More than four out of ten Dutch citizens think their country has to eliminate the idea that everyone has to own a car. Energy provider Zonneplan did a panel survey of 2002 Dutch inhabitants about their views on car possession.
The most popular argument against car possession is the high environmental impact of the car on society. Nevertheless, the respondents are also concerned about the availability and the cost of public transport, seen as one of the alternatives.
Youngsters in front
People in their twenties and thirties are most in favor of this point of view. Among the twenties surveyed, more than half (52,1%) are convinced that we should abandon car ownership, while only 29,4% still promote private ownership.
Things change when people turn forty: 43,1% want to keep their car, while only 35,2% agree that individual ownership should be abandoned.
Male and female respondents have no significant difference, except that a quarter of the women indicate a neutral view on the matter. At the same time, this is only 20% of the male population.
Respondents who disagreed with the statement indicate that it’s of utmost importance to have the liberty to choose if someone wants to own a car or not.
They point to problems for people who live in more remote places where public transport is not readily available. They think the independence to go where you want when one has a car is essential.
Some individual participants also point to the cost of public transport, while others doubt the longevity of shared cars. “Why shouldn’t we own a car? The thing is to use it sensibly, and people tend to look after things more carefully when it’s their own property.”
Among people who support the statement and prefer car sharing, biking, or public transport, the impact of cars on the environment is primordial. Reduced ownership will lead to fewer cars and less CO2 emissions. Some respondents asked themselves, “Why do the rich have to own up to five cars while others live in poverty?”
Many point to the pollution involved, the space they take in the public domain, and the fact that they aren’t used more than 95% of the time.