A car often symbolizes freedom. Think of the high schooler who longs for the independence of driving themselves around. Or the romantic story that ends with a couple driving off into the sunset. Or even the image of a person getting in their car after a long day and finally breathing a sigh of relief. Your vehicle can feel like a safe place. And even though they can be expensive, it still can be nice to have a car to call your own.

However, some areas of the world make owning a car a bit less practical than others. Big cities that come with many methods of public transportation make owning a car superfluous. At the end of the day, it’s completely up to you if you want to own a vehicle in the big city. But before you make that big financial decision, here are a few things you should know about what it’s like to own a car in the city.

How does it affect your insurance?

Driving in constant bumper-to-bumper traffic and constantly being around accidents, dirt, and grime in the city may mean an up-charge for your car insurance. You face different challenges for your car than someone in the country might. This topic requires research because every city and country will have different requirements. For example, car insurance NSW in Australia will require different coverage than a car in NYC. Go online to compare prices and be sure you’re finding the best auto insurance rate for you and your lifestyle in the city.

You’ll have extra maintenance needs.

Due to the nature of city driving, you need to stay vigilant with your car maintenance. Urban areas can cause more damage to your tires, brakes, and engine not to mention the dents and scrapes on your doors, fenders, and exterior. This may be a reason to visit someone with an AOS degree that can help repair your engine, brakes, undercarriage, and other technical issues. A graduate of one of these certificate programs can help you maintain your vehicle even when the city tries to tear it up.

Cars can be your escape.

On a positive note, your car can be your ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. When you want to get away from the city lights and out into the country, you can hop in your car and drive away. No need to wait for the train schedule or pay to take a bus, you have the freedom to leave whenever.

Parking will cost you.

Suburban life comes with garages and driveways that are not available in the city. If you own a vehicle that you plan on parking near your apartment, you’ll have to pay for it. Keep in mind that cheap parking may be miles away from where you’re house or apartment is located.

Gas up outside the city.

Another up-charge in the city is gas prices. If you need to fill your tank, consider driving outside city limits to do so. It will be easier to find a pump in the suburbs rather than searching for one in a busy city. While this may seem like a hassle, it will save you money and a headache.

It helps when you’re shopping.

Living in the city means you have to get used to carrying everything with you, including when you’re shopping. This can be such a hassle unless you have a car to help transport them. Having a vehicle allows you to shop and transport larger amounts of products than a trip on the subway ever could.

You have an extra safe haven.

In a cramped, bustling city, it’s hard to find a moment of peace to be alone. A car can offer you that. It can be a second space beyond your apartment that you can unwind and find a sense of relaxation. If you need to center yourself amongst the chaos, a car may help with that.