Go Carless (or Car-Lite): Strange Ways to Save Money

Americans have a love of cars, so much so that there are 1.17 cars per licensed driver in this country. To talk to most people, a car is an absolute necessity, ranked right up there with food and shelter. To suggest that people go without a car is to incur some strange looks, laughter or outright scorn. Certainly cars are convenient and in some areas and for some jobs they are a necessity. But in more and more places it is becoming possible to live without a car and it’s an option you might want to consider, given the expense of owning a car.

Cars eat money. Not only do you have to buy the thing, there is insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, parking fees (in some areas), taxes, and

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4 Responses to Go Carless (or Car-Lite): Strange Ways to Save Money

  1. Randy says:

    Going car-free or car-lite is not strange at all. Quite the opposite. What’s strange is that so many people don’t even consider it an option.

    Cars can be quite the handy machines for certain tasks, but they certainly do burn through money.

  2. ceejay74 says:

    I’ve been car-free for about 10 years, so it’s nice to see this talked about. Of all the frugal options out there, it seems like this is the last one people would consider. I now have a 9-month-old child and we’re still doing OK car-free.

    We have bus passes (partly or fully reimbursed by work and school), four types of stroller (most of them freebies!), an Enterprise car rental place within 15 minutes by bus if we want to rent for a day or a weekend, friends who don’t mind giving us a ride if there’s a party that’s not bus-accessible, and taxis if there’s no other option. Oh, and we walk and bike lots of places.

    Plus, instead of paying hundreds or thousands a month on cars, we pull in $75 per month renting our parking spot to another resident in our building!

  3. Charlie F says:

    I just recently went car-lite. I only drive if I slept in, now. Work is a 30-minute walk, or a 15 minute bike ride. I’m not sure of the bus schedule. It’s nice to know that if (when) my car dies, then I’ll still be able to get to work.

  4. D RICH says:

    Well, carless is not for everyone. I would recommend getting a little spit of a car. Don’t pay more than $500 (we took one off of someone who just wanted it gone so got it for free) We invested about $500-$750 in the little Hyundai and it sips gas, and we only need liability insurance. After all the car just sits all day at work and then when you get home, sits in the driveway or garage. We have no car payment, low insurance, and 30-35 miles to the gallon to get to work. We do not have the best transit system where we live so getting to work requires an auto.

    When I drive by folks with their Lexus, Mustangs, SUV’s I just laugh imagining how much they pay in tires, insurance, repairs, and car payment. Granted it is nice for traveling in, but as someone posted above you can always rent a car for a roadtrip. Still less money.

    This would be the alternative to not having a car. Oh and we carpool when ever possible with others at work. They laughed at first but now after three years of owning this car (fixed it up in 2007 and still running good with good maintenance and care). We actually just took a road trip with it and aside from barely fitting our holiday gifts,suitcases and pillow,blankets and picnic foods in the little car we saved so much money had we taken the only other car we own our Ford 150 Pick up. Now that is a gas hog. I use this only occasionally for hauling horses I own.

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