This paper analyzes households' decision to change their car ownership level in response to actions/decisions regarding mobility issues and other household events. Following recent literature on the importance of critical events for mobility decisions, it focuses on the relationship between specific events (e.g. childbirth and buying an extra car), rather than trying to explain the status of car ownership from a set of stationary explanatory variables. In particular, it is hypothesized that changes in household car ownership level take place in response to stressors, resulting from changed household needs or aspirations. The study includes a broad range of events. Apart from changes in work status, employer and residential location, it analyzes demographic events such as household formation and childbirth. Also, it scrutinizes the temporal sequence in which chains of related events are most likely to occur. To this end, data from a retrospective survey that records respondents' car ownership status, as well as residential and household situation over the past 20 years are used. A panel analysis has been carried out to disentangle typical relationships. The results suggest that strong and simultaneous relationships exist between car ownership changes and household formation and dissolution processes. Childbirth and residential relocation invoke car ownership changes. Changes are also made in anticipation of future events such as employer change and childbirth. Childbirth is associated with increasing the number of cars, whereas the effect of employer change goes the opposite way. Job change increases the probability of car ownership change in the following year. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.