- If you live in a small town, it is very probably that you do not have any supermarket close by (within 1-2 km /0.6-1.2 miles). The consequences can be the following:You can hurt your back while trying to bring all your purchases home at once, walking under the rain/hot sun/uphill etc.
You have to go to a supermarket more than once to get everything you need, especially if you have a big family and you prefer homemade meals. If you buy food products in advance, it is simply not possible to bring everything at the same time (For instance, at some supermarkets you cannot buy 2-3 onions or 10 potatoes only. Such an option does not exist. You have to get the whole package of 1 kg/2.2 pounds or more).
- You have to spend a LOT on train ticketsGermany is relatively small, nevertheless it is not that easy to travel across the country without a car. Train schedules can be random. Going some directions (350 km/217 miles or more) can cost you around EUR100 per person (economy class). Mind the fact, you have to change trains several times. haha
Looking for a Mitfahrgelegenheit is popular in Germany. There are many websites where you can get a ride to your destination. Once, my husband put an advertisement on one of the websites. People asked him to take them to places that were not on his route. Were those people so desperate?!
- You have to get up earlier than ever to catch an intercity bus
Buses are cheap trip option, but their schedule is not that great either. Depends on your destination, sometimes you have to catch a bus at 6 am in the morning. Once, I traveled by bus and saw a picture like this: We were leaving the station when a taxi came and blocked our way. A girl jumped from the taxi and ran towards the bus. She overslept and had to use an expensive taxi service in order to catch a cheap bus.
- You have to bring old glass to special glass containers to recycle it. On foot. Olive oil, soy sauce, and wine bottles ‘like’ to make funny jingling noise while you are walking.:) Recycling metal details is even harder in Germany, which means you are in troubles if you do not have a car. Some metal pieces you have to deliver to special recycling centers yourself (or to pay for it do be done by a company).
- Getting some jobs are harder without having a car
Imagine, you stay in a small town and there are more work opportunities in your neighboring city. If you have a car, you can save some time and money. Morning trains can be overcrowded and do not always come on time. Unlike in Japan, I have never heard of German employers covering public transport expenses for their employees.
- You still have to pay the monthly payment for a parking lot in your building, even though you do not have a car. Some people are lucky and they find someone to whom they sublease their parking lot. Others must pay for an empty space.Those are just my personal notes. Maybe, one day, when I have a car, I can write about why having a car is equally tough.:)