As my debt goes down and my life continues to become more unmanageable without a vehicle, I’m trying to find ways to get along without a car until I can afford one. Up until recently, my strategy for living car-less in a very pedestrian unfriendly city has been:
- taking obscenely long rides on public transit
- making family drive me around as necessary
- simply not going to something when I can’t get there =(
Unfortunately for me, this is unsustainable. So last week in a last ditch attempt to avoid buying a car, I signed up for a car-share program that will let me rent a vehicle for everything from a few hours for a trip to the grocery store to a weekend to take a trip to the mountains. The downside is that now my transportation costs will go up. I expect that I will probably be renting a car through this program a few times a month, and that’s going to cost me anywhere from less than $100 to… well, maybe a few hundred dollars each month. What I’m going to try to find out is, is it cheaper to rent a car occasionally than to buy one of my own?
Costs that I’m currently avoiding by using a car-share are:
- car payments
Well, I’m not really avoiding all of those because they’re included in the rental fee, but it’s a fraction of what I’d pay for ownership.. or is it? In the past year I’ve considered everything from a used Mazda 3 to a Lexus SUV. My dream car is still a Mini Cooper (see photo above!), even though I feel they’re somewhat impractical.