7 Things You Should Know When Considering Living Without a Car in 2022

September 3, 2018Car Tips and Tricks
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Americans love their cars. That’s why almost 90% of all US citizens ages 16 and older drive at least occasionally. However, if you’ve been stuck in traffic too many times or had to empty your wallet because of expensive repairs, you might start considering living without a car when moving across the country.

Nevertheless, before making a decision and getting rid of your four-wheeler, ask yourself, does it really pay off to be a pedestrian? To help with this conundrum, we answered questions like where can you live without needing a car, and is it cheaper to live without a car.

Life Without a Car Is Possible When Relocating to an Area With Great Public Transportation

No matter what your reasons for the relocation are, if you want to ditch the four-wheeler, take time deciding where you should live. Being stuck in a metropolis with lousy public transportation without a vehicle will make your life unnecessarily hard. You might start feeling depressed after the move because even the short trips around town are complicated and long.

To avoid relocating to a place that doesn’t fit your needs, research before notifying everybody you are moving. Ensure that on the top of the moving checklist is looking into different transportation options and commute time. Then decide to leave a four-wheeler or bring it with you.

What Are the Best Cities to Live In Without a Vehicle?

When moving to a new state, you might wonder: Is a car really necessary for day-to-day activities? One of the best tips for living without a car is – pick the location with efficient public transportation. Fortunately, you can forget every weird driving law you have memorized and enjoy public transit if you choose to settle in one of these cities:

  • New York Citydriving in New York City is really not necessary because there is a subway or a bus station on every corner. Furthermore, data from a Transportation Research Institute shows that more than half of households in NYC don’t own a vehicle, and this is by far the largest percentage in the US. That’s why if you are wondering how to survive without a car, the answer is simple – just move to New York.
  • Los Angeles – the largest city in California, is famous for being one of the worst cities for driving in the US. With never-ending traffic jams, driving in Los Angeles is highly overrated. Luckily, LA County Metro operates all across the metropolis, ensuring that the residents can reach their destinations.
  • Seattle – there are many benefits of moving to Seattle. Besides being one of the fastest-growing major cities in the US, it also is a pedestrian paradise. Because of the rapid transit line Link Light Rail driving in Seattle is not really necessary. The city is also covered by bus lines and rails. On top of that, there is a ferry system and many bike trails.
  • Chicago – if the question of where you should move leads you to the most populous city in Illinois, it will be easy to figure out how to live without a car. For starters, the city’s mass transit system is the third busiest in the US, and it consists of commuter rail and busses. You don’t have to drive in Chicago because there are also bike lanes, and the city is very pedestrian-friendly.

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What Are the Worst Cities to Live In Without a Vehicle?

Even though going car-free is a trend, some cities just don’t offer any other solution. Whether there is an undeveloped public transportation network or the lack of bike paths, you will just need a four-wheeler to get around some places. That’s why, when you are moving out of state, settling in some cities will require you to ship the car as well. Before you start packing for the move, check out what are some of the worst cities to live without a vehicle:

  • Wichita (Kansas) – according to the website GoBankingRates, it is one of the best cities in the US for driving. Short average commute time and affordable registration after the move make it ideal for all car owners. That’s why you should learn all the benefits of car shipping, hire a reliable USA auto transport company and embrace driving in Wichita.
  • San Diego – SD is a metropolis where only 6.5% of households don’t own a vehicle. This is due to the fact that the city is in the vicinity of many interstate and city routes, so owning a car comes with many benefits.
  • Plano (Texas) – Plano has a daily commute of less than 30 minutes, meaning that you won’t be stuck in traffic for a long time and succumb to road rage. Also, Plano is near a few state roads and a highway, so cruising around can actually help you become a better driver.
  • Albuquerque – if you want to overcome driving anxiety, hit the road in the most populous city in New Mexico. Not only the commute time here is around 20 minutes, but newer areas of the city feature four- to six-lane roads, which will keep your driving stress at bay because there will be fewer traffic jams.
Infographic about best/worst places for people without vehicles
Some places are better for driving than others

Owning a Vehicle Means You Are Free to Go Wherever You Want

There are more than 4 million miles of navigable roads across the US, all ready for you to explore, which cannot be done on foot. Owning a four-wheeler allows you to not only commute around the city but also embark on stress-free road trips and other adventures.

