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Can You Afford And Why Should You Go Car-free?

Updated on April 30, 2013

Looking At The Possibility of Life Without A Car

Are you considering taking the leap to go car free? With the increasingly high cost of running a car, many are now considering it a luxury they cannot afford. For others, the impact on the environment is something they can no longer ignore and have to address. But is getting rid of the car a sensible or feasible option? There are some serious points that need considering.

Are the alternatives practical? A reason many people rely on their car is because there is not an adequate alternative form of transport available in their area for their needs. Before taking the decision to get rid of the car, it is essential to make sure alternatives are in place. Can you still get to work? How will the children get to school? Do you have shops local to you which will provide you with all your grocery needs? Do you have relatives that you like to visit on a regular basis or that may have some reliance on you to visit them on a regular basis?

Walking and running
Walking and running | Source
Trekking | Source
Cycling | Source

Take a look at the costs. If you have found that alternative transport will meet all your requirements, it’s now time to do the calculations. Compare the monthly costs of using your car and compare them to all the costs you will incur using alternative means. Look at the most expensive monthly scenario and use those figures.

You also need to be honest with yourself.It is ok to consider using a bike instead, but are you happy to use it, not only when the weather is good, but also during the depths of a cold wet winter? Your alternative options need to be as reliable as the car is to you. Safety considerations also need to be realized. Driving in your car late at night can be a safe way to travel, but can the same be said for catching a train and having to walk from the station to your home. You have done your research and are confident that you can pursue a car free lifestyle. You are now able to benefit from the following:

  • Help reduce pollution.
  • No surprise car repair or maintenance bills.
  • No asset depreciation. Only a few cars will hold there value or increase in price.
  • Health benefits. Walking to public transport stations and stops, cycling and walking will contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Connect with the outside world. Not being cocooned inside your car travelling from point to point will mean you spend more time experiencing the elements, have a greater connection with nature, and are more likely to meet your neighbors.
  • Discover new parts of your locality. You may start using paths and tracks you've not used before, or see new sights that you've missed by being in a car.

There are many benefits to going car free, and if considered properly, it can make a measurable improvement to your life.

Have you managed to cut down the number of car(s) you have?

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    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 6 years ago from UK

      Thanks Matthew and it is great to hear about your experiences - being conscious about car usage like you are is a great way to avoid the habit of using it for everything.

    • Matthew Ryczko profile image

      Matthew Ryczko 6 years ago from Ohio

      This is a great hub! I avoided getting my first car for a long time- I was happy to walk/bike most places and take the bus when I had to. Then I moved where there wasn't reliable public transit and had to get a car. I started getting lazy and using it even when I didn't need to. In the last couple years I've been pushing myself to get back into only using my car as I would have used public transit before. I say- walk everywhere within a mile, bike everywhere within 5 miles and only use your car if it's too far, unsafe conditions, or to haul groceries or children.