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Do I NEED a car?

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Lately I've been wondering whether I could give up my car or not.

I figure it costs me at least 200,000 yen a year pretty much just to have, and that money might be better spent (saved) elsewhere.

I mean what do I really use my car for, anyway? To get to work and back....well, I could do that by bike in about 30 minutes.

To transport stuff....well, I don't often have that many big things to carry around where I would need a car, in all honesty. The only thing I can think of is cardboard. Lugging a huge piece of cardboard all the way to the recycling center would be pretty prohibative.

To travel? Well, Japan has plenty of trains for when the wanderlust comes.

My original plan when I first moved here was to get rid of my car and take the train everywhere. Unfortunately, my job at the time wasn't very accomodating to that idea, so I kept my car, and in the interim bought a new one. However I wonder if now I couldn't go back to my original plan and free myself from the car culture that has gripped me for so long.

I think I'll try to go this winter using the car as little as possible and see what happens. If I get through the winter, I think I'll be able to get through anything!


Awesome. It's definitely worth considering. Take some time to figure it out and, if you can live without it, go for it. Though I don't think that 200,000 is too bad at all for the convenience of having a car around reliably when you need one. Lemme tell you--that's nice to have.
If you can do your commute and your daily shopping without a car, then it is definitely worth a try. You can always rent a car or get a taxi, should you ever need one. 200,000 yen gives you lots of taxi rides :)
I usually keep the car to be used on weekends or if I go out at night. I commute to and from uni by bus usually. So while I cant get rid of my car completely I can try to cut my use of it :). I hope you get through~! Ganbatte kudasai!
Where I live a car is a neccessity, I do not have the luxury of having decent enough public transportation that goes where I need to go.

You must not use a car that often, and if that is the case I would say go for it, if it is a matter of expenses.

But when a rainy or maybe snowy day comes and you have to take the bicycle think about what you are going to do then.
Up until recently, I had been using my car every day. Recently I've made it a goal to use my car no more than once a week.

Where I live too, most people consider a car to be a necessity, but my job is just close enough that I can bike fine.

I've thought about inclement weather, and that's why at this point I'm thinking of keeping the car through this winter, just in case. However, it rained here on Monday, and I used the bike just the same. Summer rainy days are no problem. It's the winter, when it'S cold that I'm worried about.
We have 4 cars at home, Dad's, my wife's, my daughters and mine. We all work in different area's and at different times so it is impossible for us to car pool.

I am envious of your ability to have the choice. I just scrapped one of my cars and got a Suzuki Kei to save money. My old "van" cost alot to run, road taxes were 50,000 alone, plus it was desiel and not exactly environmentally friendly.

Only thing is people around here get a laugh out of watching me at 193cm and 115kg getting in and out of the Kei.
LOL, yeah, I can imagine!

If I find that I can't live without a car, I'm going to switch to a kei, too. The nice thing about kei cars is that they're taxed much less than regular cars, and shaken is apparently cheaper, too!

I think I only have a choice thanks to living alone. Back in the day, when my wife and I were planning to live together, I offered to bike to work in order to save money, but she was deadset against that. She said it was too dangerous. Now that I don't have to listen to her opinion much any more, I'm free to do as I see fit.

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Mikawa Ossan
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