The Benefits of Owning a Car in the US for Internationals and Expats

why expats should own a car

Getting a new job in a major American city is a milestone for everyone, including expats and international professionals who are continuing their careers here in the US. If you are new to your area, you may still be deciding the best way to get to work.

Let’s take a look at why investing in a vehicle  is a smart choice that can boost your professional and personal life and improve your quality of life in general. Read more to learn about the benefits of owning a car in the US.

Looking professional. 

Having a car means that you are independent, and can also make you appear more successful. Not everyone is able to afford a card, or has a situation that makes owning a car realistic.

benefits of owning a car

By having a car, you can give off the appearance of being a highly successful and independent professional.

Better yet, having a car allows you to be a helping hand. Perhaps a colleague might need a ride to an event, or a carpool every so often. When you have a car, you are able to help others and leave a lasting positive impression on your colleagues.

Choosing where you live.

Working in a major urban hub can restrict housing options for those who are dependent on public transportation. Not only is it challenging to find housing limited to one or just a few bus or train lines, but rent is much higher for apartments in major cities and close to public transportation. Furthermore, if you want to change jobs, you may be setting yourself up for a commuting nightmare; a job on the “wrong” train line can turn into a real journey, limiting your options when you’re ready to move on, or else you might have to consider a move, spending precious time and energy, and often costing more money than you were prepared to pay in order to move.

Owning a car is a no-brainer for the professional who wants to maintain their freedom to choose where they live and where they work. By living further out of the city, away from public transportation, or even in a neighboring suburb, you will open yourself up to many more affordable housing options, and give yourself the freedom to choose work and home locations that are convenient for you.

Arriving on time.

Anyone who has relied on public transportation to commute to work knows that they can’t always guarantee they will arrive on time. Sometimes trains go out of service, buses get stuck in traffic, and during rush hour a train or bus won’t even stop to pick you up if they are at capacity.

When you commute by car, you take control of your commute. Knowing that your car is in working order day after day means you know you can get to work on your time. Of course, you should always be prepared by knowing how the weather will be, checking for accidents or delays along the way, and using an app that tracks the traffic and can reroute you if needed.

benefits of owning a car 

Avoid the elements, and always be prepared.

City living and relying on public transportation, means dealing with weather extremes. If you don’t have a car and can’t walk to work, you could be standing outside at the train station or bus stop in the rain, shine, snow, or sleet. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but it also affects your appearance in the office. Snowy days can leave your pant legs and jacket salty; rain will leave you damp and usually do the worst to even the best hair day; and waiting in the heat of the summer will make you sweat—some trains and buses don’t even have air conditioning!

When you have a car, you have protection from whatever Mother Nature throws at you. You can travel in the safety and comfort of your own vehicle, in the conditions that you prefer. The bonus? You have room to keep spare necessities in your car that might otherwise be challenging to carry on a daily public transit commute. An extra pair of clothes, comfortable shoes, an umbrella just in case. Sensible in the trunk of a car, but less so in your arms as you balance on the subway.

Maintaining a professional appearance is important for success at work, and having a car is a convenient way to always look and feel your best! 

Eliminating the stress of public transit.

 We already mentioned that public transportation can be unreliable at times, and the reason is often that trains and buses are sometimes overcrowded. Taking public transportation during rush hour means that you are likely to be packed on the bus or train with your fellow commuters. With little room to hold a book or browse your phone, and too much noise to listen to your favorite podcast, public transit is not only stressful, but also inefficient for the multi-tasking professional.

reasons to own a car as an international

However, when you have a car you can get valuable work done on your commute. Have a business call to make? Make the most of your ride and dial in on your drive. Important conversations can’t take place on the subway, but your car is the perfect place to build connections while getting from one place to the next.

As you can see, there are many benefits for owning a car while living and working in the US. Not only will your commute to work improve, but you will also find other aspects of your life start to transform for the better; going to the grocery store will be much easier, a trip to visit a friend out of town takes less than half the time by car, you can run errands whenever you need to and you can build valuable relationships at work and beyond by offering to carpool.

If you’re ready to advance your career, don’t let train lines, a wet suit, or unreliable transportation hold you back; take control, and invest in your commute. You’ll thank yourself for the car later.


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