There are a few advantages to owning a car and not having to rely on public transport all the time. You can go wherever you want to, whenever you want to, you don’t have to sit next to weird people, and you’re welcome to eat as many snacks as you want to.
But in Finland, it’s less common than in other countries to have people driving, because cars are so damn expensive.
Higher Road Tax
Countries like ours (along with Denmark and Sweden) are known for having higher taxes than in places like America.
We would rather have a bit more of our paycheck taken away if it means that everyone gets to live a safe and comfortable life.
And one area where taxes tend to be much higher than in other places in the world is the road tax. These are the taxes you pay on your car and they tend to go to the funding of the roads, as well as healthcare for people involved in road traffic accidents.
Second-hand cars are taxed more
Interestingly, the amount of tax you pay on your car is not directly related to the cost of the car, but more to do with the efficiency of it.
When the government created this law, the aim was to discourage people from driving cars that let out a load of carbon dioxide and encourage them to drive more fuel-efficient cars.
But as we all know, the fuel-efficient cars tend to be the newer ones.
Because of this, something very strange has happened. In Finland, it’s often cheaper to buy a new car than it is to buy a second hand one.
High minimum wage
Another reason why cars are so expensive is that the wages over here are higher. As mentioned at the start of this article, part of Finnish culture is looking out for others, and making sure that everyone is living a comfortable life.
And part of this is having a high minimum wage. People should be earning enough money to keep a roof over their heads and to be able to feed themselves.
But, a result of having a higher minimum wage is that more things tend to be more expensive. And cars fall into this category.
If you need a car for a certain purpose, but don’t need to buy one, then an effective way of getting around this is simply to hiring one. By hiring a car, you can use it for the purpose it was intended to be used for, and then return it.
This way, you just pay for what you need, and then can go back to public transport when it’s purpose has been served.