If you have or are about to make a move into the city center there are special considerations that need to be made. For those that work and live in a downtown area the question of whether or not to keep a car could come into play. This is especially true if you have more than one vehicle for your household.
Here we’ll weigh the pros and cons of getting rid of a car to see how viable of an option it really is.
Even if you don’t have a car payment you’ll still need to pay for gas and a minimum amount of auto insurance, which is a requirement in Texas. Right now, ValuePenguin estimates that the average cost of auto insurance in Texas is approximately $885 a year. As of this writing the average gallon of regular gas is $3.14. Then there are maintenance expenses:
- Fluids – Brake, power steering, wiper, etc.
Owning a vehicle isn’t cheap. While alternative options are economical, unless you’re walking it still costs a little something to get around. For example, if you are moving to downtown Houston the Greenlink route is free, but for routes using METRO it could cost up to $36 a month. Rides on the Rail start at $1.25 one-way.
Winner: Ditching the Car
As more people move into downtown areas one clear issue has popped up – parking. Even if you have a dedicated parking spot at your property, traveling anywhere else could require that you circle the block until a spot opens up or pay hefty fees to park in a lot.
One of the benefits of not driving is not having to park. Depending on the mode of transit you use, you may be able to pull right up to the front door of your destination. Plus, if you have a parking spot at your apartment or house but don’t need it, guests will be able to use it.
Winner: Ditching the Car
Being able to hop in and go at a moment’s notice has been the big draw of owning a car since Mr. Ford revolutionized the industry. There’s no real planning needed or thought required. You can travel in comfort, on your own schedule at any time.
Using alternative means of transportation is a little more labor intensive and time-consuming, especially if you need to take a trip out of town. Depending on the day and time you may also have limited options. And if the weather is acting up walking, biking and waiting for a bus can be downright miserable.
Winner: Keeping the Car
Alternative Transportation Options
Today going without a vehicle is easier than ever if you live and work downtown.
Car sharing programs – Car-2-Go in Austin is a good example of car sharing. Essentially, you sign up and pay a small one-time fee to become a member. Then you’ll have access to vehicle that cost a small amount per minute or mile that you drive.
Bikes – Cities are becoming more and more bike-friendly. Cities like Austin, Portland and Minneapolis even have trail systems throughout downtown that are alternatives to bike lanes on the road.
Public Transit on Buses and Trolleys – Bus systems began well before the first automobile was even built. Today they are improving rapidly with features like Wi-Fi and fast routes, and trolleys are also becoming more prevalent.
Hoofing It – Over the last decade most large cities in America have had a major revival in their urban downtown areas. Emphasis has been on making them mixed-use spaces where it’s easy for downtown dwellers to get to things on foot.
So, it may be easier to go car-less than you’d think. You can even move without a vehicle with the help of Square Cow Movers. We can get everything loaded up and drive it to your new downtown digs without you ever having to get behind the wheel. Use the online Instant Moving Quote form to get an estimate today!