I don’t own a car. I have no intention of owning a car. I live a city big enough to have a transit system and no reason to move to a place that doesn’t. And people think I’m crazy.
I’ve heard strange arguments, about owning a car would mean i wouldn’t need to be as organized as I am. I”m not sure how, since it seems I would just be trading one set of organization for another. I’ve heard that I’m missing out on things because I don’t have a car, but considering most of those people haven’t even left the country, never mind travelled as much as I have, I’m pretty sure I’m doing ok. I’ve also just had people who were completely baffled with my choice, can’t fathom how I function without one.
I can’t afford a car. And I don’t mean in the sense of not having enough money, I mean in the sense that I can’t afford to give up my current lifestyles just so I can have a luxury of having a car.
Let’s do some math.
The average cost of car insurance in Ontario where I live was $1544 in 2012. If i were to purchase a 10-year-old ford taurus car, and use the calculator here, it would cost me about $4940 per year to own a car. That’s about $370 a month… I currently spend approx $118 per month so owning a car would only three times as much. And in the summer, my transportation costs are even less because I walk and bike everywhere.
Owning cars have hidden costs that most people take into consideration. If a car person runs out of milk, they drive to the grocery store, pick up milk, and probably a bunch of other things as well and goes home. If I run out of (soy) milk, I wait until the next time I plan to do a grocery run. I do without.
You know what else car people do? Shop. Out of boredom. That saves me a ton too.
I find car people become too dependant on their car. If their car is busted, they are trapped in their house. Car problems, well, they just don’t go to work. I actually had a friend who cancelled an outing with me, because they had lent their car to someone else. Meanwhile there was a bus stop in front of their house, and they were meeting me at the bus station.
So, yes, I may be crazy for not owning a car. And yes, random spontaneous road trips to the beach are out of the question. But I don’t have the stress of owning a car. And my car doesn’t make me broke. A small sacrifice as far as I’m concerned.
What are your thoughts? Have I overlooked something huge in my protest to own a car? Thoughts are welcome.