, you will still have to do manage your luggage. And each mode of transport you take might have a maximum size or weight for the luggage you are allowed.

Whereas if you are in your own car it is a different matter. You can pack the car at your leisure. You can pack much more in a typical car than you can carry. Once it is in the car, you don't have to worry about it at all, until you reach your destination.

It is cheaper in a car*

*This one is true at some level.

If you look at marginal cost (the additional cost of one trip), then a car can be cheaper than alternatives. If you want to drive down to the supermarket, the cost in your own car might be a few cents or pennies for petrol. This is going to be a lot cheaper than anything else other than walking or cycling. A bus ride will cost a few £ depending on where you are, and a taxi will cost more.

However, if you think of the overall cost of car ownership, in many cases, owning a car can end up being fairly expensive.

You need to allow for cost of the car, insurance, servicing, testing, new tyres and many other costs and it is probably sensible to think of these spread out over all of your car usage, not just when you have to pay them.

In the final analysis, car ownership can be a more costly alternative, compared to public transport.

Pride of ownership

Polishing my wheels

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For many people, owning a car is a source of pride. It doesn't have to be a muscle car. Just the ownership of a set of wheels, that give freedom to move, to just get up and go, seems to have a powerful effect on people.

Having a car also allows you to be generous, offering friends and loved ones lifts and transport. You can't share a bus pass with a friend!