By Danielle Warchol
When people think about getting a car, especially a second car, they often look into the best green cars to help the environment and save money. When a car is truly needed, this is a good way to go, but more and more people are actually doing something that was once considered radical. They are foregoing a car (or second car) all together. Not only is this the greenest choice, it can also save a lot of money. Here are some of the ways that ditching your car (or that second car) can be a great choice for your pocket book:
Car Loan Payments
A large car loan is one financial reason to consider ditching your car. If you’re deep in debt and you decide that your car is an unneeded expense, the last thing you’ll want to deal with is a car loan. Selling your car will help you pay off that loan. After that, you’ll no longer have to worry about car payments each month!
Regardless of whether you own your car or are paying off a loan, car insurance is a huge annoyance. It’s a useful and necessary thing to have, but no one enjoys paying that bill. If you’re thinking of selling or donating your car, no longer having to pay car insurance should definitely help convince you. Depending on your car model, driving record, or age, car insurance could be as much as $1,600 per year. Scrapping that amount from your monthly or yearly budget would definitely be a good way to save money.
Aside from car insurance or loan payments, having to take your car to the mechanic is another annoying car expense. It’s hard to find a good mechanic that won’t overcharge you or cheat you out of money, but even if you do, repairs are usually costly. A new car shouldn’t need more than a yearly tune-up, but a used car can start to really cost you some money. Getting rid of your car means you wouldn’t have to worry about paying for a trip to the mechanic anymore.
A trip to the mechanic is always expensive, but the home repairs you do on your car can be just as expensive. Whether you’re replacing fluid or wipers or buying new tires, the maintenance costs add up. If you take good care of your car, you shouldn’t have to worry about paying too much. If you don’t take good care of your care, however, you could be paying up to $500 a year on small repairs.
Renting is Cheaper
Renting a car through a program like ZipCar instead of owning a car is only advisable if you live in an area that offers a rental car program. If you do live in one of these areas and you don’t frequently use your car, renting is much better than owning. You don’t have to worry about paying monthly bills or fees and can rent for hours or days at a time, depending on your need. This is a better financial option for people who are considering selling their car due to lack of use.
If you live in the city or frequently visit the city, you know that parking is outrageously expensive. Depending on the city, parking can be up to $30 a day. That’s $210 a week, $840 a month, and $10,080 a year! Chances are you won’t be paying for parking every day – or that, if you are, you’ll have a monthly pass – but still, over $10,000 a year for parking is one expense you don’t need. Parking rates or garage rates are so overpriced that you can easily avoid wasting that money if you decide to get rid of your car.
Tolls, Parking Meters, Parking Tickets
Paying for tolls, parking meters, and possible parking tickets goes along with the unnecessary hassle of paying for parking. With tolls and parking meters, it may not seem like you’re spending a lot of money at the time, but the cost quickly rises. If you pay $2 each way on your way to work, that’s $20 for one work week, which amounts to $80 a month and $960 a year. That’s quite a bit of money. And of course, if you’ve ever gotten a parking ticket, you know how expensive those can run.
DMV fees are another finance annoyance and depending on your state, they’ll vary in cost. Some of the fees include paying for your license plate, paying for a custom plate, purchasing, renewing, or replacing a license, renewing vehicle registration, or registering an out of state car. All of these are necessary items, but once you get rid of your car, you won’t have to worry about paying these fees anymore.
Like most of these financial costs, car tax depends on the state where your vehicle is registered. However, regardless of where you live and how much you pay, this is another financial expense that should convince you to give up your car. If you’re selling for financial reasons, not having to pay car tax is definitely an added bonus.
Last, but certainly not least, is the ultimate car expense annoyance. To almost every driver’s frustration, gas prices keep on rising. If you use your car frequently, you already know how much it costs to fill the tank. So, if you’re thinking about ditching your car, consider how much money you’d be saving by not having one in the first place.
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