Social Question

jordym84's avatar

Would you consider dating someone who doesn't have a car?

Asked by jordym84 (4742points) August 6th, 2013

I’m 25 and I’ve never owned a car. It’s never been an issue in the past because I’ve always lived in places with wonderful public transportation, places where it’s kind of moronic to own a car due to the associated high costs.

Now that I live in Orlando, FL, it’s a whole new story. I don’t really need a car because I live close enough to my work that I can just walk to the nearest work shuttle (the closest stop is about a 20-minute walk from my apartment), which will then take me to my exact stop. Granted, there are times when I could really use a car, but right now I don’t need the added expenses that come with owning one. Additionally, I may be moving again soon for a new job that will require lots of travel, and I don’t know what I would do with a car during all those times when I’m not in town (which will be more often than otherwise).

I don’t know if this is just a product of my own imagination, but I’m starting to think that not having a car is a huge hindrance when it comes to dating and relationships. For starters, I don’t believe the guy should have to do all the work, and so I’d hate to have him pick me up every time we want to go on a date. Secondly, I’ve heard people say that they would never date someone who doesn’t have a car to the point of it being on their list of turnoffs, but I don’t recall their reasoning for this.

What is your take on this? Have you dated/considered dating someone who doesn’t have a car? How did it work out? Did you mind doing all the driving?

Thank you!! :)

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58 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I think it’s kind of cool.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I wouldn’t make this a deal breaker. I’ve dated people with and without cars, but I’ve owned one since I was 17. I live in a rural area of Upstate NY, so at least one of us needs a car, or the dates would be pretty lame. I think if you can get by without one it would be more environmentally friendly. Depends on where you live I guess.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Not having a driver’s license would be more of a concern to me.
With no other data about you, e.g. education, job, alcohol habits, etc. I would wonder about you.

Mp123's avatar

The reason why people think it’s a ’’ turn off ’’ is because in the time that we live nobody wants to have something or somebody slowing them down. It’s good to have balance so if both of you owned a car it would not only be one person always picking the other one up etc. Also at this age people could wonder why doesn’t he have a car already, is he stable ? ..Do you have your license ? Because that could be another thing you know as the year pass, there’s more and more rules in order to get your license and the wait is long so people could see it as a slow down.

But not everyone is like that you just have to find someone who sees pas the material and all that also, for you not to feel bad or anything maybe put in gaz with the person that youre seeing so that she sees your concern because owning and driving a car is expensive!

jordym84's avatar

Thanks for the input, guys!

@LuckyGuy I don’t have a license because, like I said, I’ve never needed one. However, now that I do want to get one, I don’t know anyone who can give me practical lessons.

@Mp123 I’m a “she.” I’m not seeing anyone at the moment, this was just a general question. :)

It’s kind of disconcerting that people would think there’s something wrong with someone who doesn’t have a car/license. I’m a highly educated, independent and hard-working individual with a lot to offer, so it’s kind of saddening to think that my not having a car/license would make people “wonder about me.”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Mp123 Cars aren’t just fiscally expensive, they’re very environmentally expensive. From the energy to make the steel, etc in the car to the cost of shipping and refining the oil to fuel them. Hey green is sexy.

ucme's avatar

In my single days yeah, for sure, I do insist they have a nose though.

Mp123's avatar

@jordym84 sorry I noticed but when I was writing the answer I still went with he I don’t know why :/ .

But I totally understand how you feel because my sister is like you she highly educated,responsible, stable, etc. But she’s not interested in owning a car. Like I said it’s not everyone who thinks that way so if they don’t see past that, their lost! You and your character is far more important than a car!

jordym84's avatar

@Mp123 No worries! :) Although I do recognize the importance of having a license, I don’t find it absolutely necessary to own a car, especially if one can get by without one.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jordym84 Notice I said “with no other data about you”.
Being able to drive is a filter. Granted it is a very low bar (heck look at the all the drivers in the WalMart parking lot. ) but it is a filter nonetheless. It shows you can read and write, you have reasonable hand-eye coordination, you do not have mental problems (that they know about), you do not have outstanding child support payments, you have photo id that can be used for obtaining plane tickets, and opening a bank account. All that is just from owning the license.
Owning a car adds more information. It means you know a little about insurance, the rules of the road, distances, directions, and appreciate the true expenses incurred by others when they pick you up and drive you around.
If you live in a city with fantastic mass transit you have an excuse . but in more open, rural areas with no public transport it is a necessity.
In this area the only people without drivers license are kids under 17, 3 time DUI offenders, illegal aliens, and baby-daddies more than 6 months behind in child support.

Think of the car an license like a Zahavi Handicap. It shows your mating potential by proving that you have the finances, skills, and metal ability to do it.

