Since I moved out of my home town and became a member of the Metropolitan Elite I haven't had a car, I have either walked, ridden my bike, or gotten the train. This has been a huge pain in the arse in comparison, here's why:
If it is too rainy I simply do not go wherever I wanted to go, this happens probably 10% of the time, a further 40% of the time I just get a bit wet. In addition, if one has to cycle for more than 10 minutes one gets sweaty. Put together this means that I only achieve the twin goals of a) showing up where I wanted to go while b) dry perhaps 25% of the time. This can be unpleasant, and society currently has a taboo against being slightly damp all the time. Cars fix this. You might argue that I should just carry an umbrella, this brings me to my second point.
For one thing umbrellas don't work, for another you've only got two hands and a back, an umbrella takes two hands if you include the one to open it. So now you've got to put everything in your backpack, this is fine if you just want to carry your MacBook to little cafes with your city dweller friends. But what if you want to take a casserole round to a friend's house?, are you supposed to carry it the whole way on one hand like a waiter? What if you need to buy some furniture? Shop for more than one person? Give someone flowers? You can't.
They just go vaguely near it.
Ending up a couple of miles from where you want to be is not a huge deal, if you have a car, because cars are really fast. I've been up to 70mph in one! Walking, the only free option if you got the train somewhere, is about 10-20x slower.
People obviously feel having a car is worth the cost because most people have them.
If that doesn't satisfy you the average mpg in the UK is 49.2, this works out to a fuel cost of about 12p per mile at current prices, let's say you drive 10,000 miles spend £1000 a year on servicing/insurance/depreciation etc (this is perfectly achievable if you have a normal car and you're on your mum's insurance or whatever), so 22p per mile. You can look up for yourself how much trains cost per mile, it's surprisingly hard to find a good number, but I've seen various dodgily sourced figures of 20-50p a mile. So basically cars are a bit cheaper or maybe the same on a per mile basis.
But meta, I hear you cry, cars have all these negative externalities, drivers are free riders on other people's tax dollars which pay to build roads and so on. Actually No, the annual cost of maintaining roads in the UK is about £11b, and driving taxes (mostly fuel duty) raise more than £40b! Even if you try including the cost of offsetting CO2 and years of life lost to pollution (try it, depends on how you do it), such a huge amount of money is raised from fuel duty that it still comes out in favour of cars. By comparison train journeys are actively subsidised (in the single digit billions per year), so drivers are paying for people's train journeys. Of course both cars and trains have huge positive externalities in the form of getting people where they want to go, since cars are better at this (see above) they win here too.
Maybe it's just because the UK rail system is Particularly Bad. idk I'm not going to do super in depth research into this but it seems like when I go on holiday to other countries people basically still drive everywhere unless they live in the centre of a big city so they must still judge it to be better, maybe it is better for university students to go backpacking in Europe. If there is a (non city state) country where there are way more rail journeys than car journeys please let me know.
All the above arguments in favour of cars become twice as good if you suppose that two people need to get somewhere. Also if you have kids they become even better because kids walk really slowly and it's a huge hassle getting them on a train.
In dense cities, the problems of pollution and cars taking up space do make cars a possible net negative. But outside big cities these things are just not problems at all, it's not like Leamington Spa town centre is choked with smog from all the car exhausts.
In conclusion it's nice to imagine a commie little future in which the trains run on time and ferry people between their little community events in their dense, walkable cities, but that's not what the world is like at the moment.