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How to know whether you need your car (Part II of II)

We continue in Part II, running down the considerations list of whether to make that jump into a car-less lifestyle.

Personal funds

Don’t tap into my personal funds! Heard that before, nobody wants to spend more than they have to, and according to the AAA, the average cost of owning a car (maintenance, fuel, insurance, license) is roughly $8,849 per year. A used car is half that and speaking of AAA, they have an awesome online tool to calculate your driving costs. This is a valuable exercise because AAA’s 2017 study concluded over half of all Americans (64%) wouldn’t be able to pay for unexpected car repairs (approximately $500 plus) without diving into debt.

Ride-hailing options

We all have an app or 5 dedicated to ride-hailing, and the options these days are plentiful. If you live in a densely populated environment and are not traveling long distances, or overly frequently, Uber and others are your best friends. But the same AAA has also found that contrary to popular belief, ride-hailing is not a cost-effective replacement for owning a car. In fact, regular ride-hailing will cost more than owning a car outright. Rather surprising, we know!

Flexibility

Public transportation is public, used by massive amounts of people, and as such, prone to failures from time to time. Even the best systems are not 100% fail-proof. If you live a rather un-flexible life (strict job and or rigid family commitments) where your presence, if not on-time, is not an option, then having a car for these emergencies is needed. Many people make this mistake, believing they live a rather relaxed life where in reality everything is much less flexible than they thought.

Environment concerns

We’ve most definitely touched on this issue before. It is no contest – public transport wins out from the environmental perspective compared to private, auto-centric transport where one person is involved. But do not think for a moment that using ride-sharing is going to get you any green points. In fact, many ride-sharing studies have revealed just the opposite, where bringing people into a ride-sharing culture (because it is cheaper) has effectively driven people away from public transport that they would have opted for prior to ride-sharing existing. Roughly 21% of transit bus fleets are hybrids and many rail systems also use electricity. The environmental impact is real and quantifiable.

Relaxation points

It’s likely safe to say that traveling about via public transport is not overly relaxing. Not groundbreaking news here. But bumper-to-bumper traffic behind the wheel isn’t a walk in the relaxation park either. When it comes to gobbling up as many relaxation points as you can during the day, it’s important to decide what is more relaxing, or better stated – less stressful – for you. Whatever the answer, go with it as it will vary person to person.

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