Of course all those characteristics would be instantly proved (or overlooked) if you pulled down a 6 figure salary and lived inside the Beltway. (DC)

tom_g's avatar

Did you grow up in the United States? What were your teenage years like? Granted, I grew up in suburbia, but everyone had a strong desire to get their license as soon as possible (16.5 years). It was an independence thing.

That said, I think it would be a novelty, and your story might be unique enough for it to make sense. And of course, there is the environmental angle. But to be honest, it would be a huge red flag – even at 18 years old, never mind 25. Again, I don’t know your story, but it might raise some co-dependency red flags – even if they were unjustified.

I am curious though. How is this possible?

answerjill's avatar

Lots of the people in my social circle do not have cars (including me). People seem to date, anyway. Granted, I live in a city and being car-free isn’t considered a problem. We also have lots of public transportation and much of the area is walkable.

Seek's avatar

I’m just on the other end of I-4.

This area sucks for people who don’t drive. No mass transit to speak of. The bus system has weird hours, useless routes, and for the time it takes you to get anywhere is ridiculously expensive.

So most people who don’t have cars rely on other people to schlep them around. This, from the schlepper’s side, is annoying as fuck.

I drove the hubs around for a year after his DUI. It was irksome enough that I’ve sworn to divorce him if it ever happens again. (The first one was BS and not his fault, or that would have been it)

So, no. At least not in this state.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Thank you for proving my point.
Nothing is walkable in this area. The closest stoplight is 6 miles away in the center of town. I live on a dead end road that is awful in the winter. I could not imagine making others haul me around because I felt I did not need a car.

Without the car you are at a handicap that must be overcome in other ways.

~In my state, I could overlook the no drivers license if you had a concealed carry permit for a handgun. That would be proof of all the above characteristics – with the additional benefit of proving you have no criminal record. (I am only half joking.)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jordym84 How do you do your grocery shopping?

jordym84's avatar

@LuckyGuy I see what you’re saying, but I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around your reasonings. I don’t see things quite as being black and white, there’s a whole gray are in between, and I would never judge someone based on whether they have a license and/or a car. I can read/write (in 5 different languages, for that matter) because I went to school and graduated from college with honors, I have good coordination (although I don’t see how that would be relevant to a relationship), I don’t have any mental problems (although, again, I don’t see why having a mental problem should prevent someone from dating), I don’t have any children and, therefore, no child support that I need to pay, I have 3 forms of photo ID (a state ID and passports from two different countries), and a bank account. Also, I pay insurance on my apartment, I know the rules of the road and have a good grasp on directions/distances. And believe me, I understand the expenses of owning a car, hence my not having one. I’m not saying any of this with the intention of starting an argument, I’m just hoping to show you that not having a driver’s license is not a prerequisite for any of the above.

@tom_g I didn’t grow up in the US, I moved here when I was 15 and getting a license was never a big deal growing up. Not only does one have to be 18 to get a license where I’m from, but it’s a such a small place that everything is within walking distance (I grew up in an island).

@Seek_Kolinahr The thing is, I never ask anyone for rides, ever. I hate making others feel obligated to do anything for me and so I find my own ways to get around. I’d much rather take a cab than ask people for rides, which I do whenever I have errands to run, to the point that my friends get annoyed with me for not asking them for rides! I guess it’s an individual thing but, again, it’s saddening that people would make these prejudgments about us carless folks.

@Adirondackwannabe My flatmate and I go grocery shopping every other week (she has a car). Otherwise, I take a cab to the store, which is really close to where we live.

tom_g's avatar

@jordym84: ”@tom_g I didn’t grow up in the US”

This makes sense now. Co-dependency and/or substance abuse concerns are gone. I would assume it was a cultural thing, and everything would be cool – unless you were still not working on getting your license.

janbb's avatar

I can’t imagine judging anyone based on that.

jordym84's avatar

@tom_g I’m working on it, I’ve read the driver’s manual multiple times and am familiar with the rules of the road. I just don’t have anyone to teach me the practical aspect of it because I can’t bring myself to ask any of my friends for a favor, even though I would gladly compensate them for it! I’ll wait until I go visit my family up north to have my dad teach me (much to his happiness because he’s always on my case about not having a license lol).

Seek's avatar

For what it’s worth, I also don’t want to date someone with mental problems significant enough to prevent then from driving.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jordym84 5 languages! I’m in love! But, you see, you had to tell me all that – and I have no proof since you did not show me anything nor did we converse in any language other than English. You do not need a license to do all those things i mentioned above. It is merely proof that you can and did.
Meeting me half way or picking me up in your car no matter how much of a wreck it is, proves the items I mentioned. It is a very low hurdle but a real one.
I would not date you if you smoked either.

