Though owning a car can provide some freedom, the associated liabilities and costs outweigh any advantages.
Purchasing a car is expensive. Pre-owned cars can cost anywhere from $1,000-$400,000, with the average price around $10,000.
Today, gas in the United States costs an average of $3.867 per gallon, and the price is only climbing. Especially while saving up for college, paying money for expensive gas is a waste. Many high school students can spend up to $50 a week on gas. If, instead, he/she saved that money over a year, he/she would have an extra $2,600.
Besides gas, owning a car is expensive. The average cost for insurance in Massachusetts is an average of $1,113 each year. For someone who owns a car junior and senior years, he/she spends an extra $2,226.
Adding up the above costs, this person has spent almost $15,000. Tuition at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is $12,991 for the 2012-2013 school year. If that person did not own a car, he/she would have saved enough to pay for his/her first year in college.
Even discounting finances, owning a car can be a hassle. High school students are still able to go places and have fun. Do they really need to have their own car to get to the movies or to their friend’s house? Often, another friend will be going to the same place, and the two can carpool.
Carpooling also prevents greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere and keeps the world a safer place.
In the summer, typically the time when teenagers most desire the use of a car, alternate ways of travel do exist. Many times, kids can actually walk to their desired destination and, especially during the summer, avoid the inevitable beach traffic.
For farther distances, kids can bike to their destination. Biking is a fun, simple way to get from one place to another while also getting a bit of exercise.
When one wants to travel farther than a bike will allow, the train is nearly always an option. With the student discount, the train is a cheap, fast way to get to downtown Rockport or Boston and has a variety of times to return.