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Is driving a car better than public transport?

If you’re one of those people who stay more than a standard ‘walk able distance’ away from your place of work, education or any place where you need to be every day, you have been through this debate.
But every time this debate happens, we hear biased opinions of people who either love or hate driving or public transport. These opinions only help you when you have personalities similar to the ones sharing their opinion.
Whether you’re reading this because you want to buy your first car or sell your old car and buy a different one, we hope we can help you decide!
To help you decide on whether you should buy a car or keep tapping on and off with that Opal card in your phone cover, we’ll try to give you a few pointers about these modes of transit. Strike off the points that aren’t important to you and then evaluate which alternative would be better for you!

Driving or public transport

1. Cost

One of the major factors that determine which mode of transit is better, is the cost of the option. Buying a new car and its yearly maintenance could cost you more than 10,000 AUD, with its insurance, repairs, fuel, rego, etc.
Which means that on an average, you will spend about 1600 AUD per month on your car if you include the price of the car (only in year 1)
If you buy a new car, this price will increase quite a bit due to the high sale price of new cars. Driving an old car could have the risk of additional costs.

The cost of travelling by the public transport completely depends on how much you travel or how far you travel, similar to a car. But, since public transport prices are capped at 63.20 AUD per week, and let’s say you travel every week to and fro, you will spend about 253 AUD per month. This could be lower, of course depending on the number of trips you take during the week.

2. Convenience

Aussies are infamous for having short forms for very single word in the world, even McDonalds! We call it Macca’s. Considering this attribute of the nation’s population, most of us prioritise convenience. As a result, there are 740 cars per 1000 people in Australia.
Cars give you a convenient space to carry all your work belongings, food items, personal belongings, shopping, friends, family, kids, pets, etc. You can bring your coffee cup, listen to music on loud without being embarrassed or disturbing the 500 others who are in the same train as you.

When we talk about public transport, be prepared to wear sports shoes all the time every single day for anywhere you go. Also, remember to carry your umbrella in case it rains, your keepcup to save the environment, your laptop and its charger, you cellphone and its charger, your lunch and some snacks, a water bottle and your gym bag (because you can go to gym straight from work.).

3. Walking

Don’t wanna walk too much? Great, stay at home.
To the ones using public transport, walking a kilometer or two as part of their journey is very common. You could argue that it gives you exercise, but admit it, it makes you extremely tired even before you get to work. Not to forget it adds to the already time consuming process that is public transport.
Car owners on the other hand, differentiate their commute experience as least walking. However, finding a parking space, successfully parking your car (Defining success as without putting a scratch on anything surrounding the space)and then walking back to your where you actually had to be in the first place, is sometimes, worse.
Car owners, however, claim that it is easier to drive around.

4. Time

The amount of time spent by a person on transferring from the bus to the train, walking to the train station and travelling on the bus or train, is almost 3 times of what it would be if you would drive, with average traffic.
If you think time=money, then having a car would help you move in the direction towards being a millionaire.

5. Relax

We all look for time for ourselves. Due to our tight schedules and small intervals between the work we do, we forget to rest and breathe.
For most public transport users, listening to music or reading a book are very common. Since someone else is doing the driving, you can fully focus on your book or just do nothing at all. Take a break, think.

For car drivers, relaxing while they drive is barely an option as they get super busy honking their car horns, or just driving. Driving is a life skill and fairly easy to do, but it still requires an adequate amount of physical and mental effort. For people who love driving, they meant they love driving on long, empty, crane-less, rain-less, zero-traffic roads. Not on the cramped city roads at 5pm! But guess what? That’s when most of us get off work/school.

All in all, there are a lot of other points that can be taken into consideration to further contribute to this debate. But the only one who can decide on what you personally want, is you. Good luck!

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