The car-free experiment

Earlier this week, I’ve started a bold experiment. Instead of renewing my car’s insurance, I decided to park it for at least three months. My personal situation (ie. unemployment) has necessitated some cost-cutting, and car insurance is a significant chunk of it ($110/month for bare pleasure use). At $32 for 3 months, I’ve essentially saved $100 a month by putting my car in storage. Add to that the cost of filling it up, and that’s more money saved.

This car's not moving for a while.

Going car-free is something I’ve been considering at this time last year, also at insurance renewal time. At the time, I’ve thought about selling the car and signing up for one of the co-ops. I have always been using transit as my primary method of getting around, and to me, spending $110/month on a vehicle I barely use seems ridiculous.

But the practicality of having a car won out, and I ended up renewing the insurance. This time, it will be a test to see if I can survive without a vehicle. I figure that since it’s summer (finally!), it’s more pleasant to get around, and some walking won’t hurt in terms of my running training. I’m even considering getting a bicycle. Who knows? Maybe that car can stay in its stall permanently…

ADDENDUM, 07/11/2010, 16:50 PDT: I walked home from my parents’ house earlier today, and it took about 20 minutes, door to door. It could take about as long by bus, including waiting time.

And I discovered a neighbourhood walking map centred on Trout Lake in East Vancouver, developed by Better Environmentally Sound Transportation. There are also maps for Kerrisdale and Killarney, with hopefully more to come!

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2 Comments on “The car-free experiment”

  1. […] rely on public transit as my primary mode of transportation (even more so now because I decided not to renew the insurance on my car). But to me, it’s much more than that. As evidenced by the documents I […]

  2. […] A year ago, financial considerations forced me to park my car. It was initially for three months. But three months became six, then 12. A year without a car; it really isn’t as frustrating as it sounds, considering my main mode of transportation is public transit, even when my car was insured. […]


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