Congratulations! You’re moving to the city where you can take advantage of all it has to offer;
shopping, shows, music, art, food, and more. One thing you may need to consider is whether it’s going
to be cost effective or just plain inconvenient to hold onto your car.
The first thing to think about is what do I use my car for now, and how often? If you’re a
delivery driver using your own vehicle, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you should probably keep
your car. For everyone else, take a moment to think about it. Consider your line of work, let’s say
you’re….oh I don’t know….a real estate agent. You use your car to travel to multiple listings in various
parts of the city and surrounding areas. So you’re probably going to want to hold onto your car. You
may also want to keep your car if your job or hobbies require you to move larger items regularly.
However, if you’re using your car primarily for a commute between work and home, it may not be a
necessity once you move to the city if you’re closer to work and the things you like to do.
Something else to think about: where are you going to park your car? Are you moving
into an area where your neighbors have to drive around for an hour before they can find street parking?
If your new home doesn’t have a garage, this can be a very real concern for those moving to the city. If
you’re going to be working downtown, where are you going to park your car while you’re at work? Do
you want to spend 40-60 minutes looking for parking everyday between work and home? Probably not.
An alternative is to purchase a membership to a parking garage relative to your place of work. Some
employers have worked out membership discounts with local parking garages. For instance, the going
rate to park your car at CityPark may be $200 per month, but because the building is located adjacent to
your job, a membership for you and your co-workers may be discounted to $120 per month. The
question here is; are you willing to add another $200 or so to the monthly cost of operating your vehicle?
If this is not a major issue for you, then keeping your car may be the way to go. If you’re among one of
the man who aren’t too keen on footing the extra bill, you still have a few options for getting around
without a car.
Let’s talk about public transportation. A few people may be wary of public transit, but there
really is no need. Between busses, regional rail, trolleys, the subway, and the el, SEPTA can get you
virtually anywhere you need to go. All you have to do is hop on. It’s also infinitely cheaper than
paying for a parking pass, especially when you add in the cost of gas, insurance, tickets, and routine
maintenance for a car. A monthly SEPTA pass will only cost you $83 and its good for unlimited rides
within the month. SEPTA also has weekly and daily passes available for those who won’t be travelling
But what if I need a car every now and then? Not a problem. As long as you have a driver’s
license in good standing, you can enroll in programs like Zip Car or Philly Carshare. For just $125/year
you can get a membership to Philly Carshare, a service that provides rental cars in Philadelphia. This rate
includes gas, insurance, roadside assistance & maintenance. In other words, $125/year will pay for the
typical cost of maintaining a car through Philly Carshare. This rate is much lower than the cost of owing
a car, which is estimated to be about $9,000 a year according to AAA. With Philly Carshare, all you pay is
a small hourly fee for using the car after you’ve paid your $125 fee for the year. You can pick up the car
at any Philly Carshare parking space, located all over the city, as long as you return it to the space where
you picked it up. So, you can grocery shop, furniture shop, road trip and anything in between. And yes,
they also offer business specials. You can access their website at: http://www.phillycarshare.com/
Whether you decide to get rid of your car or keep it for good measure, just know that you have a
plethora of options available to you.