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Go Car-Free To Free Up Your Money

Are you searching for a way to save money? Then you might want to consider ditching your car. While this may sound radical, more Americans are joining the car-free revolution. In fact, according to Forbes, the number of people going car-free has gone up for the first time in 50 years.  And between taxis, bikes, mass transit, walking and car sharing services, it’s a lot easier to go car-free these days.

How Much Can You Save?

According to Kiplinger, you could possibly save around $5,000 a year by getting rid of a vehicle. Of course, the amount of money you can save will vary greatly depending on the type of car you own and where you live. For example, if you live in a city, you might have parking fees that someone living in the suburbs might not have to pay. The following are some of the things you will no longer have to pay for if you do decide to ditch your car: 

  • Auto insurance. Besides auto payments, this is one of the biggest expenses associated with owning a car.
  • Routine maintenance. No more oil changes, car washes or brake jobs.
  • Parking tickets and driving violations. Hopefully, you don’t get many of these on a regular basis. 
  • Fuel. Depending on the size of your tank and how far you drive, you could save several hundred dollars a month. 

Tips for Going Car-free Even in the ‘Burbs

Although there may be more transportation options for urban dwellers, you can still try to give up your car even if you live in a small town or suburb. For example, in the small village of Potsdam, New York, two local taxi companies are available to ferry around locals. In fact, many small town dwellers — especially the elderly — depend on taxi services to get around. And even if you may not have noticed a taxi roaming your neighborhood before, there may be services available in your small town. In some locations, such as Potsdam, taxis are restricted from cruising for fares. So you would only see them if were actually working with customers. Other tips for going car-free in the ‘burbs or a small town:

  • Use Internet services to deliver your large bags of pet food, groceries, or anything else that you would typically need a car to pick up. In many areas of the country, grocery stores are offering home delivery services. 
  • Move to a walkable community within a suburb. This type of development, which offers housing, restaurants and shopping all in one place — is becoming more common. There is even a name for these — walkable urban areas” — WalkUPs. 
  • Reduce if you can’t completely eliminate all your cars. If your family owns two or more vehicles and just can’t bear the thought of going totally car-free, you may want to try giving up one first. 

Tips for Going Car-free in the City

Of course, if you are planning to move to a big city or already live in one, going car-free can be relatively easy. You will typically have several mass transit options, such as buses and subways, available. For those times when mass transit or walking just won’t work, try:

  • Hailing a taxi. Companies like San Gabriel Transit are still the best form of transportation for when you want to get directly from point A to point B without having to walk long distances in, say, the bitter cold or driving rain. 
  • Using a car sharing program. If you sign up with a car-sharing service, you can pay to use a car for a short period of time. For example, you could use the car for an hour to get to an appointment or pay to use it for a weekend getaway. 
  • Utilize a bike sharing program. This program operates the same as above but just with bikes.

Going without a car may seem unnatural at first. But there are so many options for a car-free lifestyle, that it can be done relatively painlessly nowadays.

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