I am exceedingly grateful that we do not have a car in Berlin. There are many reasons we have one in the states (two, actually) and none in Berlin. Here we have: No commute. A walkable neighborhood. Grocery stores in every direction. Great subway system, and buses too, though we haven’t tried those yet. Friends with cars.
There are advantages to not having a car: The cost of buying/renting one. Insurance. Where to park it. Relearn manual driving. The cost of petrol. The need for an international driver’s license.
There are also disadvantages to not having a car: Going to Ikea on the subway, stocking up on housewares, then schlepping the heavy bags on a walk in the rain and two trains. (Note to self: Next time, ask a friend with a car). And having to walk the pitch-black, deserted streets from the rowing club up to the S-bahn station after an evening practice. (Sometimes I get a ride, but many of them bike to the lake).
But more than any of this, I realize that one of the reasons I am so slow in grasping the layout of the city is because I haven’t seen it by car.