CARS

3 Car-Free People Explain How They’re Trying to Save Money, Environment

  • Thanks to inflation and high interest rates, it’s an expensive time to buy a car.
  • Insider previously spoke to three people who have explored a car-free lifestyle.
  • They shared their stories and advice for others looking to ditch their car.

As the New Year approaches, many Americans are figuring out their financial situation. Those looking to save money and reduce their environmental impact may decide to join those who embrace a car-free or “carlight” lifestyle.

Some people give up their cars for environmental reasons, but there are a myriad of other factors, such as wasted time in traffic, safety concerns, and perhaps most notably the high cost of cars.

In 2018, 51% of millennials felt that owning a car was “not worth the investment,” according to Arity research, before the pandemic caused car prices to skyrocket. Rising interest rates continue to make car purchases more expensive than ever, even as gasoline prices have fallen and improvements in the supply chain have pushed some car prices down in recent months.

The average monthly payment for a new car rose to a record $748 a month in October, according to Cox Automotive. Meanwhile, average monthly used car payments in the third quarter of this year increased from $472 to $525 year-over-year, according to Experian.

Insider previously spoke with three people who have explored car-free living over the past year. They shared their motivations for starting this lifestyle, what they found most difficult about it, and their advice for others considering taking over.

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