They said, “It’s a mistake!” I smiled and said, “I’ll be fine.” Wondering what is it all about? For past two years, I have been giving final thoughts to selling off my car and living a carless life. So, as a part of the process, the friends and family were surprised and some warned me. “Living without a car is impossible”, that was what I would hear from all. I have still made this decision against all odds and starting to feel great already after selling my car. If you ask me why I’ve done it, I would take the pleasure to shed light on this.
I live in Manhattan and life without a car is presumably difficult for the people. Whether going to work, dropping off the kids to school, going on a holiday with friends or family and the benefits of owning a car is endless but still what the reason that drove me far off the vehicles?
Parking is the major issues in New York and the streets of Manhattan are also becoming overcrowded with growing number of cars. The challenge of finding an empty spot for parking can into a nightmare irrespective of the season. For locals who stay in the closely knitted apartments, the cost of obtaining a parking slot inside the premises can go high. The price of a garage can add as much as $100,000 to the original price of the apartment. That is a one-time investment and really hurts to pay so much more just for a garage.
You also have an option for renting a garage if you are lucky to find a place, for which you have to bear the cost of hundreds to thousands of dollars each month. The parking authorities in NY said that the monthly average of renting a garage is $430, but we also see cases when the monthly price is $1000.
The cheapest of the cheap option is to go for alternate parking. Get ready for an elbow grease finding a spot each time and pay monthly. The biggest challenge of all is to get an empty space because you don’t have the luxury to fix a permanent location. As you struggle to park each day, you also find it difficult on street cleaning days. Just wake up early and zoom! Gone. Now search for another place. Facing the same problem each day soon became a headache and that was when I started thinking of selling off my car. But that was not the end of the story.
Additional charges against ticketing, towing, insurance, fuel, maintenance and what not! You would end up paying no less than $800-$1000 annually for ticketing. Annual insurance costs involve no less than $2500 for a car in Manhattan. The keeping a garage, buying essential tools like a car jack, wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers for repairing the car or paying extra at the service center.
Now, take a pen and a paper today and draw an estimate of all the expenses towards your car, circle today’s date on the calendar and start keeping a track of the payment. Exactly, after a year match your charges, and I bet the cost is just going up every year. Imagine how much you’d save yourself if you agree to travel on shared transportation. Subway is any day better in New York than driving your car on the busy roads.
Last but not the least, I took this decision because I wanted to live the city. Yes, I want to smell it, I want to breathe in the air and feel the city. Riding a bicycle is never out of fashion in New York. I would rather explore the city riding on a bicycle and there’s nothing more romantic than this.