Are you trying to get your financial situation under control? If so one item to look at is your transportation expenses. Over the past century car ownership has become almost a rite of passage, like having your own razor or makeup kit. Yet few calculate how much car ownership, maintenance and operation costs over a single year. Nor do they consider how much that takes out of their disposable income. Even a rough estimate can bring pause – take a minute to add together the cost of auto insurance, operator insurance, fuel, parts, service, depreciation, parking and storage, to your regular car payments. It is quickly evident that your car can be a costly member of the “family.” Nor can you easily write these expenses off as tax-deductible, unless you can demonstrate that they are related to your employment.
When the cost of car ownership and operation is viewed from this perspective you may want to seek alternatives. One approach is public or commuter transportation, but this is not always feasible, either because the service may not meet your needs or because you prefer the independence of driving. Another alternative is to a car share service. By joining a car sharing service organization like Zipcar a person can divest oneself of all the extra expenses that accompany auto ownership – including major maintenance, vehicle insurance, parking and storage, etc. Instead, you pay just for the time the vehicle is being used. Your membership in the organization is often far less than you would pay for vehicle ownership or leasing. And you don’t have to concern yourself with the other expenses and requirements that go along with vehicle ownership.
Today one can use a Groupon promo code to join Zipcar and get a $25 free driving credit for the initial vehicle use. Add this to not having to pay for gasoline or parking and you can see how economical a car sharing membership can be as an alternative to traditional vehicle purchase. In evaluating your financial circumstances, try comparing the costs of membership in a quality car share service with the annual expenses of personal auto ownership and maintenance. The difference can be considered an investment in your economic future.