A summer in Valencia

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I had always thought that having your own car was a necessity. It was something indisputable, something about which there was no debate: everyone needs to have a car. Later, as time went by, I realized that this reality was partly true only in the place where I lived at that time. In my province of residence the scarce existing public transportation was expensive and of poor quality, with crazy schedules and was also unreliable. If you had to rely on public transport to get to work, you could be fired in less than a week, that was for sure. Moreover, if you had to go to a doctor's appointment, to do the shopping or any errand that required a major trip, it was impossible. So, naturally, what I had experienced and what was normal and natural for me was that each person had their own car and was thus autonomous to move around where they needed to.

I remember how much it impacted me to meet a person who, at twenty-one years old, still did not have a driving license, and of course, no car either. It seemed to me that I was dealing with an alien, since all the people around me had gotten their license as soon as they reached the legal driving age, which in Spain is eighteen. That person invited me to spend a vacation with some friends in Cullera, where his family had an apartment. That summer I was able to see the reality of what it is like to live without being a slave to a car, and I rethought many 'truths' that I had never questioned. In addition, an accumulation of personal circumstances and mechanical problems, have made during these days remember even more intensely that summer, the summer in which I discovered that resorting to renting a car Valencia (in spanish: alquiler de coches Valencia) can be a much more comfortable and economical option than having to carry a car of your own.

My friend and two other friends of his came to pick me up at Valencia airport on a Saturday morning. They did it in a rented car. Although the other two did have a driver's license, neither of them had a car. Apparently public transport in Valencia is efficient and for some university students like them it was not necessary to have a car, so they only rented one when they decided to make a trip. That means a significant saving in maintenance taxes and less headache thinking about where to park the car, unless you are one of those lucky enough to have a private garage. In fact, renting a garage in which to leave your new car becomes just another regular expense, and if you hold it in some esteem, it adds insurance to all risks... That's what I was thinking about while feeling deeply cheated by the fact of living in a community with an infamous public transportation system.

You have to think about the environment,' my friend said as we neared the apartment. It seemed that he had been reading my mind about the many advantages of renting a car in Valencia, and had decided to add some more, one that wasn't so 'selfish'. Of course, reducing the number of vehicles is always good news for the environment, although he didn't know that his innocent phrase would lead to an argument about the shamelessness of politicians who haven't invested enough in public transport for decades, and that it would last until dinner. The exchange of experiences on how to move around depending on where one was born has never been so good, the truth is that what they say about traveling opens your eyes to new realities, as long as you live with those realities, and don't lock yourself up in a resort in an autistic way.

The vacation was being spectacular, and I was really enjoying it. Besides, we met some girls at the beach and it got even more interesting. We proposed a two-day excursion with camping on a beach they knew, but they didn't have a car. So again I could see another new advantage of not having to depend on a car of my own. The solution to that little inconvenience of the sudden increase of population to move was to resort to renting vans Valencia (in spanish, alquiler de furgonetas Valencia), a whole range of amenities within our reach and two fantastic days of beach that will remain in my memory as one of the best summers of my life.

During these days I have thought a lot about that summer again because my car has been in the workshop for more than six months. In total I have invested in it more than 990 euros, and so far things are not improving. In this time without a car I could see that since that summer on the beach, in my community everything remains the same in terms of public transport, so I have been in the continuous need to ask for favors to go and come from the sites. At the same time, I read in the news how the roads are permanently saturated, and the air pollution only had a respite during those months of confinement because of the coronavirus. 

All this makes me wonder about many things. Having or not having a car should always be something optional, not mandatory. And although they say it's optional, in fact, in many places, it's not. On the other hand, the cost of having your own car is no longer measured only in what it costs to buy it, maintain it, the insurance you have to pay for, the garage... it must also be measured in global and environmental terms, and in this it is politicians who are responsible for not providing the necessary public transport so that we don't need our own car. 

Of course, it is very clear to me that if I lived in a place where public transport was an efficient reality, that would always be my option. And punctually, when I needed it for a trip or excursion, I would bet on renting, like that summer in Valencia when renting a car and renting a van in Valencia made me spend one of the most memorable summers of my life.





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