Bare Necessities of Owning a Car in the US

Nowadays, the US car industry is experiencing a great boom, which also happens with the rest of the world. The percentage of people owning and driving their own cars is rising each day, and the statistics show that 91% of adults commute to work in their own vehicle. When compared to the European statistics, this percentage is by far higher in the US than in Europe. What is the reason so many Americans depend on cars? What kind of trend dictates the higher car purchase? In the following paragraphs, we will try to explain these phenomena.

Mass motorization

It appears that when mass motorization began, its evolution happened faster in the US than in Europe. Since the Americans could boast about material wealth at the beginning of the 20th century due to the Gold Rush, the production lines were modernized and produced car parts more quickly and efficiently. It has been reported that by the mid-1930s, every two American households possessed one registered car. This also shows that cars were financially available to both the higher and the middle class, which was not the case with Europe. In Europe, only the elite members could afford to buy a car at that time.

Urbanization and road building

The daily habits of Americans dictated the urbanized plan of the streets and roads, as a result of mass motorization. The use of personal vehicles influenced traffic engineers to set up standards for roads, bridges, tunnels, highways, traffic signals, car parking, and many more. The material wealth also accelerated the traffic adaptation, while in Europe that process went much slower. Additionally, due to their shorter history and location, Americans did have much more free space to urbanize their country, since not all the parts of the US weren’t inhabited till the mid-20th century.

The vehicle taxes

Due to the larger number of drivers who possess their private vehicles, the vehicle taxes are cheaper in the US than in Europe, as well as gas. This is a simple economic equation – the product you use more every day and the product which is massively purchased every day costs less. The low vehicle taxes can be also explained by the internal economics of each federal state: the major part of the gas tax revenue is not directed to the public budget like in Europe – it is rather spent on roadway construction and renovation.

A matter of prestige

Just like buying branded clothes, accessories, and technology, as well as purchasing more luxurious houses, owning a branded and expensive car builds up your image. Since technology is advancing faster than ever, branded luxurious cars are advertised more. The statistics show that car buyers slowly move from small, affordable car models to more luxurious and branded ones. That is to say, luxurious cars just add to your public reputation.

The effects of coronavirus

Just like it happened with the rest of the world, people in the US have to isolate as much as possible in order not to spread the coronavirus. Using public transport means staying for a certain time in an enclosed space with various people who can potentially carry the virus.  All of these facts have made public transport like buses, subways, trains, and planes the biggest danger of catching the coronavirus. That is the reason why so many people decided to use their own cars instead, and the reason why there are more car buyers nowadays.