Switching to Zip Car

The day D and I brought home my new '98 Sebring!

With Charlotte in Seattle, I’m tightening up my expenditures and dumping my car & garage. It’s startling how expensive my car is… $7320 per year! Of course, I need a car to get around, I can’t just say something like, “food is too expensive, I’m not going to eat any more.” So I’m getting a Zip Car membership.

car costs per month

$200 garage – it also doubles as storage, now squished into the apartment
$90 insurance – $1,000/year
$120 gas – 10,000 miles/year, $4/gallon, 27MPG
$120 depreciation – $20,000 new in Sept 1998, worth $1,000 now, that’s 13 years
$50 maintenance – car repairs, oil
$610/month… $7320 per year!

Zip Car by comparison
if I don’t change my driving habits:
10,000 miles/year if driven at an average speed of 20MPH is 500 hours. * $9/hour = $4,500/year

If I drive less:
6,000 miles/year = $2,700/year

Update 1-26-12: the above isn’t correct because it doesn’t account for the hours and days that a car sits. With Zipcar I am paying whether the car is moving or not. So I’m not sure what Zipcar really costs.

I can rent a truck or a Mini Cooper when need be, it’s always clean, it’s always new, never any fuss, and it’s parked directly across the street. Ask me again in 6 months if I still love it.

How much does your car cost?


  1. Great pic, great car. See you soon!

  2. Lee Sonko says:

    I miss the car already!

  3. […] I bought a bike. At $630 complete, It should pay for itself in the first month or two of not having a car (the car costs about $600/month to […]

  4. lee says:

    Update: in the last year I haven’t used Zipcar at all! I’ve relied on public transit, my new bike, and the occasional kindness of friends.

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