Last November I finished paying off my car loan. So I figured, what better time to sell it? No response from craigslist. So I sat on it for a while. Until getting back from France.
Feeling charged to make some change, I relisted it. By the second revision I got some interest (one person!), got the car detailed (it looked like new!), went out on a test drive (in the rain!), negotiated the price (I gave in a little!), and today, this morning, I sold my car (my baby is gone!).
The biggest difference? My keychain feels SO tiny:
After moving to the city (and realizing daily street parking blows), I started parking my car for free at work in Sausalito. Whenever I wanted to use it (on the weekends, etc), it took an hour by bus to get there. Not only did that eliminate the spontaneity of just hopping in the car, it also prevented me from trying to adapt to using Zipcar, cabs et al—without angsting over their pay-per-use costs.
Surprisingly, when I tallied up the annual cost of driving to work (and maintaining a car) versus taking the bus, they came out equivalent (Golden Gate Transit ain’t cheap) until factoring in the cost of renting a garage at $250+/month. The benefit though is that driving only takes 15 minutes, while busing takes over 50 (and runs once an hour).
From a cost-benefit perspective, I’m still not sure whether $250/month or 25 hours/month is more valuable to me. I guess I’ve answered my own question by selling the car. For now. The 25 hours isn’t all bad. Almost a third of that time is spent walking to and from the bus stop, and on the bus I can read, talk to my coworkers, edit photos for blog posts. But it’s no picnic either. Let’s not forget the two mornings a week I bike to work!
In the end this is an experiment (interpreting this broadly). And experiments don’t have to be successful. In which case, I’ve got a backup plan.