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Old 01-10-2016, 05:00 PM   #21
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What have other early retirees in this situation opted to do? Has anyone successfully gotten by with Uber, Lyft or Car2Go?
no but I have a golf cart that goes 20mph uphill

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Alternatives to owning a car?
Old 01-10-2016, 05:36 PM   #22
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Alternatives to owning a car?

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Old 01-10-2016, 05:55 PM   #23
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As someone with 13 vehicles, and at least 2 since 18 years old, not owning a car is a foreign concept to me. I value the freedom and ability to go places a car provides, when I want and not subject to published schedules or availability.

The only way I can see this work is to live in the urban core of a city. Close to public transportation, access within walking for most of your needs, and use taxi/uber for longer trips. Big vacations or out of town will likely need rental car, unless you travel by public transport to airport, fly to location, and use public transport at vacation spot.

I just could not do it. I accept the cost of a vehicle (or more, hahaha) as one of my requirements for my chosen std of living. Plus I prefer out in the country rather than urban city, so the discussion is a moot point for me. But for OP, you could do it with the acceptance of being subject to public transportation and paying for rides or renting cars when needed.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:13 PM   #24
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I lived in Boston without a car for several years. When I wanted to go skiing I got a ride share off a university bulletin board. I rented cars to go look at leaves and covered bridges in Vermont. But mostly, I never really wanted to leave Boston except to visit jazz clubs in NYC, and I took the train. Now at retirement age I had my car totaled I think almost 4 years ago, so I decided to do without. During part of one of these years I was on crutches. I live in an attractive, hilly city, about 1 mile from the center of downtown.

When you go care-less, you meet others like yourself who can't afford cars, or have health issues, or just don't want to bother with a car. I knew guy from ballroom dancing classes who lived near my home, and I often gave him rides home before my car got wrecked. From the time I moved to the west until ~4 years ago, I drove about 20,000 miles/year. Then I went cold turkey, and I really prefer it. This guy had vision issues and had since he was in his 30s, like 30 years ago. He got along fine. This was before Uber, he mostly took buses. Seattle has so-so public transit, but is relatively crime free.

I use buses and Uber, but more often I just walk.

One thing I would say, if i do ever decide to start driving again or buy a car, I will invest in driving lessons because I feel that I would be rusty in unfamiliar places.

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Old 01-10-2016, 11:31 PM   #25
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It sounds as if going without a car might be a bit tricky for you, Focus. In your position, I'd probably want a compact and economical car.

I sold my last car in early 2002, and haven't missed it. However, both of the areas I have been carless in are major metropolitan areas with decent public transport, and all amenities within a few miles. I get around just fine on a bicycle, which also gives me daily exercise. It's cheap, efficient, and healthy.

For longer out of town trips, I rent a car, and probably average about 2 days of car rental a year. I don't miss driving at all, but I get restless if I go more than a day or two without riding the bike.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:45 PM   #26
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I went without a car for 6 months in winter where the bus rides home took 2 hours via 2-3 buses.
I found I walked a lot, no need for a gym when you walk miles everyday.
I also used my bike (not motor-bike). I did ride on bike paths and the sidewalk more than the road as car drivers win all the time.
I got the grocery store to deliver groceries as they had a service for only $5, or you could use peapod.

OP - try it for a few months, track the cost, and see if it's worth it to you.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:00 AM   #27
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I'm about to sell our second car (mine) tomorrow and move to 2 places where there are better transportation alternatives - walking, buses. I'll let you know how it turns out. We are keeping our 10 year old Subaru Outback for now.

I have to admit I have a bit of anxiety about it but not much. I also feel I won't be driving forever.


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Old 01-11-2016, 03:33 AM   #28
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Like you, I don't enjoy owning a car per se. But I very much enjoy the freedom and flexibility of going exactly where I want, whenever I want, and to carry stuff with me, and do it in a time-efficient manner.
Yep, I can relate to that.

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If you are really going to need a car once or twice per day, you probably won't save any money with these services unless your car-owning expenses are higher than average (costs for parking at home, etc). Also, if you travel out of the city with any regularity, consider the costs and inconvenience of needing to get a rental car for those trips.

I wouldn't consider being car-free unless I lived on the established net of a efficient mass transit system, and I seldom traveled outside that net. I can't see that I'd ever choose to live in a place like that, for various reasons, but some people like it. I put less than 5K miles on our cars last year, but having them handy makes a lot of other things possible/easy.
All good points, along with the others shared by others above. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:59 AM   #29
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I have been carless for several stretches, maybe 10 years total, as an adult in the Los Angeles area. Never was really difficult, it was not a financial decision, I just preferred riding to driving. Even when I had a car it was unused for weeks sometimes. Good weather made it easy. I rented a car maybe once or twice a year.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:09 AM   #30
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We went careless after we drove our car to Mexico and left it. We could manage just fine after we returned. Definitely more cost-effective. We decided to buy a used one for convenience but we still walk, bike and use transit whenever practical. And we can drink wine with dinner...

