IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 9 – Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a car


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Some people claim that there are more disadvantages of the car than its advantages. Do you agree or disagree? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a car.

Give reasons for your answer.

You should write at least 250 words.

Model Answer 1:
In our lives, we travel from one place to another for a great variety of reasons and while travelling we greatly depend on cars, whether it is a private car or a public bus. The number of car owners is increasing every day because every person expects the freedom to travel and comfort while travelling. And that is why most of us want to own a car. However owning a car have many advantages and disadvantages as well.

The main advantage of owning a car is it gives the freedom to travel. If you have a car then you don’t need to be limited to fixed routes and timetables. Moreover, a car-owner can take is/her family members with him/her and other necessary goods whenever he/she wish which might have been impossible otherwise. In addition, personal cars give comfort while travelling on the contrary to the public buses which are so crowded and disgusting. You can read books, listen to music or even can play with kids while you are in your own car but those all seems to be impossible in a public transport. On the contrary, owning a car is very expensive. The price of the car, the cost of the tax, insurance cost, fuel cost, driver’s salary, car repairing etc. all must be considered before buying a car and that is why it is out of reach of the middle-class people.

Moreover, private cars can not carry many passengers at a time yet occupy spaces in the street. As the number of cars is increasing in the road so does the traffic jam. Perhaps the major disadvantage of cars, in general, is the huge damage they do to the human health and to the environment. More cars mean more pollution. The environment pollution is a serious issue today and at any cost, we must reduce the amount of pollution and if we consider it then owning a car is never a good idea.

To sum up, having a car gives someone freedom but if public transportation system is easily accessible, safe and efficient, then the idea of buying and owning a car should be abandoned.

(Approximately 354 words)

(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)

Idea Generation for this IELTS Essay:

Essay Type: Agree / Disagree as well as Advantages & Disadvantages.

Main question of this IELTS Essay:

A. Do you agree that there are more disadvantages of the car than its advantages?

B. Advantages of having a car.

C. Disadvantages of having a car.

Note: This essay topic is a bit tricky. It is a combination of both “Agree/ Disagree” and “Advantages & Disadvantages” type essay. First, you need to write whether you agree or disagree that cars have more disadvantages that the advantages they offer. Again you need to write down the advantages and disadvantages of owning a car.  In the introduction part of the essay you need to mention whether you agree or disagree. Then in the following paragraphs you can write the advantages and disadvantages of cars and at the end of the each paragraph you can summarise why having a car has more advantages than disadvantages and vice versa.

Disadvantages of having a car:

  • Owning a car is expensive and requires additional costs to maintain and repair it. Not all families can afford it.
  • Cars have increased the level of air and noise pollution in cities, causing more humans to suffer from respiratory, heart diseases, or cancers.
  • City travellers have to spend longer hours on traffic jams. Using more private car, the density of traffic has been increased phenomenally and citizens have had to stay longer time on traffic load.
  • As the number of private cars increased, more car passengers have been injured or died by severe accidents.
  • More pedestrians’ accidents have been reported annually. As the usage of private cars increases, it is more probable that people walking through the street die by them.
  • Private car is more expensive than the public transportation. Paying huge money for tax, renewing of licence, or air care, people have to pay more for using cars.
  • More fossil fuels are consumed as more cars are used by people, leading other generations to face a shortage of these fuels.
  • The governmental expense will be raised far dramatically. To build and maintenance of more highways for more cars, hire more police force, the local government have to consider a larger budget.
  • The use of cars to commute has decreased the average health of car users as they do not need to do any physical movement.
  • The consumption of fuels to run the car is contributing to the rise if global warming and affecting the ozone layer.
  • The car owners need to worry about the safety and parking places for cars wherever s/he travels.
  • It saves the time as the commuters can reach his destination quickly than it would be required in a public bus.

Agreement: Why cars have more disadvantages than advantages?
Considering all the disadvantages the cars have to the health, environment, government budget and the hassle and expenses the car owners have to bear, it is quite clear that having a car has more demerits and the advantages it offers.

