Articles, Blog

How to Survive Without a Car

How to Survive Without a Car

Hey everyone! Bridget from Money After
Graduation and I’m doing another subscriber request video today and
that’s How I Survive Without a Car. So for those of you that don’t know I live
in Calgary, Alberta, Canada which is not a super pedestrian-friendly city. For the
past 15 years, I’ve been without a car for 10 of them. I have owned a car
intermittently over the past decade and a half but for the most part I
really love not having a car. I think it’s better for me physically, it’s
better for the environment, and it’s way better for my budget. On average,
Canadians spend $9,500 a year on their vehicles. If you
think this sounds like way too much it’s because most Canadians underestimate
their vehicle cost by over $4,000! When you add up things like car
payments, gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance, parking tickets, speeding
tickets, cars are costing you like $800 a month out of pocket. It’s true that there
is a way to save on these costs. You can drive an older car that’s totally paid
off, that usually has lower insurance. You can do your own oil changes and save
money there. But most people are not like this. Most people go get a car with a car
loan and then they drive it for a few years and then buy a new car and just
roll that balance still owing on their car loan into a brand new one. That’s
my baby making noise in the background as usual. In other words, going without a
car can save you up to $10,000 per year, but it’s not easy to do!
Here is how I managed to do it in a pedestrian-unfriendly city and why
I’m so happy doing so. The first is I always choose where I live in a very
central, walkable area that’s close to work. Work is where you’ll be going most
of the time during your week so as long as you can shorten that, you’ll take care
of most of your commute that way. The other things I always look for is within
walking distance of a grocery store, usually three or four blocks or less, and
also walking distance to some cafes and restaurants so I can go out and enjoy
things in my neighborhood. Once you live somewhere that’s walking distance to all
these things, you will walk a lot more and you’ll rely less on a car. I’ve
always found it baffling that a lot of suburban neighborhoods are so
residential and they necessitate having a car because even if they do have
stores and restaurants nearby, they’re like in a cluster that you have
to drive to from your home. When I’m choosing a neighborhood to live in, in
addition to being close to my work and grocery stores and things, I also want it
in a very accessible public transit area. Personally, I really like to take the
train. I prefer it over taking buses so I try to live within a few blocks of a
train station. I can just walk there, hop on the train and get to whatever
destination I need to go to. I will take the bus when I absolutely have to, but
generally I try to avoid it. The other thing is I try to live in a very dense
car2go zone. Use a short term car rental or car sharing service. In my city car2go is the primary one. I’ve been using for the past five years now. I love it!
You just sign up on the app, book a car, go hop in, drive it to where you need to , hop out, and your rental ends. It cost like about 42 cents a minute, I think, to rent
the car so if you’re going somewhere that’s only 10, 15, 20 ,minutes away, it’s
way more affordable than taking a taxi and way more convenient than walking or
taking public transit there. I thought I was actually going to have to give up
car2go and finally cave in and buy a car when I had my baby, but I kid you not,
the month that I had her car2go came out with four-door Mercedes and I’ve been
using those ever since. These are gorgeous cars and they’re big enough
that I can fold up her stroller, pop it in the trunk, put her car seat in the
backseat, and away we go. This has saved me so much money and I get
to drive Mercedes, which is way nicer cars and I would actually own. The
other great thing about car2go is if you’re going to use it for an extended
period, you can just keep the car for 24 hours. I found that tipping point is
three hours, so if I’m going to use the car to run a number of errands,
I’ll just keep it for the whole day. This has been awesome. It costs about $80,
which you might think is pretty expensive, but honestly even if I do this
once a week it’s still cheaper than owning a car. If I’m going a greater
distance, like to visit my family in another city, I’ll actually rent a
longer-term rental from a car rental place. I like to have a car wherever I go,
because it helps me get around the city, so even though it’s a few hundred
dollars, again, if I’m only doing it once every few months it’s still way cheaper
than actually owning a vehicle. The other thing I like so much about renting cars
through car2go or other long-term rental agencies is I’m not responsible for the
headache repairs or maintenance or taking care of
them. I get a brand new, clean car delivered to me and away we go.
If car2go isn’t available or it’s not convenient for me, I will call an Uber.
Uber drivers aren’t super impressed when I walk up with a baby and a carseat but
once they see how quickly I can get her in and how good she is at traveling — not
really good at not interrupting me — I’ve gotten really comfortable with popping
my baby in and out of Ubers and it’s made the whole city accessible to us.
Where previously I was really limited to the car2go zone or if there were no
cars around and public transit wasn’t readily available I couldn’t get where I
needed to go. I find Uber is about twice as expensive as car2go, so it is a little bit more
out of pocket but I have found it’s actually my favorite in winter because
instead of trudging through the snow and then getting into a cold car, I can just
call an Uber and it drives right to my front door, it’s toasty warm, and it’s
awesome for me and my baby. As of right now I’m not totally sure if there are
any consequences of going without a car in terms of things like my insurance
history. I have a great driving record. Your driving record still matters when
you’re using things like car2go, because if you get a parking ticket
that’s attributed to you. From a non-financial perspective, some of the
things I really love about not having a car is just how healthy it is because I
walk so much further than I would otherwise. While I hate the idea of
driving somewhere for 20 or 25 minutes I think nothing of taking a 20 or 25
minute walk. When I was pregnant this was awesome because they generally recommend
like pregnant women walk at least thirty minutes a day and when I started
tracking that I realized I was actually walking up to two hours a day because I
just went to and from my office, or to and from the grocery store, and it
kept me really fit during my pregnancy and also helped me lose the weight after
I was pregnant. So if you want to get in a really easy workout going without a
car is the secret. And finally it is also very good for the environment, obviously.
I just realized my baby move the camera. The less carbon
emissions you personally put out into the atmosphere the better it is for
everyone so going without a vehicle and using public transit or car sharing is a
way that you can be more and more environmentally-conscious in
your own lifestyle. I hope you guys enjoyed this video, if you currently have
a car or you’re going without feel free to share in the comments below how much
it is saving you or costing you to do so. If you want to see more videos like this
give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel and I will see you next week!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 thoughts on “How to Survive Without a Car

