Other People’s Cars

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I have been reluctant to post recently because, well, I feel like a hypocrite writing about my “car-free” diet. The reason being, in the last two months, we have spent a lot of time in cars.While on vacation, we rode in taxis and the cars of family members. After 3 weeks of riding in cars, I started to get used to it.

When we returned home from our travels, we rented a car for the weekend to ease the transition and stock up on supplies. Then, due to the travel of family members here, we have had access to a car on and off during the last month.

Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of this blog. We still use public transport and ride our bikes. We still don’t own a car and have no intention of buying one.

I would like to tell you that I was guilt ridden for enjoying so much car time. But it’s not true. I have been grateful for having access to a car. I could give you all the reasons cars are convenient and comfortable but, you already know this.

If you are considering going “car-free” but are worried about being trapped,stranded or hindered, don’t be. There are so many ways to access a car to drive without owning one.

Here are the 3 main ways we get our mitts on cars:
Car Sharing– Great for short-term use, easy to check in and out.
Rental Cars– If you are going to use a car from more than a couple of hours, the daily rate of a regular rental is likely more affordable than car sharing.
Borrowing Cars from family & friends – This is a nice option, if it is available to you.

According to the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Highway Policy Information in 2010 there were 6,222,928 registered vehicles in the state of Virginia representing 2.4 % of the national total. According to my calculations, that would mean that there are approximately 261,362,976 vehicles registered in the US.

I like numbers but what I am really saying is that Holy Crap there are a lot of cars out there. Not everyone needs to own one. If you get rid of yours, you aren’t stuck in some pedestrian wasteland of inconvenience. You’ve got options. You may even grow to love the non-car options of biking, walking and public transport. On the other hand, some days, you might want to drive other people’s cars.

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