Can I fix you up with my son? He has a pilot’s license.
Think about this for a moment Imagine you live in my area. All other things being equal would you date the guy who drives or the one who doesn’t? (You don’t have to answer.)

Here’s a thought. You could spend $240 and sign up at the local driving school. That would be much less stress and you will meet others in your shoes. My son did it and loved the experience.

@janbb Remember I said “with no other available data”. That would only be a small part of the equation but it would be in the variable mix. I would gladly drive to Adriana Lima’s house to pick her up. Her 7 figure salary tells me all I need to know. :-P .

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Referring back to the days I worked in the nail salon, my experience was that not having a car worked more against the man than the woman. There was more talk among my customers and other women in there about guys who didn’t drive or guys who did not have a car, in an unsaid but agreed upon believe they were losers and stay away from them. However, with the fellows I have known and had chats with, if she (who they were dating or wanted to date) did not have a car, most of the men did not care; they preferred to pick her up anyhow. The men who seem to get a pass on not owning a car were the douche bag, bad boys who you did not expect to have a car anyhow; much less a job. How it is where you live, I don’t know. I would bet it would not be that big of a hindrance.

ragingloli's avatar

In Germany, getting a drivers licence costs about 2000€, so it is also a question of being able to afford it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ragingloli What the?!?! For that price you can get an instrument rated pilot’s license!

ragingloli's avatar
here is a calculation of costs.
the bulk of the money is consumed by the training itself, in this calculation it is 23 45-minute units at 30€ per unit, plus 12 special units (driving on the highway and at night) for 40€ each

jordym84's avatar

@LuckyGuy You’ll just have to take my word for it, I guess. haha I don’t smoke, but I also don’t judge people who do. I don’t know if I’d date a smoker because I’ve never had to make that decision, but I’m sure that if he was a good person, had a good head on his shoulders, and treated others with respect, the smoking would be just a minor defect that I’d be willing to overlook. I’m an easy-going person and someone has to be a truly awful person for me to dislike them (whether it’s someone for whom I have a romantic interest or just a friend or acquaintance). I’ll have to look into the driving school, it sounds like a good plan. I doubt you’d let your son date someone without a license!~ (I kid, I kid). All things equal, I would date the one with whom I had the most chemistry, regardless of whether he could drive (I promise, I’m not just saying this with the intent of proving you wrong).

tom_g's avatar

@ragingloli – Wow. It costs $30 USD here in Massachusetts.

jordym84's avatar

@ragingloli That’s insane! Suddenly, I feel lucky to live in a place where it probably only costs less than $100 to get a license!

Headhurts's avatar

I don’t have a car. I don’t even have a licence. I don’t think it has done me any harm. I have never expected anyone to take me anywhere. If I wanted to go somewhere, them I’m sure I would have learnt to drive.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Of course! And depending on their reason, it might even be a plus!

jca's avatar

I have someone in my family who does not have a license, but she lives in NYC and states she does not feel a need for one. However, she has a college degree, and owns, with her husband, multiple homes here and in England. If they need to come to visit us, they hire a car service, so money is not an object to her not owning a car.

She is the exception to what, to me, is a necessity of life in my neck of the woods (about an hour away from NYC in rural NY).

Where I live, you need a license and you need a car. There are no buses. One would be greatly inconvenienced without a car. The train is 4 miles on a narrow country road, so even to get to the train would be a troublesome hike.

I feel it’s always beneficial to have a license and be able to drive. What if you are ever in an emergency situation where you are alone and need to drive someone else’s car to get to safety? Wouldn’t it be helpful to know how? I also feel that’s why it’s beneficial to know how to drive a stick shift. Then you are pretty much covered.

To answer the question, would I date someone who did not have a car? Unless they lived in NYC, where a car may be more trouble than it’s worth, probably not. I would be a little leery, like @LuckyGuy said, of why the person endured the inconvenience of not having a car at their disposal.

flutherother's avatar

I’m looking for someone with two nice legs not four wheels.

Paradox25's avatar

I have to agree with hypocrisy above, the doublestandards for men and women are ridiculous, and his experience mirrors mine concerning stereotyping guys who don’t drive or have licences vs stereotyping women in the same situations. I didn’t get my licence myself until my early twenties because I usually had a way to work, and stores were within a reasonable walking distance, though the walk was a little long. For me being a guy I’d say it depends on the women’s ambition in life, and the type of person they are.Some people just don’t like driving. Period. I know quite a few guys and girls who don’t drive and they’re normal decent people.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My area is not condusive to not having a vehicle. That being said, having a car was always a requirement for me to date them, sorry.

glacial's avatar

What an odd question. I’ve never owned a car in my life, and plenty of people have dated me.

jordym84's avatar

@glacial What makes it an odd question?

