Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

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

Clark, Ben; Chatterjee, Kiron; Lyons, Glenn


Ben Clark
Associate Professor of Transport Planning and Engineering

Profile Image

Glenn Lyons
Professor of Future Mobility


Joachim Scheiner

Christian Holz-Rau


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.

Publication Date Apr 1, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 21, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 97-144
Series Title Studies on mobility and transport research
Book Title Mobility Biographies and Mobility Socialisation
ISBN 9783658075453
Keywords household car ownership, mobility biography, life events, longitudinal, panel data, methodology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Contract Date Jul 12, 2018