Writing by Peter Hilton

On car ownership

Is car ownership a good idea?

Avénue de la Liberté, Luxembourg Car ownership is a con. You may have thought that running a car is cheaper than using public transport; that owning a car is totally liberating; that you have a right to endanger other peoples’ lives, especially pedestrians’ and cyclists’; and that you have a right to damage the environment without ever questioning whether this is in fact true.

Hidden costs

It is unlikely that you have thought about

  • exactly how much money you spend each year on fuel, depreciation on the value of the car, insurance, road tax, services, repairs, accessories, …
  • how liberating it really is to sit in traffic jams, to look for parking spaces, to risk road-rage, to abstain from alcohol and not to get enough exercise
  • Judith on the roadhow many people are killed or injured every day, not by cars; but by people driving cars

I just thought I’d mention it.

Ben Elton puts it differently in his novel Gridlock, as does André Gorz in his 1973 essay, The Social Ideology of the Motorcar.