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Where do you need a car?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by doteachershavesuperpowers, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    Hi there,

    I don't have a driving licence, so I am wondering would that be a big disadvantage in some countries?
    I have read in ex-pat forums and advice sites that in some countries, you really need to be able to drive in order to get around because public transport isn't so good.

    From your own experiences:
    Which countries would you definitely need a car?
    And, which countries don't you need one at all?

  2. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    Might be easier to give us some of the countries you are interested in, otherwise it's a tough ask to name 100 + countries and if you need to drive.

    If with that a really difficult question as it would depend on which city in the country and where abouts the school/accomadtation is.
  3. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    Okay, well I was looking at the Middle East. Especially, Saudi, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Oman.
    Asia: China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand.
    Europe: Russia.
  4. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

    Middle East - you definitely need your own transport. Far East including China, Japan, Korea and possibly Thailand if in Bangkok you can manage fairly easily without your own transport. I also managed for over 1 year in Milan without a car.
  5. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your response. Would that include Dubai as well for the Middle East?
  6. karel

    karel Occasional commenter

    I lived in Malta, Jordan and Germany for a total of 14 years without a car. It was only when we had a child (in Germany) when we decided that having a car would be more convenient at times for us. So maybe in some places whether you are alone or with kids could play into the necessity to have or not to have a car.
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    "Need" isnt a word i would use for a lot of places. Most international schools are based in cities, and they come with varying levels of mass transportation. Or you could be housed close to school. Personally lived and worked in 4 countries over 3 continents and i only "wanted" my own transportation in one. That was in South East Asia and a friend of mine who didnt have a British drivers licence easily just bought his. No test, no proof needed of ability.
  8. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Middle East is doable without a car. I always prefer having one, but several friends never saw the need and have done (some are still doing) just fine. If you're already used to getting through life without, you probably have all the skills you need to do that just about anywhere.
    Though you may need to use taxis and uber more than busses and trains depending on where you end up.
  9. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I had a friend and his wife who lived/worked in Dubai without a car (no driving licence) for around 6 years. There are loads of taxis which are cheap, as well as the metro. You don't need a car in Dubai, it is just more convenient of you do.

    In Saudi, most compounds have bus services and also there are compound bus services to schools. I am currently in Saudi, I walk to work (the school is next to the compound) and catch the compound bus to do the shopping. There are also bookable taxis and also bookable bus services to some of the social events. I can book a car to drop off/pick up from the airport when I travel.

    For me, there is so little to do in Saudi, buying and paying for a car is a waste of money.
  10. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Ireland :eek:

    I'm told they do have decent public transport, they just keep it secret :confused:
  11. fsmc

    fsmc Occasional commenter

    Never needed nor wanted a car in Thailand.
  12. 03mkk

    03mkk New commenter

    I live in a very common area in Dubai for expats which is nowhere near the metro so that won't help unless you're going between malls. Taxis are everywhere and cheaper than the uk but expensive if you use them everyday. I was frustrated in the two months before my visa came back before I could rent a car!!
  13. kdec

    kdec New commenter

    Wherever you are in the world it will depend on how close you live to work and what you want to do in your free time. I lived for most of my life in the UK without a car and while having a car would have made things easier, having reasonably priced taxis, regular buses, trains and a bicycle made getting around perfectly doable. I lived in Sicily without a car (absolute nightmare), zone 3 of Paris (fine) but for zone 4 and 5 I would replace my car if it were to break down within a week. There are some places within zone 4 where you can live without a car but in most it's the only reliable way to get anywhere.
  14. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    It isn't necessary to have a car in Bangkok , but there are a fair few Thai schools in more rural settings, which almost make having a car compulsory. You can rent them locally from around 200 quid up though.
  15. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    China unnecessary too, cities all have excellent buses, taxis and metro systems, also driving can be very, very frustrating!!!
  16. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    PS: sorry forgot to mention excellent fast trains for long distances and air travel, although some people do not speak too highly about the service on the three main airlines
  17. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    Thanks for all your comments!
  18. redtoad

    redtoad New commenter

    From my experience and based on the countries/regions you expressed an interest in, Oman is the only country I've worked in where you 'need' a car because it's spread out and much of people's leisure time for expats and Omanis involves outdoors/off-road activities such as camping.
    If by Russia you mean Moscow or St Petersburg, these are major cities with excellent public transport. Despite the heavy traffic in these two cities, there are plenty of locals who do not possess a car and rely on the metro and the trams.

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