Daily Hive Vancouver)
Former Vancouver Chief Planner Brent Toderian is approaching his tenth year of living without the financial burden of car ownership, but refer to his family ‘car-free’, and he’s quick to make an important distinction.
“When we got rid of our car in 2009, we went ‘car-less’. I never say ‘car-free’, because the car is still part of our multi-modal lifestyle. We’re members of multiple car-shares, we take taxis, and we occasionally rent a car,” he says.
For his entire adult life, Toderian considered himself ‘car-lite’, hanging onto a vehicle for the occasional Ikea run or skiing trip. But with the proliferation of car-share, his family lost their last excuse to continue owning one.
The resulting benefits of a ‘car-less’ household are myriad, but few are as quantifiable as the dollars and cents most people sink into a depreciating asset that sits unused for 95% of the time.
“I haven’t had to think about the many costs of car ownership for many years, which is incredibly liberating,” Toderian admits, pointing out, for example, that he has been virtually immune to the fluctuating price of gasoline. “That’s one of the biggest reasons that so many people are rethinking their automobile dependency – the unpredictability of costs.”