Advantages of having a car:

  • The private car is a convenient mode of transportation. Having more comfortable seats, ventilation or other novel technologies help people to feel better than using other methods, like a bicycle or a public bus.
  • Users have a more secure privacy compared to using public transportation.
  • This will increase more job opportunities because more workers will be involved in working in car companies or as drivers, reducing the unemployment rate.
  • The local state will have more budgets, paid by car owners’ taxes, to renew the roads. Annually, car drivers have to pay hundreds of dollars for renewing their car insurance, licence, tickets, or air care.
  • Other industries have been developed as car industries developed. The more humans use more private cars, the more car companies have to raise their technology, leading other mother industries to be developed too.
  • People can have absolute freedom on deciding the schedule and roads to reach their destination.
  • A private car owner can utilise his time but it is very tough to do so on a public bus.
  • In a car, a person does not have to worry about the dust, noise and fumes present in the road while in public transportation it is not always possible to avoid those.

Disagreement: Why cars have more advantages that disadvantages?

Considering the advantages the car ownership offers, I would say that it is more beneficial to own a car than using public transportation. Many people might argue against owning a car but I think most of them would buy a car if their financial condition allows them to do so.

[These ideas should be helpful for you to generate your own ideas and writing an excellent essay on the given IELTS Essay topic should be easier for you. If you have new ideas that we might have missed, add them in the comment section and we will publish it.]

Alternative Answer 2:
Owning a car is a birth-right for some people while other people try their life-long to purchase one. Apart from these two groups, there are certain people who do not dare to even think about purchasing a car because of their miserable economic conditions. However, for all those people the four wheel car is a fancy machine with advantages and utility. Owning a car can also bring some drawbacks.

Among the advantages of owning a car, in my opinion, freedom of travelling is the most important one. Someone who owns a car can plan his route, timing and destination. He won’t have to wait for the schedule of a public bus, stand in a long queue, wait for hours for the bus to arrive, and sit in the public bus uncomfortably. A person car gives the freedom, saves time and the owner can utilise the time while he travels. Apart from that, he can carry the grocery, goods and other valuables in the car at his discretion. Owning a car also offers the flexibility of visiting relatives and friends who stay far away without much hassle of a public bus. Taking a child or an old person in a public bus is quite impossible and owning a car would facilitate someone to take his kid, old relatives with him if needed. The comfort and safety of a private car can’t be achieved in a public car. In terms of expense, sometimes personal car saves monthly expenses that would otherwise be required for a person if he travels frequently.

On the other hand owning a car has some disadvantages as well. First of all, private cars require the garage place and parking hassle. Sometimes the expenses on hiring a driver and purchasing fuel might exceed the budget for the people who could have easily availed public transportations for infrequent journeys. The traffic issue, paper renewal issue, tax, police cases are sometimes too much to handle for the personal car owners. For example, if a public bus gets busted in the middle of a road, the passenger can easily leave it a look for another one. But in this same situation, a private car owner who was riding in his car would have to take the burden of taking care of the busted car and reach to the automobile repairing centres.

In summary, though owning a car has some disadvantages, it offers many advantages as well.

(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)

Model Answer 3:
People need different modes of transportation to move from one place to another. In the ancient time, they used horses and donkeys for this purpose and to carry their loads. With  the development of technology, people invented novel things such as cars, trains, aeroplanes, ships and this development has further enhanced the flexibility and convenience of transportation. Out of these vehicles, the private car is one of the best and most preferred vehicles for people to commute from one place to another but not without consequences.

Private cars have many advantages. Due to this, people who can afford a private car, want to own it. People with low-income class also dream to own a car one day. This simple phenomenon shows how advantageous of owning a private car can be. With a private car, people can plan their own journey, go somewhere whenever they want, take diversions to avoid bad traffic, avoid long queue for ticketing and enjoy the utmost flexibility and privacy of a soothing journey. This is a very handy thing in the emergency cases. For example, when someone gets sick, his family members can easily take him to a hospital regardless of the time. Finally, owning a private car offers someone the freedom to enjoy his time during the journey while it is quite impossible on a public bus.

On the contrary, private car ownership has many demerits as well. It is far more expensive than public transportation. The cost of  fuel, driver, licence, insurance, maintenance, repairing etc. will often increase the monthly expense for a family. Furthermore, those cars produce toxic gas such as greenhouse gases, CO2 and CO that are harmful to the human health and the environment. Private cars are the main reason for congestion on the roads and the increasing environmental pollution.

To some up, I think the private car is a very useful vehicle that offers more advantages than demerits to its owner. However, the environmental issues due to excessive use of cars should not be ignored and we should use private cars absolutely when it is necessary and at other times, we should use public transportations.

[Written by Nima]