In the light of the ‘peak-car’ thesis, this paper explores the driving-related desires and practices of adults aged 16–21 and their parents from the UK. Tropes of freedom and independence were commonly evoked; but were pragmatically framed by concerns of finance, utility and risk. Car ownership was prized only for instrumental reasons, and as one tool in a mixed, collective transport network: it had been decoupled from automobility. Environmental sustainability was notably absent from discussions. It may be too early to herald the end of automobility but, for these participants, its seductions have been rendered ironic, rather than aspirational.