Want to Travel More? Get Rid of Your Car Like I Did!

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One large lesson I’ve learned in life is that perspective is incredibly important.  It’s not what happens to you, but how you react and handle the situation that is most important.  For me, I turned a pretty negative event into a large opportunity.

I was on my way to work, and I totaled my car.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.  Because my airbag went off, the car was deemed totaled.

I haven’t replaced the car.  Instead, I’ve realized huge savings transitioning to a carless lifestyle, which, along with the best travel credit cards, is helping me travel more.

I Got Rid of My Car After an Accident – and Haven’t Looked Back

Here’s how I turned this unfortunate event into a great opportunity to save money and travel even more!

A Change to the Carless Lifestyle Means Big Savings and More Travel

Transportation is becoming incredibly fluid and accessible.  Whether it be public transportation, ridesharing, the newest fad of e-scooters, or even walking, there are several ways to get around in an affordable manner.

Before my accident, I was paying nearly $700 a month in car payments, insurance, depreciation, gas, and other costs.  I was already contemplating getting rid of my car because I had just moved to an apartment with my wife where I was only 1 mile away from work.  Then, my accident happened.  Luckily, my insurance wrote me a check for the entire balance of my car, and $1,500 on top.  So I had a small cushion to experiment with this new lifestyle a try.

After 30 days, I decided to evaluate where I was financially.  I had saved nearly $600 just after one month!  Once I saw those tangible savings, I knew no longer owning a car was necessary.

Instead of the Rental Car, Consider Using Lyft to get Around Instead. This Will be Convenient and Earn You Bonus Points This Quarter
I’ve Switched to Lyft and Uber and Saved $600 in a Month

Along with this, I have created “indirect savings.”  I’ll explain.

Let’s say I want to go grab a quick bite to eat 3 miles away.  Well now, not only is my meal a hard cost, but also my transportation there and back.  These costs aren’t so tangible in a car payment as you make that once a month, but very tangible when you have to pay for it each time you use it.  That $12 meal just jumped to $30 just because of getting to and from.  So now I am very particular in where I go to continue saving money.

And the best part is I’m also earning points and miles!

How to Earn Points & Miles Living Carless

Another great part of the carless lifestyle is the ability to make the most of your commuting purchases.

For me, I enjoy the $15 a month in Uber credits I receive from The Platinum Card® from American Express.  When I do run out of credits, I tend to favor Lyft because prices are better and I earn Delta miles with each ride.  You earn 1 mile per $1 spent on regular rides, and 2 miles per $1 on rides to and from an airport.

Along with this, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card  is great to complement this lifestyle.  Not only can you earn 20,000 points (worth $200) after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, but you can also earn 3X points per $1 on ordering in food, rideshares, transit and car rentals!

The information for the Wells Fargo Propel has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.   

Bottom Line

The best part about the carless lifestyle is saving money so I can travel more.  While points and miles from the best travel credit cards can really cut costs down, cash is needed from time to time.

Before I tried this, I didn’t think the carless lifestyle was possible.  Growing up in Los Angeles, you are born to believe you need a car to get from A to B.  Now, I can’t advocate for it enough as car ownership nearly everywhere is becoming optional because of alternatives.

I’ve saved close to $5,000 making this lifestyle change, and I would encourage you to do the same!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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1 year ago

Totally agree! We moved to a high-rise Midtown apartment (can walk to work now) and will release my car soon. My battery died on it because we never drove it! It is so convenient to set up life within walking distance within a city. Love the lifestyle!

Andrew W
Reply to  TDHill
1 year ago

Awesome! Glad to hear it has been working out well for you! I can definitely agree that going without a car has hugely positive financial perks. It’s not something I see myself doing any time soon though (at least not by choice haha!)

1 year ago

My prior comment was in response to “Butch”. BTW.

1 year ago

I’ve corrected the title to your article:

“Want to Travel More? Get Rid of Your Car Payment Like I Did!”.


Reply to  Butch
1 year ago

Incorrect. I have not had a car payment for years. I pay off new cars in two years or I consider it too expensive.
I pay car insurance, taxes, gas, parking, just had brake work and a muffler replaced, car washes because live in snowy area and salt is a problem. Air freshener for car. Time spent cleaning interior and the cost of special car cleaners to do so. Tolls and the occasional parking ticket. And let’s not forget the stress of traffic and driving – that may not be a monetary cost but it’s a COST. And more I’m forgetting including opportunity costs of not going out to hang with friends because of hassle of parking, traffic and the designated driver problem – what do you mean we’re hanging at a bar and I can’t drink because I’m driving. And the oh bleep – where did I park my car as I wander the parking lot of 4 blocks around where we went to dinner because I spent so much time circling looking for parking. At the airport, I cut at least 10 minute because Uber drops me at the front and I don’t have to drag luggage from parking lot through snow, rain, cold, heat whatever. Well you get the point.

Reply to  Butch
1 year ago

What city do you live in? And are you in the city or in the suburbs? I think your strategy is going to be practical for some and impractical for others depending on those factors.

1 year ago

want more savings? bicycle.

even more? walk.