  1. I'm without a car in Edmonton, AB. I had a car throughout my high school years, but when I started in university I just couldn't justify the costs when I had a free transit pass and with tuition. The only issue I've come across being car-free (especially as a student) is getting to my hometown for holidays because I'm too young to rent a car. I've made it work through using the money I've saved on the occasional flight, carpooling a couple hours with friends, and using greyhound. Other than that one big negative, I couldn't imagine putting all that money to gas and insurance just for the convenience of it.

  2. I wish I could go without a car but I live in Northern Ontario. If ever some of these services make it to my city I will definitely do some cost analysis!

  3. I live without a car. I am not close to my work but the public transportation gave me time to Read and play Games. Unfortunatly at the end of my maternity leave i Will need a car for work. I am currently shopping for a user car that i can pay cash.

  4. I miss not being car dependant: I hate driving everywhere! Calgary is not really pedestrian friendly, even though it (ironically) rates as one of the most accessible cities in the world…. it's even won awards for it! 🤣

    I do all the things you mentioned to keep my transit costs to a minimum – unfortunately they're still around $4500/yr, compared to $1200/yr for a transit pass 😐 bleh

    On a non-financial note, I find driving incredibly stressful; I miss reading, doing mundane chores (paying bills, etc), or browsing social media while commuting. Now it's a knuckle-biter down Deerfoot hoping that the douche in the F150 behind me doesn't kill me (why is it always an F150 riding my ass?!) 🙄

  5. Love it, I also do not own a car. How do I get around? Car2Go, train, longboard, bicycle, scooter, and my feet! Oh and some other people own cars and I tend to jump along for the ride 😉

  6. I could do a lot better than I currently am doing. We live in a town of around 12-13000 with no public transportation other than a small taxi service. We live super close to the city centre. A block from the library. Two blocks from the grocery store and school. Post office as well. Two blocks from our church.

    Driving is usually a matter of convenience for me. I live in Manitoba. It gets super cold (probably similar to Calgary) and I have for kids to lug around. I also would need to rearrange my schedule to make enough time to walk further distances.

  7. I've thought about giving up my car, but I don't know. I work from home so that's no issue. My thing is I LOVE traveling around my state, going to forests and hiking trails… I don't think Car to Go is in my area sadly. If anyone knows of similar things in California, please comment to me, thanks!

  8. Good video. If you can walk to work and a store that sells food, you can totally pull this off. I've lived in a walkable neighborhood for like 18 years, so this been pretty easy for me. Location really determines how well you can pull this off. The only real drawback I have ever noticed is in dating: I was always able to date women in my 20's, but the no car thing seems to wear on people. They always had to come over here or come pick me up. It certainly saves money, though. "How To Live Well Without a Car" is probably the best book on this subject, and lays out the math on how much is really costs to drive in the US.

  9. I didn't learn to drive until I was 42 when I moved from NYC, where you have great public transportation and cabs, to Los Angeles. Now I live in Orlando, Florida, where it is difficult to get around without a car – or so I thought. We do have bus lines where I live that take me to most locations where I shop. I am 67 yrs old so I got a senior bus pass and pay only $1 to ride and $2.25 to ride all day, which I have been doing for the past two weeks. I think I will be ditching my old car because it's been breaking down and becoming a money pit. The only down side is the blazing sun (must use umbrella), horrid heat, humidity and sudden and unexpected torrid rainfalls (with thunder and lightning – yikes!) which is not too great for walking where the bus lines don't run, and the walks are 20 to 30 minutes each way. Great exercise, though.

  10. Car-free for 2.5 yrs. now and loving it. Easy to do here in Victoria. Great suggestions on living a local lifestyle without a car. Thanks!

  11. I love how shes talking about this like oh yeah just choose to live close to where u need to go. Girl i live with my MOMMA. I NEED to go to college. Ughhhh😫

  12. Random video find: I haven't owned a car in 15 years. I've used taxi's/Ubers & have even hired cars, but for the most part I either walk or ride a bicycle. I currently live the furthest away from my job since not owning a car, but even then I have a bus stop right outside of my front door (if needed). I cycle to work every day & have a backpack for doing groceries (for only myself – I live by myself). I like this location, as it's close enough to shops that I can walk there if need be, but far enough away that it's not an easy late night temptation! I'm also lucky to have two 'Free' modes of public transport that's near my house – it still requires a 15 minute walk to get to the stop, but it's an option. If it's raining, I'll catch a bus to work after 9am (1/2 price) , but then catch a free bus home.

  13. I don't live in Canada , but I think you're figures are way high. I bought my car used with cash, so I own it, If I work and visit my parents every 2 weeks 60 miles away gas costs about $70 a month (depending on season) Insurance is less than $40 a month, and since I moved to this town, I probably get about $100 in tickets per year. I would say I spend an average of $300 a year on maintenance, so add all those up and average them out, that's only $141 a month. And even if they were higher, you have to take in consideration, not everyone can choose where they want to live (especially in my town) or a place that is close to their home to work. And if their work is a long ways away, or a hassle to get to, a car is definitely a good idea. And if they work a construction job like me, they have to always tote their tools and bags around, can you imagine me dragging that stuff on a bus or train? So if you virtually take nothing to your job, then maybe walking is fine.

  14. Im selling my sports car this week. It hurts yes but i do it for a bigger cause. Off topic you look verry Nice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *