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Old 11-18-2009, 08:38 AM
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
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The pros would be not waiting or depending on public transportation or being limited to the vicinity of subways or buses. Also depends on your lifestyle. Do you enjoy getting away for weekends upstate, out of state or to the beaches of Long Island? I enjoy fishing in NYC, so a car really benefits me because most of my fishing spots aren't accessible using public transit. However, you have to way the costs of ownership in NYC. Insurance is very high, parking is outrageous, and parking tickets are not cheap. The last one I got was $165 back in 2004. The city is very aggressive with parking tickets, so don't let the time on the meter expire because the traffic cops lie in wait for it to expire. There is no talking or negotiating with them either, you are getting a ticket. Traffic is at an all time high in NYC. When I first started driving back in the mid 80's, parking was tight where I lived in Queens and Brooklyn, but not horrible. Now it's insane. With so many tenements, every household owns at least one if not two cars, and they NEVER drive the damn things. They move them from one side of the street to the other for alternate side parking and that's it, or so it seems.

There has been an increase in metered parking as well. I remember there never used to be metered parking in Hell's Kitchen or Forest Hills, now you can forget it, it's all metered or private resident parking in many neighborhood's.

If you can get by in NYC without a car, you'll save yourself a lot of money and stress. It comes in handy for food shopping, off-the-grid excursions, and places like the beach if you're hauling chairs, coolers, and umbrellas. Think how often you will be doing things like this and weigh it out carefully.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:43 AM
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I have to say, threads about owning a car in NYC is always interesting about how much negativity there is in owning one.

I can only agree that owning a car if you live in Manhattan is not required, but if you can afford it, then that is a personal decision.

However, I think owning a car in the outer boroughs such as Queens or Bklyn can be helpful, assuming you can afford to own it. Subways are not always accessible easily and buses-to-trains-to-buses will get tiresome quickly. I am in Queens and drive enough to like owning a car and the convenience of it. It takes me 15 minutes to drive to my parents house in another part of Queens - or I can take 1 bus and 2 trains and almost an hour to get there.

I agree with Viralmd that a car is a money sink, but that is the case in any city, any state - not only NYC. A car has always been the worst investment so you can't look at it from that perspective. Although NYC may cost you more in terms of insurance, I don't see there will be much difference in maintenance. Same number of oil changes and maintenance repairs as anywhere else. Sure, we have crappy roads and potholes, but if you drive carefully and not a reckless driver, you can avoid them. Car values will depreciate regardless where your at. Only other thing to note, is that NYC has more parallel parking than most cities, so it does tend to get scratched more often because of people who can't park. That is one thing that sucks.

If your moving to Bklyn, and can afford to keep a car and used to the convenience of owning one - then I suggest keeping it when you move here for 2-3 months and see how much you need it. Since it sounds like the car is still relatively new, you don't want to sell it now and lose money, to move here and then realize you need a car and have to buy another one. You can always get rid of it after you move when you decide you don't need it.
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Old 11-18-2009, 08:49 AM
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No need for long explanations: if you are not a diligent person who lives by the clock and will religiously move their car and or pay massive fees for parking garages, don't have a car in Brooklyn.

I have at least 3 friends who were nearly bankrupted by the parking violations bureau. One guy had his side view mirror ripped off by a vandal, and he got a ticket from the local meter-mod cut EVERY DAY until he got it fixed. The city basically tells you that if you own a car, they own you. It's not worth it unless you absolutely need it.

Last edited by Viralmd; 11-18-2009 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:12 AM
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Coming out of college, you do not want to be worrying about a brand new car being ticketed, towed, nicked, scratched, dinged, vandelized or stolen. You live in Brooklyn. You park outdoors. At least three of those things will happen in your first year of ownership. Plus, you will have much higher maintenance costs in New York City. If you are under 25 most likely you will be in the assigned risk pool for insurance. That means you will pay the absolute maximum. Its not worth it! The stop and go traffic, and potholes age a car much faster and add to maintenance costs here. Save your money. Get a five year old Honda or Nissan in good condition for $3500 or less, pay for it with cash, do not get full insurance coverage, just liability (if someone steals it, the price for two years worth of theft insurance will pay for another used car), and use your money for more important things.

The young guys driving expensive wheels in NYC are all eating at McDonalds. Drive an old clunker and see Paris with the money you save. That's what I did!

Last edited by Design7; 11-18-2009 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:19 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA
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It really depends on where you live and where you'll be commuting. As another poster said, my ONLY stress when it came to driving in NYC was parking. I could handle the traffic, my insurance was still based in GA (where I'm from) so neither of these were daunting. Parking was an utter nightmare, and I would never do it again because of the two factors above.

Closer to Downtown Brooklyn you have to park on the street. In many areas of Brooklyn however, people actually have their own driveways. This prevented me from worrying about alternate side parking on most days, unless I just didn't feel like squeezing into our driveway and chose to park on the street. However, because I worked and went to school in Manhattan, and found my car to just be more enjoyable and faster, I always dealt with the consequences once I got into the city. Parking in Manhattan is horrific. Wouldn't wish it upon anyone in the world. You have to do A LOT of strategizing to know just how to play the game, but it is a highly stressful one and not worth taking (my $1,000 worth of parking tickets is a testament to that). Traffic is also very bad at rush hour all over the city, whether it's FDR, West Side Hwy, or along the avenues and streets, it's simply unescapable.

Parking in Brooklyn, even the downtown/Park Slope/Brooklyn Heights areas, on the other hand, was never to unbearable to me. And in fact, some people are better served with a car in Brooklyn if they have to commute to Manhattan. People tend to automatically think of Park Slope, Williamsburgh, and the other more "urban" hoods of BK and forget about Canarsie, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and other more suburban BK hoods that have fewer public transpo options than the more urban neighborhoods. Brooklyn is huge, so it really makes a difference where you live as to how better off you'd be with or without a car. Most every househould on my block in Brooklyn had a car. Still, it is infinitely more helpful if you've got a parking situation (like a paid parking space somewhere) already lined up if you'll be commuting to Manhattan for work.

I would offer as well that if you live in Brooklyn and plan to party in Manhattan at night, a car can be very helpful and is not nearly as exhausting as driving in the day. For a petite woman like myself, a car was much more convenient: my bus route in Brooklyn stopped service before parties really even got started, in club clothes you really don't want to be on the train alone before meeting up with friends, and in rainy/snowy days standing at a bus stop in club clothes is not fun either. Parking was much easier at night and I never really had trouble finding it.

Also, grocery shopping was easier, as were those occassions when I needed to buy other things in bulk (i.e. moving and getting things for decor from IKEA, which is only located in a hard-to-reach-by-public transpo-area of Brooklyn and New Jersey). In addition, because NYC is so close to other major cities, I could take trips to Boston and Philly (and did) with ease, and trips to the beach conveniently as well. Having a car really helped me learn the city, and consequently I've explored and learned more about NYC than many natives that I interacted with.

In sum:

-If you will be in Manhattan often with your car during the day, car = bad
-If you want to party in Manhattan at night with your car = good
-If you will be mostly in BK for either partying or daily activity= mixed, depending on where you live in Brooklyn
- If you like excursions/getaways and want to do so conveniently= keep your car locked up somehwere and unleash that bad boy when you take those trips!
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:50 AM
Location: Where the sun always shines
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If you live anywhere outside of Manhatten (which is the most likely scenerio), having the car is fine, just wont be as conveiniant as owning it in your home city.
Personally to me, the pros always outweighed the cons. I like the idea of bein able to get anywhere in the city without relyin on the crappy subway. Even if you wanna hng out in Manhatten, its just a nicer option to drive the edge of a boro and park. I owned a car for 10 years in Brooklyn and Queens and never parked further than around the block.

I would suggest tryin to find a job outside of Manhatten which is more plausible than some people think.
The only real con is probably the insurance. IF you're under 30, expect to pay at least 3 k a year for car insurance. Also, vandalism and theft is a very real possibilty b/c even though murders are down in NYC, petty crimes are still alive and well
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:41 PM
Location: The Present
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it depends, if you really need it then you'll get it. I'd also say it'd depend on where you lived in bk as well (you may not have the best or any good transit options..or you may have plenty)

the biggest con is the insurance, thats the real kicker right there.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:14 AM
331 posts, read 583,442 times
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Originally Posted by SWV View Post
I was supposed to be moving to NYC (Brooklyn) area after I finished college in 2011 but I decided I wanted to move sooner, so I made my official moving day in July of 2010.

My dad just bought me a new car like a month ago, and I know having a car in NYC can be very hectic.

So can anyone please tell me the pros and cons of having a car/vehicle in NYC?

Also, I will be asking a lot of questions about NYC so please I hope I won't be getting on any of you guys nerves.
Most of my time spent in nyc, was at extended stay type of hotels, so I never really had a problem parking (although some places didn't have parking ). And also after I met friends and visited them I had problems too.

Like Viralmd and others pointed out, in Manhattan a car is pretty much useless. Although I think you can get parking a little cheaper than $400 a month there (depending on location of course).

But that being said, I think 40% of people who live in Manhattan own cars, and somewhere between 50-60% own them in the outerboroughs. So it's not like you'll be alone owning a car. If nobody drove in nyc, there would be parking everywhere, right? The people who don't own cars in the outerboroughs, a lot of them just can't afford to. And a lot of immigrants don't know how to drive to begin with, let alone have the money for a car.

Here's the thing, I really don't knock the public transit in nyc, it's the most extensive public transit system in the country. But, it's still public transit.

Say you want to run the store that's several miles away, and you only need to run in and out, do you really want to waste an hour or more by taking a bus (subway doesn't run everywhere and it ain't always fast either)? Especially if it's freezing out or really hot? I personally wouldn't. Waiting 10 or 15 minutes for the bus or subway, then the trip another 10 or 15 minutes, you run in and out of the store, and there you are, standing back outside waiting for the trip back home.

What a lot of Ny'ers don't realize, you end up paying a lot more money for things you buy out of "convience" (if that's even an option) cause of the example I just listed above. Most people would say the hell a trip like that to save a couple bucs. The thing is, they say this everyday, and those "couple bucs" start to add up. I've seen prices in bodegas that were borderline 'criminal' for what they were charging. Now me having a car, I simply would walk out and drive somewhere that was charging sometimes 1/2 for the same product.

Another problem I'm sure you'll run into, a lot of the grocery stores there don't always have a great selection. Or there prices are real high with certain products. Western Beef and Path Mark are the only two "supermarkets" (there's a few others, but far and few in between). You'll understand the difference between grocery stores and supermarkets after being there. Lugging a 'big' order of groceries around, really can't be done using public transit, it really ain't practical. So without a car, you're stuck with the 'granny cart' and possibly high grocery prices or lousy selection.

If I lived in worked in Manhattan, I probably do without a car. But the outerboroughs? No way, I'm keeping my car.

Quick errands using public transit, most of the times ain't "quick". And having the option of running into a Target store or something similiar, will definitely save you money.

You will need to pay for parking though, the aggravation and parking tickets ain't worth saving the $200-300 bucs that you'll pay for parking in the outerboroughs.

To me, car=freedom. I know a lot of ny'ers will disagree with this, but it's how I feel. Making a day trip to Philly or AC at the drop of a hat, is something I enjoy doing. And not worring about taking a Greyhound or renting a car, is something I never had to worry about.

I don't know what area's that Jacktavern lived in, but that "block away" for parking seems like a stretch. I do agree with him, "the pros outweigh the cons" of car ownership in the outerboroughs though.

I have a cast on my leg right now, I'm glad I don't have to worry about "public transit".....
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:14 AM
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Contrary to what the poster above has stated, VERY FEW people in Manhattan have cars. Nowhere near 40%. And if you look at www.bestparking you'll find that the parking is going to be at least $400/month, unless you park over by the docks on the far West side or where you'd be scared walking from the garage late at night.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:05 AM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,750 posts, read 25,526,667 times
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A parking garage does not more than help avoid a couple of hundred dollars in fines, which MUST be paid, or your car will be towed, and it's such fun to retrieve a car from the impound lot that I am surprised that it hasn't caught on as the hip thing to do around town.

A garage keeps vandals at bay, diminishes theft opportunities, and keeps the nasty scratches and dings from other motorists who use your car as a bumper guide when attempting to park in a space that's too small. And, some neighborhoods in the outer boroughs are just as bad as Manhattan in terms of street parking, so a dedicated spot makes life easier. Also, some insurance companies take the garage into account when giving you a rate quote, as I have been asked if the vehicle in question is garaged as well as the type of garage. It can easily prevent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damages and diminished car value to place the vehicle in a garage; so if someone is contemplating bringing a newer car to the city, a garage is something that should be factored as part of the ownership cost, IMO.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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