In certain cities, public transportation is excellent and having a car can seem like an unnecessary expense and nuisance. In other cities, having a car to get around town can be incredibly helpful.
Or, if you have a weekend home in the country or hobbies like golf that take you outside of the city relatively often, a car may be worthwhile. Here are some tips to make owning a car in an urban area a bit easier and perhaps less expensive:
Decide Whether A Rental Option Is “Good Enough”
You escape all of the pitfalls of having your own car (from parking to maintaining it) if you use a membership service where you pick up and return cars only when you need it. Of course, you’ll have to plan ahead and it can be pricey, so this only works if you won’t need a car too often.
Think About Whether the Convenience or Price of a Garage is More Important
If you live in a trendy area, parking your car a solid walk or subway ride from your neighborhood can cut your parking fees in half. However, if you’re taking your car out on a daily basis, proximity may be worth paying more for.
Don’t Buy Gas in the City
As a city-dwelling car owner, you’ll quickly realize you’ll pay a premium if you buy gas in the city. Make sure you have enough to get out to the ‘burbs and you’ll save money.
Buy a Car That Fits the City Spaces
If you’re going to be parallel parking constantly, a behemoth truck or minivan probably isn’t your best bet. Plus, having a compact car may get you savings at parking garages.
Explore Pay Per Mile Insurance
If you’re driving infrequently, this may save you some money. However, avoid getting the cheapest insurance you can simply because you drive less—you still want to be well covered if and when you need it.
Protect Your Car
Steering wheel locks, wheel locks, aftermarket body moldings and “bumper buddies” can all keep your car from being stolen or damaged.