As I may have mentioned, I got rid of my car when we moved into The Manor. My office is within walking distance (about a mile up the road) and we’re a couple blocks from the Metro, so I knew that I’d rarely need a car to get anywhere I needed to be.
ZipCar does a pretty good job of filling in the rest - you reserve a car for a few hours (or days) at a time, and pay by the hour. It’s perfect for the times that I need to pick up some groceries, or go out to a client’s office. Had I kept my car, I would have needed to get some stuff fixed to pass inspection, pay higher insurance, and $75 a month just to park it here. With ZipCar, I pay $9 - $14 an hour (depending on the type of car) and gas and insurance are included.
For the most part, the Metro, buses, and ZipCar get me where I’m going for a reasonable price. Totalled together, I’m spending a lot less on those than I would be for the basics on my own car. Every once in a while, though, I need to catch a cab home (like last night), and those add up quick. There have also been three different weekends that I’ve rented a car to go out of town for a few days, and those certainly aren’t cheap.
And then there’s the days like today; the Arlington Central Library is having a book sale (again), but I didn’t reserve a car yesterday because I didn’t know when I’d actually be up and moving today. The earliest I can get a car now is 2, which isn’t awful, but I wanted to go early (“early” meaning 11). According to WMATA, there isn’t a bus that goes past there (they’ve been known to be wrong), but I don’t want to try to get a big box of books home on there anyway.
When all is said and done, I know it’s a hell of a lot cheaper without my own car, but sometimes I really miss the convenience.