Towards a theory of the dynamics of household car ownership: insights from a mobility biographies approach

Publication type

Book Chapter


Ben Clark, Kiron Chatterjee and Glenn Lyons

Publication date


Household car ownership has
arguably been one of the most widely studied areas within the field of
transport research. Recently, studies in this area have moved to a focus
on understanding the dynamic (time varying) nature of household car
ownership. The chapter advances the contention that there is often a
missing link between the reporting of empirical findings relating to the
dynamics of household car ownership, and a critical articulation of
theory that both underpins and is developed through the empirical
research. The chapter explores how the ‘Mobility Biographies’ approach
offers a new opportunity to revisit the relationship between theory and
empirical approaches to examining household car ownership and how it
changes over the life course. It presents a dynamic conceptual framework
that was generated from qualitative accounts of car ownership histories
and empirical results from a large-scale panel data set that confirm
the strong association between life events and car ownership changes. It
concludes with an assessment of the differing longitudinal analytical
approaches (both qualitative and quantitative) that may be effectively
combined in furthering understanding and developing theory.



Households, Life Course Analysis and Transport



Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only