With the pandemic changing the way we work, commute and shop, there is probably no better time to see what life feels like without a car.
Here are four reasons to consider a car-free future:
1. You don’t drive much anymore. When the pandemic hit, many companies sent their employees home to work remotely. Total miles driven plunged by 40% nationally in the second half of March, according to insurance data analyst Arity.
Driving is on the rise again, but the interlude showed that we can get along just fine without everyone having their own car.
2. You have better uses for that money. The average American spent $773.50 a month, or $9,282 a year, on their car in 2019, according to AAA. That is mainly because car payments are so high.
If you are struggling to make ends meet, ditching the car payment would be a huge savings, not to mention the related expenses of gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs. Why not take a look at exactly how much you pay — and how much you could save — with our handy total cost of ownership calculator?
3. You can cash in on high used-car prices. If you do decide to part with your car, it’s a seller’s market. Year over year, the value of used cars is up 16%, according to auctioneer Manheim’s Used Vehicle Value Index.
More good news: Selling your used car is easier than ever. Online used-car retailers such as Carvana, Shift and Vroom will give you an upfront price and pick up your car from your home.
4. You have options when the need arises. The pandemic has opened our eyes to the possibilities of delivery: groceries, takeout meals, school supplies and area rugs. And to the joys of walking, too. What’s within walking or cycling distance? A few minutes with Google Maps might surprise you.
Car trips of less than a mile add up to 10 billion miles a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Replacing those trips with walking or biking will help keep you fit and also save you money on gas and cut down on pollution.
But sometimes you still need a car. Many transportation services that were initially locked down are up and running, offering contactless service at reduced prices with new safety measures.
Here is what is available for longer-than-cycling distances: Taxis and ride-sharing services; car-sharing companies such as Zipcar; rides from a friend; rental cars and peer-to-peer car rental sites such as Turo; and public transportation.
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