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Engineering LibreTexts

4.2: Why and when to use inheritance?

  • Page ID
    34659
  • Consider a group of vehicles. You need to create classes for Bus, Car and Truck. The methods fuelAmount(), capacity(), applyBrakes() will be same for all of the three classes. If we create these classes avoiding inheritance then we have to write all of these functions in each of the three classes as shown in below figure:

    Using inheritance, we have to write the functions only one time instead of three times as we have inherited rest of the three classes from base class(Vehicle).

    You can clearly see that above process results in duplication of same code 3 times. This increases the chances of error and data redundancy. To avoid this type of situation, inheritance is used. If we create a class Vehicle and write these three functions in it and inherit the rest of the classes from the vehicle class, then we can simply avoid the duplication of data and increase re-usability. Look at the below diagram in which the three classes are inherited from vehicle class:

    Adapted from:
    "Inheritance in C++" by Harsh AgarwalGeeks for Geeks is licensed under CC BY 4.0