10 Cities Where You Save $5,000 by Not Owning a Car

For the past four years, my wife and I have shared one car. We have a family of four. We don’t live in a large city, but we do live downtown in a small city and can easily walk to the coffee shops, restaurants, and parks. 

Based on the average cost of owning a car in South Carolina, we save about $5,837 annually by sharing a car. But there are many cities where it’s even easier to get around, thanks to robust public transportation, biking paths, and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.  

Here are 10 cities where you can save $5,000 or more by ditching your car.

Cities where you save $5,000 by not owning a car 

Car prices have jumped 15% over the three years. Yikes! This has made car ownership more expensive over the past few years and means that those who can go without one could save big bucks.

To determine how much you could save in each city, let’s look at the top 10 cities where it’s the easiest to go car-free and the annual cost of ownership in those states, according to U.S. News & World Report:

  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $5,008
  2. Washington, D.C.: $5,057
  3. Chicago, Illinois: $5,217
  4. Minneapolis, Minnesota: $5,534
  5. Boston, Massachusetts: $5,596
  6. Newark, New Jersey: $5,635
  7. Jersey City, New Jersey: $5,635
  8. New York, New York: $5,694
  9. Seattle, Washington: $5,778
  10. San Francisco, California: $6,545

Of course, each city may have its own taxes and fees that could drive the average car ownership costs higher than the state’s average. But, in general, you could save $5,000 or more in these states by giving up your car. 

Read more: check out our picks for the best car insurance companies

How to keep the car and still save money

Car insurance premiums have soared 26% since last year, and the average driver now pays $2,543 annually.  

OK, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that shopping around for car insurance can save you a lot of money. 

I recently went online and compared my monthly car insurance premiums of $137 to a quote by a competing provider of $105. I’m planning to make the switch next month, which could save me $384 annually. 

How to save $1,500 or more on car insurance 

When shopping for cheaper car insurance, pay attention to three important insurance details: The deductible, collision coverage, and comprehensive insurance. Here’s how changing your coverage could save lots of cash.

1. Raise your deductible

Your car insurance deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket if you get into an accident. Everyone’s budget is different, so find an amount you’re comfortable spending in that event, and then increase your deductible. Consumer Reports says you could save up to $500 annually by raising the deductible from $500 to $1,000. 

2. Consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage

Collision coverage covers fixing your vehicle when it’s in an accident. Meanwhile, comprehensive coverage covers some of the cost of repair or replacement when the vehicles are damaged by acts of nature, like a fire or a storm.

Consider dropping both if you have an older car. Consumer Reports says ditching collision (and maybe even comprehensive) coverage once your premiums are 10% of the value of your vehicle could save you about $1,000 per year.

I’ll likely have to buy a second car when my kids get older. But I plan to get a used one and find a good deal on car insurance to keep my monthly costs as low as possible. Either that, or I’ll make my kids ride their bikes everywhere when they reach driving age to save on costs. Now, there’s an idea.

Our best car insurance companies for 2024

Ready to shop for car insurance? Whether you’re focused on price, claims handling, or customer service, we’ve researched insurers nationwide to provide our best-in-class picks for car insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to get started.

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