Studies show that owning a car now costs about $700 a month. Between registration, insurance, gas, parking and repairs. Many of us automatically assume we need a car to get around. But it turns out, there are alternatives to help you completely cut out – or at least cut down on - your car use. For example:
In some cities, you can rent a car only when you need it. A growing number of car sharing companies like Zipcar and I-Go let you rent cars – even if it’s only thirty minutes. You simply enter your exact location on a smartphone app, and it’ll use GPS technology to show you where the closest available car is parked – usually a few blocks away. Once you pay for the car online, the app remotely unlocks the doors, and the key is inside waiting for you. It costs about $8 to $10 an hour. Zipcar has a car-sharing network across North America – including hundreds of college campuses. They say their members save an average of $600 per month compared to owning a car.
You can also try renting a bike. You can now find bike-sharing services everywhere from Denver to Kansas City, Missouri, to Houston to Anaheim, California. And more areas are joining this rent-to-ride movement all the time. Do that to run your errands and you can probably give up your gym membership and save even more money! When 50,000 people were tracked over a three month period, researchers found that most people live their lives within a six mile radius. So biking everywhere is more feasible than we think!
Try carpooling or taking a bus or train a few days a week. Approximately 50 percent of us live within a quarter mile of a public transportation stop. Buses and trains are reliable and cheap and, during rush hour, can even be faster than a car! Plus, it’s safe. Accident rates are much lower for buses and trains than for cars.