Back in February when Kia and I turned in our leased Fiat 500 and decided to do a “one-month experiment” of living without a car, I suspected that the experiment might last longer than one month. But eight months? No way. I was sure we’d have another car by now. But it turns out there are a few advantages to not having an expensive hunk of metal to care for, including:
- On average, it’s cheaper (about $150/month less).
- It’s great to not worry about your car (will it break down or get stolen/scratched/dented/broken into/ticketed).
- We save time on car maintenance and paperwork.
- All three of us are fitter, stronger, and leaner (details below).
- I feel more physically and socially connected to my neighborhood.
- Our carbon footprint is reduced (though still high — we sometimes fly on airplanes).
- I get to use my phone like a magic wand to summon friendly drivers to my house who arrive within minutes and take me wherever I want for a reasonable price and I don’t need cash not even to tip (thank you Lyft).
- Local grandparents have been great sports about having to drive a bit more (thank you!)
- Given our situation (we both work from home, our kid goes to school three blocks away, our neighborhood has a Walk Score of 91/100, local car-sharing options), we’re pretty much the ideal family to NOT own a car.
Back in February I calculated our average cost of car ownership at $440/month, as follows: