One Year Without a Car!

For the first time since I was 16, I’ve had the very liberating yet un-American experience of living without a car. Sure, I’ve had to rent/hire a few cars in various places, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time in taxis (or in Thailand, tuk tuks (never again) and red buses), but most of time, I’ve been able to just walk or rely on the underground/subway.

I do not miss driving, as I think it is fun only when you can drive very fast on the open road. The USA unfortunately makes it difficult and risky to do with over-regulation and terribly unaware drivers. I could always move to München I suppose, and drive on the autobahn, but I don’t truly enjoy driving to justify moving there (though it’s a great city to visit).

That said, my experiment is coming to an end for a bit in 2011. I’ll be back in Arizona for a couple of months and need to decide on a car (it’s one mile just to leave my subdivision, so it’s impractical to not have one). It’s too long to really just rent or hire one, and far too long to borrow one, so I get to choose between buying something that I’ll only keep for two months (in other words, something really low end), or something with reasonably high resale value (e.g., a high quality used luxury car or a classic car). I’m terribly impatient with auto maintenance and repairs, so none of these options are particularly appealing, and really, who wants to drop money into something that’s only real purpose is to get you from A to B? A vintage 1965 Mustang like the one we had on set this weekend was pretty incredible, but the time and effort to maintain it would not suit me.

So, if you have any creative recommendations, I’m open to suggestions.

4 Responses to “One Year Without a Car!”

  1. on 16 Dec 2010 at 9:07Ben

    SmartCars are small, mostly practical, and have pretty awesome resale prices. No idea how easy or hard they are to come by in AZ though, or how good the air conditioning is.

  2. on 16 Dec 2010 at 9:08Ben

    Also, instead of a car, could you get away with a scooter or small motorcycle?

  3. on 16 Dec 2010 at 9:51Dylan

    I did really enjoy the Smart Car I drove in Italy a few years ago.

    Scooter or motorcycle is really not practical in Arizona, and I’ll probably need to drive around visitors from out of town

    As you thought, the issue with AZ is that they’ve only been selling smart cars there for a couple of years, so the selection is somewhat limited (though I did find a few just now)…

  4. on 05 Jan 2011 at 14:08Michael J. Ryan

    For resell value in AZ, you’re better off with a full on hybrid, or classic car. Simply the hype on hybrids has kept the pricing relatively level. I’d go with a Honda CRX myself, not the best milage, but the best odds of a recent/new car with decent resell value.

    Also, it’s worth noting that if your classic car is in good condition maintenance can actually be lower than newer cars, it’s just you’re paying out of pocket without a warranty, but a 60’s-70’s car tends to be a fair deal, though you’re out of pocket >$10-20K USD as there aren’t many car loan options on classic cars.

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