To replace or not to replace?

The object in question would be my car. It is dying, painfully. So, I am at those crossroads where I am trying to decide to replace the hunk of metal which costs me so much each year in repairs, gas, insurance, and all that stuff.

Road One – Don’t replace

The pros of not replacing my car, are huge. One, I wouldn’t have to buy a new car and spend all that money. Plus, I wouldn’t have to feed it gas, oil and all that stuff you need to do when you buy a car. I also would be free to look at housing options that do not include parking. I would also become a better cyclist and lose some weight which would be very nice. I would also buy a new bike sooner than otherwise.

The cons of not replacing my car are also pretty big. My family lives about three hours away by bus. I don’t mind taking the bus. The problem is when I get home. Public transportation doesn’t exist and the biking between family members would make the trip almost worthless. So, here is what would happen when I go back home. I might have to rent or borrow a car. I would have to become a better cyclist and actually ride my bike to work all the time. My commute, by bike, to work isn’t the best, and it isn’t the ten miles that bothers me. I have to cross a few dangerous roads, and traffic is horrible when I leave. I would also have to get better at taking care of my bike, which currently isn’t in the best condition.

Road Two – Replace my car

The pros are that I get a new to me car, and I wouldn’t to worry about getting places. The cons are that I have to pay a lot of money, cars tend to make you fatter, and I would be limiting my mobility in looking for cheap housing.

I am very undecided about this issue and have been looking for a used car for the last month or so. That’s when I seriously began to think about not replacing my car. What do you guys think? Is anyone here carless? What would you do in this situation?

Written by Toni Cameron


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3 responses to “To replace or not to replace?

  1. Katie

    Maybe buy a cheap beater and see how little you can drive it before going totally without? Renting a car to see family seems like a reasonable option. I have little advice to give – I have been too scared to ride my bike much since moving here from Iowa, where the streets are wide and the traffic is infrequent. :) Hopefully I can get more into it and expand my comfort zone when the weather gets warmer.

  2. Toni

    If I do decide to replace my car it will be with a low used car. I can’t see myself getting a new car. I will say it is hard to think about getting rid of my car in winter, summer tends to be a different story since the weather is nicer.

    I hope that you come out and ride with us sometime. A good introduction to riding around Albany is a nice group ride. Its a great way to get out on the street in a safe group. A recommendation for a ride would be the 1st friday rides wince its a smaller mileage and we tend to stay on bike friendly roads.

  3. ethan

    I think Jason Crane is still carless. He was taking the train out to PA to visit family, and I think he bought himself a folding bike to make it easier.

    I’ve given a lot of thought to this myself, since I only use my car once or twice per weekend, mostly for grocery shopping, and rarely to visit family in VT. (This will probably change in the summer when I can go hiking and camping.) Despite this, or because of it, my car has been eaten by animals, had ice fall off the roof of the building onto it, and all kinds of other nonsense. It’s a maintenance hassle and financial burden for something I hardly ever use. I’ve been considering renting a car when I need one. It would give me a chance to drive a convertible once in a while.

    With regards to your current commute and traffic, you could try staggering your time. I know in Downtown Albany, if I leave right at 5 I’m fighting with all of the state workers who are leaving like rats from a sinking ship. If I have to work late even half an hour, the streets are empty.

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