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How to Not Own a Car

By Cary Anderson

Owning a car is far more expensive than you may realize. In addition to the raw cost of the car, you are also paying for depreciation on the investment, interest on the loan, taxes and licensing fees, fuel costs, insurance payments, parking costs, maintenance and repairs. Look at the true cost to own your car. A lot, isnít it?

All this expense for a tool most of us use an average of 20-30 minutes a day primarily to transport us to work so we can make money to pay for things like the car that got us there. Madness!

The truth is that owning a car is not as mandatory as you might think. Are there inconveniences to not owning a car? Sure. But these are often more than offset by the immense savings.

There are plenty of ways to go about not owning a car and pocketing hundreds a month in savings. Letís go over some tips on how to live the lifestyle of not owning a car (or owning just one instead of two in your household):

Use a Car Subscription Service

Zipcar is revolutionizing the way people use a vehicle with their motto ďwheels when you want them". Rather than owning a personal vehicle that sits idle 23 hours a day, Zipcar allows people to buy into a car sharing service where you can reserve a car online when you need one. With cars parked all over your city, you simply walk to the nearest one and access it with your membership card. When you no longer need the car, park it and sign out. Itís like renting a library book. Zipcar is servicing major cities all over the U.S. and giving people less of a reason to own their own vehicle.

Bike or Walk

Itís a no-brainer: bike or walk to places that are within two miles of your house. This prospect of can seem daunting due to how accustomed we have become with driving. But once you get into the habit of becoming more active, the benefits become too much to resist. Save money and get in better shape at the same time; itís almost too good to be true. Lifestyle changes like these arenít easy but they are almost always worth it.

Hire a Taxi for Longer Rides

Sometimes we need to get somewhere too far away to consider biking or walking. In these instances, call a taxi. With the savings in your budget from not owning a car, hiring a taxi when we need one isnít too bad of a deal. You might even strike an arrangement with a particular taxi driver in your area for regular rides when you need them at below-meter prices.

Pay Cash for Rides to Work

Do you work with anyone who would make a great carpooling candidate? Itís hard to offer a carpooling arrangement to someone when you donít own a car, but you can offer to pay them each week for driving you to and from work. Most people are pretty willing to pick up a few spare bucks while helping out a friend. And $20 a week for rides to and from work is a lot less than your car is costing you right now.

Drive It Till the Wheels Fall Off

There almost seems to be a stigma in our culture against owning a vehicle for too long. Cars have become fashion products that we need to trade in when theyíre no longer trendy or acceptable. Hogwash. Drive that baby until the only place left for it to go is the junk yard. Once you pay off your car, keep driving it! Youíve only just then reached the point where owning a car is not such an awful expense.


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