(In fact, our specialty is to buy a high mileage used car and turn it into a low mileage car through 5 years of ownership. Depreciation alone is more than we could ever justify!)
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:36 AM   #31
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We live in Sun City Center, Florida where golf carts are permitted on all the streets in the city with with one exception; they are not allowed on the main state routes through the city. There are five traffic lights on the state routes where you can cross in a golf cart. Golf carts are a normal way of life here. Also, there is public transportation exclusive to Sun City Center and the gated community of Kings Point. We have a hospital, many doctors offices, grocery and drug stores, banks, restaurants, etc. that are all accessible by golf cart. There are many communities in the country like this and all you have to do is Google the information. You might have to move but it is possible to survive in this world and never own a car.
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Alternatives to owning a car?
Old 01-11-2016, 09:47 AM   #32
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Alternatives to owning a car?

Although we have 4 cars and do a lot of driving, I think going carless is doable. But it would take a certain kind of person in the right environment. I.e. Someone satisfied with walking, biking & mass transit in an urban area. You can always rent a car for occasional trips. I don't see how going carless would work in rural or suburban areas.


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Old 01-11-2016, 09:52 AM   #33
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Here is another alternative to owning: Shared auto leasing
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:20 AM   #34
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the only guy I know here without a car was a bartender at my golf club - he walked to work every day and lived downtown - last year he ended up packing up two suitcases and moving to SF where he doesn't need one


no way we could live here without at least one subaru
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:56 AM   #35
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We live in Sun City Center, Florida where golf carts are permitted on all the streets in the city with with one exception; they are not allowed on the main state routes through the city. There are five traffic lights on the state routes where you can cross in a golf cart. Golf carts are a normal way of life here. Also, there is public transportation exclusive to Sun City Center and the gated community of Kings Point. We have a hospital, many doctors offices, grocery and drug stores, banks, restaurants, etc. that are all accessible by golf cart. There are many communities in the country like this and all you have to do is Google the information. You might have to move but it is possible to survive in this world and never own a car.

Based on this discussion, I would put a golf cart in the category of 'car'.... IOW, you have a vehicle at your disposal to drive to any of the necessary places you need instead of public transportation or walking....

Sure, you cannot drive to another town, but how often do we actually do that? BTW, I can drive 50 plus miles and still be in the same 'town'... if you are real loose with the definition of town to include big cities..
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:58 AM   #36
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Based on this discussion, I would put a golf cart in the category of 'car'.... IOW, you have a vehicle at your disposal to drive to any of the necessary places you need instead of public transportation or walking....
1) I don't need a license to drive my golf cart
2) it doesn't require a registration or emissions testing
3) it doesn't require liability insurance
4) it has batteries that are good for 10 years
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:02 AM   #37
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I think a golf cart is a great idea, if it is reasonable and legal in one's community.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:03 AM   #38
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Based on this discussion, I would put a golf cart in the category of 'car'.... IOW, you have a vehicle at your disposal to drive to any of the necessary places you need instead of public transportation or walking....
I thought the same at first. But it differs sufficiently from a car that it deserves it's own category. But expenses for a golf cart are a LOT lower (esp registration and insurance). More fundamentally, you can drive it even if you can no longer get a drivers license, which is a big deal for many oldsters.

So, it does address several important reasons that a person might need to do without a car. But you are right, it doesn't address the OPS question about the suitability of Lift, Uber, etc for taking care of transportation needs.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:43 PM   #39
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I thought the same at first. But it differs sufficiently from a car that it deserves it's own category. But expenses for a golf cart are a LOT lower (esp registration and insurance). More fundamentally, you can drive it even if you can no longer get a drivers license, which is a big deal for many oldsters.

So, it does address several important reasons that a person might need to do without a car. But you are right, it doesn't address the OPS question about the suitability of Lift, Uber, etc for taking care of transportation needs.
In many big cities an Uber driver is at most a few blocks away. The only downside is that it isn't exactly cheap, especially black car. I just hit Uber app for UberX 2 minute wait to a pickup at my home.

Ha
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:00 PM   #40
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It really depends on where you live. Where I live now (downtown San Francisco), it is very easy to get around without a car. I walk pretty much everywhere. If I need to go across town, I can either use Uber or public transportation. If I need to drive out of town, then I can get a ZipCar.

Next year, I will be moving to a small Southern city. We have decided to try and live there with a single car. It might be a challenge. Public transportation is unreliable and inconvenient. And the city sprawls over an area many times larger than the city of San Francisco. Thankfully, we are going to live in one of the rare walkable neighborhoods with amenities., so I think we can get away with only one car. But for most couples living there, two cars is standard.
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