When we lived in San Francisco we first had one car each, then later sold off one and just had our little wagon. Even that was a hassle, with no off-street parking. We got occasional tickets for parking during street cleaning times. But it was actually more car than we needed.
Luiz and I are city folk. We walk. We take the bus. We ask our friends for a lift. We occasionally take a taxi. We do not envy car owners.
When we travel we take busses or planes. No problem. Busses in Brazil are NOTHING like Greyhound in the US. Nothing. Very comfortable and safe.
Our apartment location is PERFECT for all our daily needs - AND we have about 15 bus lines that pass within three blocks that can take us to either our nearby friends´ or to numerous spots in Rio, or elsewhere.
Even better [sic] is Luiz´s free bus pass for him and a companion (that would be me) because of his chronic health situation. So we pay nothing to use the bus.
Buying a car in Brazil is not only fraught with peril - it is rediculously expensive (not to mention the price of parking, taxes, insurance -- and gas!) We prefer to put the $$ in our travel pig and make an adventure.
More details about the perils of buying a car in Brazil here.