I had been notice also of talk on how wonderful it is to live the car free lifestyle: being free to move about without the burden of car ownership and not being stuck in traffic. Today I want to bust this myth of a car free lifestyle. I have been carless (carless as negative as homeless) since 2015 when my F-150 finally died. I rely on Transit, Uber, traditional car rentals, and Zipcar to get around.
Often the burden of car owner ship is due to large car loans payments and fleasing (the f is silent in leasing). As Dave Ramsey puts it, car debt is paying the stupid tax. I try to save up for a use car; I will pay in cash.
Those $15 – $25 Uber rides and Zipcar sharing add up. I need to spend $28 to $32 a week for Zipcar to get groceries. It takes time to take the bus to the Zipcar location and to return the car (two ½-hour rental times at a minimum). I hope Zipcar is available when I need it and it is in clean and rentable condition. Sometimes Zipcar is not clean and / or available. Traditional rental cars offer the most flexibility but rental plus collision waver is around $48 and is costly for multi day rentals. This week alone I spend $45 on Uber, which is ¾ tank of gas for my old F-150.
I have missed job opportunities and places to go because I do not have a car. I will miss groups Christmas Party and bummed a ride from my churches Christmas Eve service because I do not have the money for Uber or car rental and it too far. I have to rely on others for transportation. Going shopping for a few items is an all day event on transit. Car free advocates do not factor in the time cost; I spend 18 hours and 44 minutes a week on transit. A 1 hour and 32 minute by Transit to work is only 35 minute by driving or a 1 hour and 44 minute truants ride to church on Sunday is only a 35-minute drive. I timed it out in a rental car. I eat dinner at midnight because I go home and fall asleep because I am too tired and only get four hours of sleep a night.