Should I go car-free now that I've moved to Boston?


I just moved to downtown Boston from out of state. I used to live in the country where I needed a car. Now, I mostly take the train. I have a reserved (outdoor) parking spot and I take my car out maybe once every two weeks just to get the wheels turning. My insurance alone costs $800+ a year. I’m thinking of just selling the car (it’s worth ab. $8000) and using a zip car if I need to run errands, and renting if I want to get out of town. I’ve been a car owner for 25 years. I’m afraid it would feel really strange to not have one anymore. Does anyone have any thoughts about going carless in Boston?

Thank you


On our recent trip to Boston we went all over town without a car. It would seem to be an ideal place to do what you describe, especially with access to a Zip car.

You sound like the perfect candidate to go carless. I wish I could.

My brother-in-law lived in Boston for many years with just a bicycle and NEVER wished he had a car…Another relative uses Zip Car (and a bike) and that works great for him…

Go for it,how liberating!But keep your drivers license up to date-Kevin

If you won’t be driving out of town too often, that sounds like a feasible plan. Can you rent your empty parking spot to someone else and make a few bucks there?

My advice is always the same. You “just” moved and it may be too early to tell. We don’t know your life style there yet and you may not either. Store or find a place to leave the car with a friend for a year with use at your discretion. Keep track of your needs and expenses. After a year you can tell us better thaen we can tell you…let us know what you decide.
Best of Luck to you in Beantown.

How is your car insured? If you have it listed as a commuter car, then switch to occasional use. You would have to average 100 miles on your every-other-week trip to equal 2500 miles. You could easily rate it at less than 2500 miles per year. Is there any security associated with your reserved outdoor parking? If so, the chance of theft goes way down, and should be reflected in your insurance. Discuss it with your insurer and carefully explain the situation. They should be willing to help you save money as long as you are straight with them. I know that my insurer would.