Hoboken: January 2016 Archives

2016 marks the 8th year that I got rid of my old Volvo. 8 years of not owning a car, and I couldn't be happier. One of the reasons why I love living in this town is that you can walk to just about anything you need: Dry Cleaning, Grocery Shopping, Pet Store, Restaurants, Pharmacy, etc. NextBike Bike Rental is available now. You can take a taxi or Uber for longer distances. Or you can rent a car at Avis for weekend getaways.

Lets take Avis car rental as an example. I have a beach house rental in Bradley Beach, NJ. Every weekend, I go there from May until September - if the weather is nice. Today I will spend about 30 minutes on the Avis website reserving my car for the weekend (Thursday 5pm to Sunday 5pm), which will be a Ford Fusion, and total costs, with insurance will be about $193. Also if I picked an "economy" car, it would be even cheaper at $162, but I like a bigger car so lets stick with a full size.

Today you could go out and get a 2016 Ford Fusion SE $89 per mo. (24 mos), $1995 down pymt + $645 bank fee. 89x24=2136(+1995+645) divided by 24 = $199 a month for a similar car.

Insurance monthly would cost me about $120. I priced this out.

You could park on the street in Hoboken, but after hearing many, many horror stories about street parking (drunks and teenagers fuck with too many cars), you almost have to park in a garage. My building offers parking at $185 a month, which is pretty much the lowest cost parking around. Most parking can be $250-300 a month.

But, lets just use my math. $199 for a car. $120 for insurance. $185 for parking. Total costs are $504 monthly. 12 months a year is $6048 a year.

Lets go back to my car from Avis. Lets say I rent a car every weekend at $193 from Memorial Day until Labor Day. The holiday weekends cost more, so I will double the cost for Memorial, July 4th and Labor day. Total weekends are 15. If we double the costs for holidays that is 3 more to 18 weekends. 18 times $193 is $3474. I'm saving $2574 a year. Even if we throw in holiday weekends like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter - i'm not spending more than $2574 for those, either. Also, any weekend in which it rains or I have to stick around Hoboken I can cancel my car and I don't have to pay a dime.

Plus consider other extra hidden costs of car ownership and leasing, like maintenance costs. Oil changes, tire rotation, mileage checkups all add up. When you rent a car, you don't pay any of those costs. Plus with Avis every single car I rented with them were brand spanking new cars, all with less than 20,000 miles - and 50% of them had less than 10,000 miles. Avis is pretty smart, they keep the cars until they hit about 20,000 miles and then sell them - and just keep buying new cars.

The only reason why people own a car is for work or convenience. When I talk to car owners (that don't need it for work) about giving up their car, its like you suggest they stop eating sugar. They get a look in their face like a world without car ownership isn't a world worth living. I remember one friend of mine was worried about "Maybe I might need my car at 11pm on a Tuesday night!" - I asked where exactly where they going at 11pm on a Tuesday and they didn't have an answer, more of a "What if?" scenario.

If you have children - sure I can understand needing a car. If you are someone that has a job which demands you at strange hours to respond, yes you need a car. But most people who are parking on the street in Hoboken do not NEED a car. They have it because its convenient and some have paid the car off, so their only costs are insurance a month plus maintenance. $120 a month for insurance is still only $1440 a year, plus the parking badge for $15 a year, which is cheaper than the example I laid out above. I did that with my Volvo for a year, I kept moving it around once a week to avoid paying parking tickets for street cleaning.

I'm just here to tell you that you can break free from car ownership and save a lot of money by doing what i'm doing. One of the best reasons for living in Hoboken is because of the Walk Score of 95 or a "Walker's Paradise".

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This page is a archive of entries in the Hoboken category from January 2016.

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