It’s been interesting to read everyone’s takes on this. However, I’m still baffled by the fact that so many on here would be wary of people who don’t have a license/car. I simply don’t get it. I think there are much more important things to consider when dating, and being able to drive simply does not make one a better person. But I’m also glad to see that there’s a good number of people here who don’t think it’s a big deal.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jordym84 For me, it has been noticed that the inviduals without cars lack responsiblity in finances and other areas of their lives. If I lived in an area like yours, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m not carting a boyfriend around to and fro all the time…lol

Paradox25's avatar

@jordym84 It’s not an odd question to me. I do feel that more men are willing to date women who don’t drive rather than vice versa. I havn’t seen too many women on this admit that they would be willing to date a guy who doesn’t drive.

jordym84's avatar

@Paradox25 Unfortunately, I agree that there are double standards for men and women as it relates to this topic. Personally, I would never judge someone (regardless of gender or my interest in them) based on that alone.

rojo's avatar

It would depend on where I lived at the time. If in a city with good public transport where a car is somewhat of a liability, sure. If out in Terlingua, maybe. In a city like Austin, all spread out and sprawling, no.

mrentropy's avatar

I’m sure it depends on the type of area you’re living in.

As a guy who has dated women who didn’t drive and didn’t have cars, I can say that it usually starts off as not being a big deal but eventually starts to become a hassle. Again, it depends on the situation and the area.

Currently, I’m seeing someone who lives twenty miles away. It’s usually not a big deal to drive up there, but when I have to go up there and then back in the other direction, and then back up and whatever it ends up being quite tiring. If she had a car she could come to my place once in a while and stuff ends up being a little more fair. As it is, if I don’t feel like driving up there then it equates to me not being interested enough to drive up. And I find that annoying.

On the flip side, if a guy doesn’t have a car then it’s usually taken as a sign of immaturity and not being fiscally sound.

janbb's avatar

@mrentropy Glad to read that you’re seeing someone.

answerjill's avatar

I will add that I would be happy to date a guy who didn’t drive. In fact, I am so used to knowing people who do not have cars, that I am actually a bit nervous about getting in a car with a guy, unless I know him and know that he is safe. For a first date, I would be more comfortable to meet him wherever we are going and find my own way there and back.

filmfann's avatar

I dated women who didn’t have a car. I don’t remember thinking twice about it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Exactly what I am talking about.

LornaLove's avatar

I would yes, as I feel that it is my responsibility to get around not someone elses.

mrentropy's avatar

So, I didn’t answer the question which would be, yes, I would consider dating someone who doesn’t have a car.

thank you @janbb . I don’t know it’ll last much longer but it’s nice while it’s there

LuckyGuy's avatar

@mrentropy Congrats.;-) Do you think it will last longer if she drove?

glacial's avatar

@jordym84 Maybe the question would sound less odd if you limited it to regions where a car is a necessity for any kind of travel. I have never lived in such a place.

I live in a large city, where owning a car is a hindrance, kind of the way @jca described New York City above. This city is full of amenities and entertainments, all in walking or biking distance; travel by car is comparatively slower – and good luck finding anywhere to park. Added to this, there are creative options for people who need a car on occasions. There are taxis, car rentals, a widely popular communal car-sharing service and individual ride shares. Owning a car here is not proof of character or financial stability – in fact it can be proof that a person is impractical or prone to excess.

mrentropy's avatar

@LuckyGuy No, she’s leaving the country for several months. And there are other issues.

cazzie's avatar

I live in a country suburb of a large-ish European city. Taking a car into the city is a pain and parking is expensive. I lived in the city and never needed to drive. Now that I live out near the villages, having a car would be handy, but the bus service does me just fine and it is cheap by comparison. I buy a weekly pass for 175NOK. (about 30USD) and petrol would cost me much more than that a week if I ran a car. That doesn’t include, registration, yearly EU checks, maintenance, tires etc…. I had a drivers license in the US and New Zealand, but they don’t automatically give you a Norwegian one simply because he had one from a different country. It seems to be very arbitrary who they decide can have a license automatically and who they decide must take new classes (which are HORRENDOUSLY expensive)... so it isn’t something I have chased up. I know that the costs will be out of my reach.
As far as dating goes, I’m too old for that crap so I don’t really give a shit.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@cazzie It seems to be very arbitrary who they decide can have a license automatically and who they decide must take new classes (which are HORRENDOUSLY expensive)... so it isn’t something I have chased up.
Is that the main reason Europeans are quicker to ingratiate themselves with using bikes as transportation than their US counterparts or something else?

mrentropy's avatar

Come to Austin. Evidently you can be mentally incapacitated and they’ll just give you a license.

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