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Old 12-26-2018, 10:09 AM
2,497 posts, read 2,784,039 times
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I hope it works out for you not to have the truck. If I were in your shoes, I probably would make the same decision by getting rid of an older truck that may need more costly repairs. It sounds like there is adequate public transportation for you, which is a rare thing to have in most places in the U.S.

I've lived in areas where I could get by without a car, and I enjoyed not having to pay for one. I had lived near subway stops, close enough to walk in most cases. I did have a bike back then and that helped as well. I know that my transportation costs were much lower overall. I hope this decision works out for you to be car-free.

Unfortunately, I live in an area now where having a car is essential.

Last edited by maus; 12-26-2018 at 10:18 AM..

Old 12-26-2018, 10:11 AM
2,497 posts, read 2,784,039 times
Reputation: 2616
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
You're putting a LOT of money into a car that is too old. I wouldn't put a new transmission into a truck that probably, after the new transmission was installed, wasn't worth the price of the transmission.

Can you get a 10 year old civic instead of this truck?

I don't know about your lifestyle, but I transport stuff ALL THE TIME. Public transportation would be a major headache for me several times a week, as I have stuff with me. Like, enough stuff that I keep a collapsable wheeled hand cart permanently in my car.

How do people who only use public transportation even go to the grocery store?

When you shop for example, you just buy what you can carry back with you. This usually works well for a single person who doesn't need to buy much day to day. You plan your shopping more carefully when you do it this way without a car.

I would get a friend with a car to help me here and there for the larger items that I could not easily carry.
Old 12-26-2018, 10:40 AM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
23,308 posts, read 22,314,232 times
Reputation: 28499
I'd park it for a few months and see how the public transportation thing goes. If there are no major glitches, you'll feel more confidant about getting rid of the truck.

Does you insurance company offer roadside assistance? Mine does, and for a fraction of the price of AAA. I loved AAA when I had it and used it, but when looking for a way to reduce spending, I realized that I hadn't called them in years. It felt a bit scary at first, but I got over it.
Old 12-26-2018, 10:54 AM
5,112 posts, read 2,303,822 times
Reputation: 13043
Did public trans for a year. Dreaded every moment...missed routes or changes...sometimes they skipped pick ups to save route time. Also did the bike thing for a little over a year.. loved those evening back road rides.
my time is important...sitting on a bus is not productive for all the commitments I have....
I can see the alure in not having the overhead...gas,insurance, repair,safety and the inept drivers on the road.
I get how it's effective for some...I'm not one of em though...
Old 12-26-2018, 12:04 PM
9,237 posts, read 9,462,327 times
Reputation: 4782
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I'm super low income,...
If you have a regular income from social security you should consider moving to Mexico. A lot of people live without automobiles and the cities are better organized to support walking around. I met a lot of American retirees living there, in a lifestyle that was much better than they could afford in the USA.

The most common person I met was a widow, and often someone who lived around the world when they were younger and married. They are less intimidated by living in another country. They don't have cars, but they can afford to take a taxi or just a bus. Since the shopping districts are more geared towards people without cars, everything is closer. There is also a lot of stands with quick service for much less than we pay for commercial fast food.
Old 12-26-2018, 12:43 PM
Location: Covington WA
278 posts, read 135,304 times
Reputation: 712
I would think it would depend on the available public transit in your area. I went car free for five years when I lived in downtown Seattle...it was a snap and the transit is not all that great...but it did exist and I was in my early 40's and fit enough to walk everywhere easily. With all of the delivery services available now, including groceries in a lot of locations., that should make it even more doable. Plus with Uber/Lyft, in addition to taxis, there are options available now that can work as back up.

Accessibility to good transit is definitely something that was of importance to me in scouting retirement locations. I seriously considered selling my car and not taking it to the new location, but got cold feet. I am older, plus have my granddaughter to consider...some of her activities may not be on the transit lines and/or run into the evening when I wouldn't feel comfortable having her take public transit.

As for the sod, I have a friend who has a small dog in her apartment, and I think she uses some kind of astroturf or something similar that can be hosed off and used continuously...might that save you on buying sod?
Old 12-26-2018, 01:20 PM
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,930 posts, read 15,887,778 times
Reputation: 11550
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I will end up spending more on a few things that will be too inconvenient to buy with public transportation, so I'll have them delivered. One thing in particular - I buy a roll of sod from Lowe's every month or so and lay it in a tray on my balcony for my dog to use for relieving herself in-between walks or if she's home alone for a while. There's a delivery service for this on Amazon that will cost me $30, instead of the $8 or so, I've been spending on the sod.
You don't have a friend or neighbor who would be willing to occasionally run this sort of errand for you?

Originally Posted by Raise_the_Black_Flag View Post
It’s nice to see someone is honest about the needs of an older vehicle and not the “I have a 25year old Chevy , it needed nothing except tires ; brakes; and oil changes”.
If it was a 25-year-old Chevy the transmission would have cost $400 rather than $2400.
Old 12-26-2018, 06:06 PM
Location: SF, CA
1,117 posts, read 485,103 times
Reputation: 1644
Hello there NoMoreSnow!

I've been car-free for 20+ years... I'm in SF, though...an unusually easy place to live w/o a car.
I get around on the bus or on foot... there are markets a few blocks away, and I even walked to work.

What is your neighborhood like? A city-style nabe (grocery stores in easy walking distance) or "suburban"
(low-density sprawl, with retail deliberately separated from housing)? Hopefully the former.
Old 12-26-2018, 06:13 PM
12,047 posts, read 14,601,696 times
Reputation: 7770
If you live in an area with public transport, and it looks like you do, it might work. Especially if it's rail. Also, get a bike and be able to ride it. Groceries often fit in a backpack. Your experience exposes the fact that driving isn't as cheap as most drivers think.
Old 12-26-2018, 06:22 PM
25,042 posts, read 27,262,985 times
Reputation: 23243
I got in a small accident several years back. I can walk to work and for basic errands. Long story short, it took me 2.5 months to get the car fixed (partly because of procrastination on my part). It wasn't too bad at first, but over time, it started to drive me nuts. It was too hard to visit friends or go to the laundromat.

I'll add that I didn't have a smart phone at the time, so I hadn't tried Uber. Nor had I tried ZipCar. So I probably could've made it better for myself if I'd been a bit more motivated.

But if I had to choose between a car and savings, I'd go with savings. The stress of no savings isn't worth it.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 12-26-2018 at 06:32 PM..
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