Renting vs Owning A Car

While most people are surprised to find out that I don’t have a cell phone, they are even more surprised when they also find out that I also don’t have a car. As with the cell phone, the reason I don’t have a car has nothing to do with lack of money. I can afford to buy a car and it would fit into my budget of spending less than I earn.

After deciding to travel 2 weeks each month this year, I decided that I would need a car for many of the trips I wanted to make. I knew that I would be driving a lot of miles during my trips, but wouldn’t have a real need for a car during the times I wasn’t traveling. I assumed the obvious frugal choice would be to buy a quality


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7 Responses to Renting vs Owning A Car

  1. Gail says:

    I’m so glad that some have renting a car when needed as a frugal option. We live in the country with no car rental place within an hours distance, no bus, no taxi, etc. That being said we bought our car about 5-6 years ago for $1 and we fill the tank about every month although this was a short month as I had to travel to the hospital three times this week so that added a lot of miles. We only put an average of 3000 miles on it a year, and yes it is about 12 years old and getting rusty and will need some extensive body work before passing inspection next December. In the meantime it is still cheaper than making car payments or renting a car and for medical emergencies, which I generally have at least once a year, it is instantly available, which is a circumstance that you do need to remember for those poor health.

  2. Garrett says:

    It’s good to read an article like this especially when you include the numbers. I was thinking of just renting a car. I live in the San Diego area and the transit system here is impecable. There’s a bus stop on every corner and the trolley system is very easy to access. I only live a mile or two from work so even riding a bike would be an option. I bought a motorcycle a few months back which turned out to be a lemon so I thought I’d just by a car. But my personal situation really doesn’t require that I own one not to mention there is a rental company just down the street from me. So I too went with just renting a car.

  3. Anna Beth says:

    Thank you so much. Universities should hire you.

  4. dave says:

    Also, you can get a bike. Use human power for short trips to grocery store etc.

    If you need to go further, you can put a small motor on the bike, and now you have a 35 mph, 300+ mpg “motorized bicyle”. Kits are available online, the golden eagle is my favorite (no affiliation whatsoever).

    Also,if you want to be a little more eco concscious you can put a small electric hub motor on the front wheel and now you have a 500+ mpg hydbrid. Use the electric motor for short trips, the gas motor for long ones. Just like a Prius,except you aren’t wasting 97% of the energy in a gallon of gas on heat loss from the engine, friction from the tires and moving a great big huge hulking heap of metal through time and space. No registration, no licensing, no taxes, fuel expense becomes trivial. You can drive across the US for 40 bucks.

    Here’s one in action:

  5. Malyi says:

    Isn’t $20*30 days = $600?

  6. jeffrey says:

    Yes, but I wouldn’t need to use a car every day…

  7. CR123 says:

    Depending on your usage and situation, renting a car can be cost-effective in the long run. Great post!

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