Learning to Live Without a Car? 5 Tips to Make the Transition Much Easier

Car payment is burning a hole in your pocket?

Sick and tired of dealing with traffic?

Yeah, so are most Americans.

There’s a reason why people are giving up cars en masse these days in pursuit of saving money and the fact that it’s arguably easier to get around than ever. Even if you don’t live in the most pedestrian-friendly state, most people can manage without a car as long as they’ve taken the proper steps to plan and assess their situation.

If you’re thinking about giving up your car or are in-between rides and don’t know if you want to take the plunge into a new vehicle, take a step back. Learning to live without a car might be easier than you think, especially when you keep the following car-free tips in mind.

Rely More on Ridesharing

The popularity of ridesharing has really changed the game for those looking to go car-less. Serving as a cost-effective alternative to a car payment and traditional taxies, those in major cities can hail an Uber in a matter of minutes (if even that long) to get them to pretty much wherever they might need to go.

If you’ve never taken an Uber before and are thinking about how to take advantage of ridesharing for the long-term, keep these pointers in mind:

  • Etiquette: This means tipping your Uber driver properly, being respectful and otherwise pleasant during your trip
  • Reviews: Star-ratings are absolutely essential for drivers, and likewise a good star rating yourself ensures that you regularly get picked up
  • Budget: After driving around or using an estimator, you can get an idea of what makes sense in terms of using Uber long-term and budget accordingly
Get to Know Your Local Paths

An overlooked piece of going car-less, you need to familiarize yourself with the best pedestrian and bike routes around your respective city. Look into local walking trails, biking communities and your city’s website for some valuable information: you might be surprised at what you can learn from beyond the likes of Google Maps.

Learn to Love Biking

Biking is perhaps the most popular primary means of transportation for those who give up their cars, and why not? Getting exercise and saving money at the same time is a nice bonus, right?

That said, you can’t rely on your old, beat-up bike if you’re going to be putting in some serious miles. Picking out the perfect bike doesn’t have to be rocket science or cost an arm and a leg, but make sure to look into something that can handle long-term use.

Figure Out When You Can Hitch a Ride

Friends, family, and roommates might be more than willing to let you carpool with them, granted it’s not a burden and you repay them in some way, shape or form. If you know someone who works in the same area of town or has a similar commute, it may be worthwhile to split gas or ride together on certain days of the week, for example. You never know until you ask, though.

Remember the Benefits

The idea of going without a car might be daunting in modern society, but reminding yourself of the benefits can help keep your spirits up during those times when you feel stranded. For example, consider the perks of…

  • Saving money: Not paying for fuel, oil changes or car payments can be a game-changer for your budget
  • Getting fit: Tthe simple act of getting up and moving, especially on a daily basis, does wonders for your physical and mental health
  • Peace of mind: Whether it’s being environmentally friendly or not having to worry about auto accidents, not driving can really take a load off your mind

Living without a car isn’t the impossible feat that some people make it out to be. With a bit of day-to-day planning and by understanding the expectations of life without one, you can still get around without a hitch while keeping major money in your pocket.

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