Tips, Tricks & Trends

Do You Really Need a Car If You Work From Home?

Working from home has quickly become a nationwide norm ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year. And while parts of the country have opened up, many Americans are still able to conduct business in the comfort of their own homes, which has lightened the traffic load in for the rest of us that still have to make the morning crawl. But we had to wonder: If you work from home, does that mean that you don’t even really need a car?

Cars can be costly

If you currently work from home and you own a car, then it’s a great time to tally up the advantages and disadvantages of having a set of wheels sitting in your driveway. If you happen to be single or live alone, then having a car might be necessary. However, if you at least have access to public transportation (even if you don’t live alone), then you can rethink your priorities and save a lot of money if you really don’t need a vehicle.

Whether you’re making monthly payments or not, cars can be costly. According to AAA, the average annual cost of owning a car is $773.50 per month, or $9,282 per year, which can easily double (on average) if there are two cars in your household. And that statistic only factors in the cost for an “average car,” which can vary greatly if you currently drive a large SUV or a sports car. But if you decide that you don’t really need a car and currently own one, then you have some options.

man working from home
A man from a company based in North Brabant is working from home during the Coronavirus crisis in The Netherlands, on March 13th, 2020. (Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Getting rid of your car might be a good idea

If you currently work from home and own a car, just think of the other activities and events that you can attend to even if you didn’t have one. Are you able to run your errands without a car? Are you able to get a ride from friends or possibly use the bus or rideshare to get where you need to go? If you answered “yes” to those questions, then you probably could live life without a car.

If that’s the case, then we suggest either selling it to a place like Carmax or putting it up for sale on Craigslist or Cargurus to get top dollar for it. By selling your car and getting rid of your car payment (if you have one), you will then free up a lot of money that you probably didn’t even know you were spending on your beloved automobile. For example, if your car note was $300, your insurance for the car was $100 per month, and you spent around $80 a month on fuel, you will easily save $480 every month by not having your own car. That’s like giving yourself a raise of $5,760 every year!

traffic
388930 03: Traffic fills the 110 freeway during rush hour, May 7, 2001, in downtown Los Angeles, CA. The Texas Tranportation Institute annual report on congestion has declared that Angelenos have the worst traffic congestion of 68 urban areas, spending an average of 56 hours per year sitting in traffic. The national average of 36 hours has more than tripled since 1982. California has three cities in the top five. (Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers)

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If it makes sense, you’ll be happier

Working from home adds a lot of convenience to our lives and while we might think that we need a car to make our lives complete, the truth of the matter is that it might not always be necessary. If you currently work from home but have the means to carry out the rest of your life by walking, catching an Uber, or using public transportation, then it might be a good time to realign your transportation and financial priorities. Ultimately, it could make you a lot happier.