How much does your car cost you per year? Americans spend on average $8,003 per year to own and operate a vehicle, according to the most recent Consumer Expenditures, released in 2006 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That factors out to about $667 per month. Those costs include purchasing costs, gas costs, maintenance and other vehicle related expenses. If you’re looking for ways to shave down your monthly expenses, have you considered giving up your car?
If you commute to work everyday and there are no public transportation options, you may not be able to survive without your car. If you don’t have a long commute, however, you may find it’s easier to live without a car than you thought. These days, there are several alternatives to owning or leasing a car that allow you to maintain nearly the same level of convenience at substantial savings.
Car sharing was once a service that catered almost exclusively to college kids and twenty-somethings. Last year’s high gas prices and the general call to tighten belts throughout the country, however, have caused the car sharing industry to take off. Zipcar Inc., the world’s largest car sharing provider, has seen its membership grow by more than 50% in the last 12 months. Uncertainty throughout the economy has Americans looking to consume less and save more.
“Smart consumption is the new black. It seems to go with everything these days,” the CEO of Zipcar, Scott Griffith, told Reuters.