‘Not having a car gives you a different type of independence’

Student Vito Moloney Burke from Kildare on why driving is a ‘waste of time’

“I know they say having a car gives you independence but I think not having a car gives you a different type of independence.” Photograph: Vito Moloney Burke

“I know they say having a car gives you independence but I think not having a car gives you a different type of independence.” Photograph: Vito Moloney Burke

 

Vito Moloney Burke has no interest in learning how to drive, describing it as “a waste of time”. When he was a teenager he lived down the road from school and now he lives on campus at Dublin City University. The 20-year-old business student plans to live abroad and travel when he graduates and does not want the financial constraint of a vehicle tying him down to one place.

“I know they say having a car gives you independence but I think not having a car gives you a different type of independence. It means I’m not tied down to a car and don’t have to pay for petrol.”

Burke says very few of his friends at DCU drive and that most rely on public transport when they go home at the weekends. “When I’ve needed a lift during bus strikes no one drives. These people are from all over the country – Donegal, Cork, Kildare. I can count the number of my friends who drive on one hand. The Donegal bus is infamous because everyone takes it together to go home.”

‘Spending it short-term’

Burke’s social circle is more interested in spending money on travel, holidays and nights out rather than saving for tax and insurance. “Most of the time as soon as we get money in our back pocket we’re spending it short term on a holiday after exams or a night out or something to wear at a ball. Everyone goes away and travels during college.”

Asked if he’s more interested in spending money on tech gadgets like iPhones and tablets, Burke admits a lot of his money goes straight into buying drink for a night out. “I don’t think people are choosing between tech and cars – they’re choosing more frequent nights out.”

Burke looks forward to packing his bags and experiencing new places abroad once he graduates. “Driving ties you down if you want to be off travelling and living in different cities. I don’t want to be tied down anywhere and I’d rather not waste my money on learning to drive.”