You undoubtedly enjoy having your own vehicle, but there are perks to getting rid of your car. It's important to have reliable transportation, however, reliable transportation doesn't always suggest having your own car. Getting a driver’s license and buying a car is a rite of passage for many young adults, but as we get older and take on additional responsibilities, having a vehicle can be a costly convenience. If you're looking to reduce your expenses -and you have access to public transportation - here are seven hidden perks of getting rid of your car.
1. Able to Increase Your Emergency Fund
Getting rid of your car might be a smart move if you have nothing in your emergency fund. Buying a car involves a monthly car payment – in most cases. Additionally, you have to pay auto insurance. Depending on how much you spend, these two expenses can run $500 a month. But if you take the same money and put it in a savings account, you'll save about $6,000 a year.
2. You Don't Have to Worry about Unexpected Expenses
It doesn't matter if you purchase a new or a used car, cars require maintenance and repairs. And often times, these expenses pop up at the worst times. If you don't have an emergency fund or disposable cash, you might have to rely on credit cards to cover automotive expenses. This can increase your debt, contributing to additional financial stress. But if you don't have a car, this is one less thing to worry about.
3. You Don't Have to Worry about a Car Accident
Understandably, your chances of getting into an auto accident are slim – but it can happen. If a car accident is your fault, you’ll have to pay a deductible to your insurance company before they’ll pay to fix your car. And depending on the severity of the accident, the other driver might sue you for damages.
4. You Can Sneak in a Little Exercise
If you live close to work, shopping centers and other local attractions, surviving without a vehicle might be easier than you think. You can bike or walk to places in your local area. Or maybe walk to a nearby train or bus station. You can squeeze in your daily exercise without hitting the gym.
5. No Pressure to Keep up
Even if your vehicle is in good condition, you might feel pressured to buy a new car every three or four years. This way, you can enjoy the newest body style and better interior features. However, buying a new car every few years means that you’ll always have a car payment. Thus, it might be harder to save and achieve larger goals, such as buying a house.
6. No Personal Property Tax
In addition to a car payment and insurance, you might have to pay personal property tax if you live in certain states. The amount you owe yearly is based on the value of your vehicle. Percentages vary by state.
7. You’ll Help the Environment
If you're trying to maintain a green lifestyle and reduce your carbon footprint, getting rid of your car is a step in the right direction. Unless you're driving an electric car, vehicles emit gases into the air that affect the environment. By getting rid of your car, you can do your part to reduce vehicle pollution.
Understandably, going without a vehicle doesn't work for everyone. You'll need to count the cost and see whether this is a doable alternative for your lifestyle. However, if you're able to walk, bike or take public transportation to get around your city, this move is worth consideration.
Could you survive without a car?