If You Live Here, You Probably Don’t Have (or Want) a Car

Americans have had a long romance with their cars, which are often viewed as an embodiment of freedom and independence. But auto love doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, nearly one in 10 American households didn’t own a car in 2013.

That’s according to 24/7 Wall St., which reports that in several cities across the country many people are carless, either by choice or because they can’t afford a car.

“The concentration of businesses and people plays a major role in both traffic congestion and in many people’s decisions to own a car or not,” 24/7 Wall St. said.

In fact, 7 of the 10 cities with the highest percentage of carless households had above average population densities.

Clifford Winston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told 24/7 Wall St. that “density is an indication of accessibility.”

In those dense cities, one of the major costs associated with owning a car, aside from hours lost in traffic jams, is parking. New York City parking costs are the highest in the country, more than $560/month in Midtown Manhattan, according to a 2012 survey by Collier’s International, a real estate corporation. Midtown is followed by Downtown Manhattan ($533), Boston ($405) and San Francisco ($375).

Not surprisingly, New York City has the highest percentage of households without a vehicle (54.4 percent), as well as the biggest percentage of residents who use public transportation to get to work (56.7 percent).

Here are the cities where a lot of people don’t have (or want) a car:

  1. New York, N.Y. 54.4 percent without a vehicle.
  2. Hartford, Conn. 40.4 percent.
  3. Washington, D.C. 37.4 percent.
  4. Boston, Mass. 33.9 percent.
  5. Reading, Pa. 31.7 percent.
  6. Philadelphia, Pa. 31.5 percent.
  7. New Haven, Conn. 30.1 percent.
  8. Trenton, N.J. 30 percent.
  9. Baltimore, Md. 29.8 percent.
  10. San Francisco, Calif. 29.3 percent.

I live in Montana, where it seems as if everyone owns at least one car. I checked the statistics, and Montana does have one of the highest rates of vehicle ownership in the country. This is no surprise considering the rural nature of our state and the lack of public transportation available.

Do you own a vehicle or have you opted to be carless? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Should you choose to join the ranks of car owners, or get a new car, watch this video on how to get the best possible loan to make that purchase:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
If My Spouse Dies, Can I Get Her Social Security?
If My Spouse Dies, Can I Get Her Social Security?

If a spouse dies, will the survivor collect the other’s share in addition to his or her own?

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Ways to Save up $500,000 in 15 Years
5 Ways to Save up $500,000 in 15 Years

Even if you’re behind in preparing for retirement, there’s still a way to pull together a solid nest egg if you focus.

19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store
19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store

These household necessities are overpriced at the grocery store. Get them cheaper at these places instead.

8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement
8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for — and adjust to — life in your golden years.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.