Cars Are One of The Worst Inventions of Humanity

But I bought one last week

Diana Bernardo
6 min readJul 25, 2022


Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

When I graduated, my parents wanted to give me a car. I said no.

White privilege aside, I was solid on my beliefs: I wanted to live in a place where cars were not needed.

Back then, I lived in a small town in the Portuguese countryside but a few months later, I moved to Paris. After that, London, and then Budapest. In the heart of these cities, it never even crossed my mind to have a car. I simply didn’t need it.

But this summer I moved back to my hometown in Portugal, and I faced a sad reality: you need a car to live here.

So I got one. But I still strongly believe cars are a side product of a sick society. Let me try to show you why.

Cars isolate us

Go to any major city during rush hour and the scenario is the same: people sitting alone in their capsules, one after the other.

If you put them all together in buses or trains, the whole thing would take much less space because there would not be a bubble around each person. They would all be sharing a common space, as the social animals we were meant to be.

Being crammed in the metro against strangers means you’re forced to smell their sweat after a working day. But it also provides an opportunity for social interaction.

Most people don’t strike up conversations with the strangers sitting next to them, but they could. Even without talking, riding in public transportation is a way to people-watch, and it makes us feel like we are part of something. We’re the Londoners, riding the Tube together. Or the Parisians, complaining about our métro.

We see new faces, we fancy the hot person next to us, we overhear strange conversations, and we laugh at an inappropriate comment some kid makes. We walk past the busker and throw a coin, saying “thank you” for the music and for bringing our communal spaces alive.

Cars might be more comfortable, but they also make us less human.

Cars make us lazy and sick

We drive to the gym to run on a treadmill when we could have run to the gym instead.