Life without a car might sound like it's restrictive. After all, you always have to bum rides from people or wait for the bus or subway to show up. However, with the prevalence of ride-sharing, the ease of car rentals, and the regularity of product deliveries, life without a car is easier than it's ever been.
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Cars are a lousy investment, and every year the cost of owning a car goes higher and higher, even if gas prices stabilize. The average annual cost, as of 2017, according to the AAA is $8,469 a year. This factors in the cost of monthly payments, gas, maintenance, and repairs. The amount is even higher if you're prone to getting parking or speeding tickets or if you get into an accident.
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Health Through Walking
Walking, biking, pushing a scooter or a skateboard, or using other means of transport are a lot healthier than sitting in traffic, gaining weight, and stressing out. Skip the gym—and the freeway— and exercise outdoors via your commute for your physical and mental health.
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Extra Leisure Time
Need a quick nap? Want to catch up on some reading, or surf the Internet? Try doing those in your car. While cars force you to pay attention to traffic (or pay the consequences of distracted driving), using public transportation like a bus, a subway, or a carpool gives you some quiet time to read, snooze, pray, pay bills, or just look outside at the beautiful scenery. If you're the type that hates driving, this is even ore of a benefit.
04 of 08
Decreased Risk of Accidents
Each year, around 35,000 people are killed in vehicle accidents in the U.S. That number doesn't include the many thousands of people who are injured—some permanently—in driving accidents. While being auto-free doesn't totally eliminate the risk if you drive in other people's cars, it does decrease it drasticallyContinue to 5 of 8 below.
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Ease of Car Rental
There are, of course, times when a car is just more fun, practical, and safe. For those times, there are a number of options like taxis, Zipcar, or rental companies. Some, like Hertz and Enterprise, will even pick you up at your house. When you're done with the car, just drop it off.
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Prevalence of Ride-Sharing
Let's be honest—climbing into a stranger's 1988 Ford Fairmont isn't anyone's idea of a fun ride. Thankfully, ridesharing isn't what it used to be. Online options like GoLoCo.org have updated the old idea of carpooling into a social network. And many employers offer subsidies for carpooling (and for taking public transit).
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Decreased Carbon Footprint
Do your part in protecting the environment by not owning a car. Around 150 million Americans live in an area with air quality that doesn't meet federal standards, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. The group states that passenger vehicles are a significant source of air pollution, due to the contribution of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and other pollution.