The freedom you experience when being behind the wheel is one of the main reasons why people drive. You can just pick up the keys and head out wherever you want to go. There is no extensive planning and buying bus or train tickets. Just you, on the open road driving wherever you want. If this sounds great to you, consider shipping your vehicle to the new state, not selling it.

Long-Distance Traveling Is Easier When You Have Your Own Vehicle

Let’s say you relocated across the country, and now you need to figure out how to stay in touch with friends and family. Of course, there is the internet, but nothing can really replace seeing them in person. This is where owning a four-wheeler comes in handy. You can just hop in the vehicle and embark on a long-distance drive to see your loved ones.

Furthermore, if you own a car suitable for long-distance drives, you can plan a vacation and cruise around famous routes in the US. While driving, you can even check a few great car shows and see some of the most expensive vehicles in the world.

Car owners, especially those owning an RV, also have the opportunity to spend entire holidays on the road. Visiting museums, learning about the evolution of cars, and making friends with other car enthusiasts are just some of the things you can do. The whole long-distance traveling will probably feel like you are in one of the best car movies.

white RV parked on the side of the road
With the RV, you can explore the whole country

Living Without a Car Can Save You Some Money

Relocation can be expensive, no matter if you are moving from a house to an apartment or the other way around. That’s why saving on moving costs might be your priority, and getting rid of your vehicle is just one of the ways to avoid going over the relocation budget.

Selling your four-wheeler will lower not only your relocation costs but also day-to-day ones. Meaning that you won’t have to pay for gas, parking spots, insurance, and expensive repairs when you move to a new home.

Let’s be honest – if you are already driving an old and used vehicle, there is a high chance that it takes a lot of work and repairs. Meaning that if you don’t know how to replace a valve stem or even how to tell if the clutch master cylinder is broken, you’ll have to pay a mechanic. And when has a trip to a mechanic ever went without some additional, unplanned repairs? So, you’ll end up paying for a change of tail lights, as well as adjustment of parking brakes you didn’t know the machine needed.

People without a vehicle don’t have to worry about these things. They can easily walk by custom car shops without instinctively reaching for their wallets. Furthermore, the website ValuePenguin states that pedestrians save up to $3,000 per year on gasoline, which is how much an average US household spends. On top of that, without a four-wheeler, you’ll get to keep $910 because you are not paying for insurance. The data also shows that an average American household spends $225 monthly for some form of public transportation.

A woman counting money needed for a car shipping company
Selling a four-wheeler will be great for your household budget

It Is Budget-Friendly to Drive If You Have a Big Family

The average household in the US pays $9,000 a year for transportation. Even though being pedestrian will save you some money, there are situations where owning a four-wheeler is actually a budget-friendly option.

If you have a big family, using public transportation might not be the best option, especially if your kids are small. This is where owning a family car is an excellent solution. Not only are these vehicles some of the best for city driving, but they are also reliable and comfortable.

Big family cars can fit more things than a president’s limo, from baby strollers and soccer gear to kid’s toys and work laptops. This way, you’ll save money by making one trip and finishing up all of your tasks instead of going back and forth multiple times of the day.

How to Save Money When Driving?

You can be on a budget and still drive. It is possible! All you have to do is alternate some driving habits, and you’ll be able to cut down on vehicle expenses.

Roll Up the Windows

Even though the summer heat can get unbearable, avoid rolling the windows down because they create a lot of drag on your vehicle, which slows it down and makes the engine work harder.

Drive Calmly and Plan the Routes

Aggressive driving, frequent braking, and acceleration are bad for gas mileage. Also, make sure you pick the streets with fewer stop signs and brake lights because those are bad for gas mileage.

