I have had my own automobile (or motorcycle) my entire adult life. I get claustrophobic when it's in the shop. I have never financed any of them; in my income bracket, your car is your life. If you live in the suburbs and lose your job, and then subsequently lose your car due to not being able to make payments, you are well and truly screwed. Conversely, as long as you have your own wheels, you can nearly always find some kind of work, even if it's as humble as using those wheels to deliver pizzas.
PDB takes this theme and waxes eloquent in his scathing condemnation of the "Cash For Clunkers" program:
To own a car is to reduce your personal limits and restrictions. You no longer are limited to the mere distance you can comfortably walk to seek a job or food or entertainment. A person with a car does not have to make do with what’s next door. A person with a car has hope, real hope, because as long as he has the keys and enough money in his pocket for a tank of gas, he can go anywhere else if it’s not working out here.
It is no coincidence that America is the country of the personal automobile and thus Leftists have always hated cars. They’re too wasteful, they permit too much consumption, cars allow people to escape the miserable inner-city hellholes leftists inadvertently create as they try to mold the new Soviet man.