Maintaining the Vehicle

You don’t have to be a gearhead to know how to fix windshield wipers or even how to change the license plate bulb. These small fixes can save you a few dollars. Also, using the wrong gas and motor oil will put a strain on the engine. Furthermore, make sure you change air filters because they can slow down your machine.

Know When to Buy Gas

Prices of gas tend to be lower from Sunday to Tuesday, so save up by filling up the tank early in the week. If you don’t mind driving at night, know that buying gas is better when it is cooler. This is due to the fact that gas gets denser when it is warm, meaning you’ll pump less but pay the same.

Invest in a Budget-Friendly Car

No matter if you are a first-time vehicle buyer or someone who’s owned a few, you probably know that make and the model of an auto play a major role when saving up. The best solution would be to buy an electric auto because they spend less and repairs are cheaper. Also, popular import cars like some models of Honda and Toyota are really fuel-efficient.

There Are Many Alternatives to Owning a Vehicle

Deciding to sell a four-wheeler leaves you open to many other transportation options. You won’t be bound only to public transit – luckily, you can also opt for:

  • Bikes because they are cheap and enjoyable to ride. However, their downside is that they are not great for all weather conditions and long distances.
  • Walking is also an alternative way of getting around. Not only is it free, but it is also healthy. On the other hand, it is not an ideal solution if you have to commute halfway across the town.
  • Motorcycles are a greener alternative to autos. Ship the motorcycle to the new home (if you have one), or buy one because they spend less. Also, joining motorcycle clubs will be an ideal solution to making friends in the new city.
  • Sharing a ride is an alternative that still lets you rip all the benefits of four-wheelers, just not your own. By installing ride-sharing apps, you can get around the town without any problems.
man, riding a bicycle on the road
Biking is a healthy and cheap alternative to driving

Not Having a Four-Wheeler Will Be Good for Your Health and the Environment

Most people that want to live a greener and healthier lifestyle decide to get rid of their four-wheelers. It is one of the biggest steps a person can take in reducing a carbon footprint. Deciding to go vehicle-free will not only reduce carbon emissions but also lower the contribution to acid rain and smog.

Since autos emit about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, driving is one of the most polluting activities in day-to-day life. Reducing the usage of four-wheelers will create a healthier and cleaner environment for everybody. Not only that, riding a bike or walking are physical activities that will keep you in shape. And when you miss being behind the wheel, turn on some of the best racing games and enjoy the feeling without actually polluting the environment.

If you want to learn more about reducing carbon footprint, check the video below.

YouTube video

Car Owners Have Extra Privacy and Safety

Deciding to ship a car cross country means you’ll get to keep your privacy intact, something people lose when they start using public transportation. While in your vehicle, you don’t have to share space with anybody, and it is also a great place to store some of your belongings. Furthermore, the four-wheeler is an extension of your private space, so if you are not too keen on being in the vicinity of other people while commuting, driving is the solution.

The next benefit of owning a vehicle is safety. While in public transport you are relying on others to keep you safe. In your auto, you are the person in charge of everything. You’ll have all the control. However, because you are not responsible for other traffic participants, accidents can happen, and that’s why you should invest in the best insurance.

grey Nissan on the streets
Autos are safer and more private than public transit

Is Living Without a Car Really Possible in This Day and Age?

When living in huge metropolitan areas, you can walk, bike, and carpool. However, when you are in smaller locations owning a four-wheeler can be the only way to commute. So, there really is no right or wrong answer to this question. The decision to keep or to get rid of the machine will depend solely on you.

Ultimately, if you decide to keep the four-wheeler, make sure to hire a car shipping company to deliver it to you. Look into car shipping services, and go over all the benefits of open trailers, as well as enclosed auto transport. Just know that there are many benefits of both open and enclosed options. You can also choose between door-to-door auto transport and terminal to terminal car shipping, depending on your needs.

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