Author Topic: Need help with city parking decision  (Read 4119 times)

livetogive

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Need help with city parking decision
« on: August 07, 2013, 01:05:19 PM »
My SO and I live in a very densely populated area.  We rent an apartment but our commutes are minimal and we can walk or bike pretty much everywhere.  We use our car a little more than 1x per week solely for Costco or to leave the city and head to the mountains.

The car is a 2007 Volvo S60 and its in really good shape. When we wash it the car looks like its almost brand new.  It has 87k and runs well - I believe blue book is around $8k and it doesn't have a loan.  We currently spend $300/mo in garage parking which is outrageous but we could probably reduce it to $250 and still enjoy the same benefits of no broken windows/stolen head units, no hit and runs, and no parking tickets.

OR - we can drop it entirely and pay about $150/year for a parking pass to street park but likely risk tickets and car devaluation.  My mental block preventing me from moving to the street is I hate to destroy the value of the car and add the burden of having to move it every few days.  There is also a very significant time commitment to find a street parking spot.

Has anyone made the switch to street parking in the city?  How'd it work out?



« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 01:07:53 PM by TurboLT »

livetogive

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 01:10:48 PM »
Cost of towing: $500
Average minor parking ticket cost: $90
Car insurance: ~$65/mo with a $500 deductible. $1,000 only reduced it by $2 or so so I kept it at 500.

Jimbo

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 01:23:31 PM »
Hmm.... 300$ per month for parking eh?

300/4.2 = 71.43$ per week...

Yup, that'll be more than car rentals...

What about zipcars in your area? Are they there? That would do the trick fine...

About destroying the value of a car... Well, are you planning to resell it, or drive it into the ground... If you don't plan to resell, then it's irrelevant.

My 0.02$.

smedleyb

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 01:24:00 PM »
Have you ever thought of getting rid of the car altogether and just renting for the occasional weekend romp?  I think the numbers suggest that is your best Mustachian alternative.  Invest the 8K after you sell the Volvo an pocket the roughly $500 a month you spend on the car (parking, insurance, repairs, etc.)   

livetogive

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 01:31:13 PM »
I'll definitely reconsider owning the car. Also great points on resale vs driving it into the ground.

My issue with zip car is the difficulty in findin an AWD vehicle in winter but ill take a look again.  Also nervous about the 180mi restriction. In the winter we go to Tahoe 3 weekends out of 4, which is 190 mi one way.

Either way thanks for the tips.  Ill research more on zip and am kinda leaning towards street parking now.

Numbers Man

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 01:34:46 PM »
Get rid of the car. Use taxi's for the Costco trips. Rent a car for out of town trips. You'll add to your 'stache by saving the fixed expenses and definitely will decrease the stomach acid that street parking, etc. causes.

livetogive

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 01:48:33 PM »
Update: zip might be out bc of let restrictions. Frown.


Hmm idea:  anyone listed their car on get around?  $8/hour...

olivia

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 02:42:49 PM »
We just sold our car because we were paying $250/month for parking and barely using the car.  Street parking in our area was a nightmare, and if we parked it where there's ample parking, it was bound to get broken into.

What are your issues with Zipcar?  What restrictions are you talking about?  I just joined and it seems pretty simple with minimal restrictions.  In the event that we'll need a car for a full day or for a weekend I plan to just get a regular rental. 

seattlecyclone

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2013, 02:58:21 PM »
I parked on the street in a somewhat dense part of Madison one year when I was a student there. Like you, I only used my car rarely -- for grocery shopping, trips out of town, and not much else. Parking was somewhat tight -- I usually was able to find a spot on the same block as my apartment building, but often had to park on a nearby block. The city required everyone to move their car from the even to the odd side of the street every night during the winter just in case they had to plow the streets, and this was enforced strictly. In the spring/summer/fall, the city had weekly street sweeping where parking was disallowed one day per week (a different day on different blocks). This was also enforced strictly. Despite this, I managed to get by with only one or two parking tickets my whole time there, and no damage to my car other than minor bumper scratches (occasional scrapes from overzealous parallel parkers came with the territory). Total monthly cost between the permit and parking tickets probably came out to about $10/month.

My house in Seattle where I live now has no garage, so we park on the street here too. There's more parking availability here. I rarely have to park more than 3-4 houses down from my own. There's a rule that you have to move your car every 72 hours, but it tends not to be enforced much outside of the really dense zones. Our street is rather narrow. One time we did have someone sideswipe the driver's side mirror, and that had to be replaced. I ordered a new one for $60 from Amazon (along with an $80 technical manual for our car model), and installed it myself. $140 effective street parking cost over three years is much lower than the cost of constructing a garage in our back yard.

theSchmett

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 03:02:32 PM »
$8k, plus avoided insurance, plus avoided parking, plus avoided maintenance and fuel = a lot of car rental and taxis!

You can skip Costco altogether and still see giant savings.


runfromwork

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2013, 03:11:23 PM »
I live in SF and park my car (2004 volvo xc70) in the street every day.  I just use it on weekends too.  Yes, I have to move it once during the week for street cleaning, but I just got in the habit to not forget.  Over the past 6 years, my car has never been broken into...hopefully I didn't just jinx myself.  Two keys to not have your car broken into: (1) don't have tinted windows, and (2) don't leave shit in your car.  Thieves will break into cars if there is the most remote chance of getting something of value.  If you follow the two rules above, you won't get your car broken into.  I have probably saved myself thousands of $$ for not paying for parking over the last 6 years.

livetogive

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2013, 04:37:13 PM »
Sorry, was on a tablet and the autocorrect killed me.  Zip car has pet restrictions, not "let" lol.

I think I'm going to try street parking also. We're in San Francisco as well but in a pretty dense hood.  Still, I think we could swing it and it's also allow me to set it up as an instant rental on relayrides.

StarryC

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2013, 04:50:17 PM »
Assuming car ownership is mandatory for you:
250/mo = $3,000 a year for a parking spot.

1 $90 ticket a month + 1 $500 tow a year + $150 a year fee + 1 broken window a year at $200 = $1930 a year for street parking.   Unexpected, irregular, bad things weigh more heavily on us mentally than expect, regular, drains.  You'll FEEL like you are spending more on parking tickets, towing and new windows.

I guess I'd ask your neighbors how often their cars are broken in to.  I think in densely populated neighborhoods where $300 can be charged for parking, it is probably substantially less than once a year, and more like once every 3-5 years.  But, even assuming you get a ticket every month, get towed once a year, and have your car broken into every year, you'd save $1000 a year by parking on the street.  If you are really diligent, and don't get towed and only get 6 tickets a year, and a broken window every other year, you'd save over $2,000 per year on average.   That probably pays for all of your winter skiing or a new $8,000 car every 4 years!

olivia

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Re: Need help with city parking decision
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2013, 06:40:01 PM »
Sorry, was on a tablet and the autocorrect killed me.  Zip car has pet restrictions, not "let" lol.

I think I'm going to try street parking also. We're in San Francisco as well but in a pretty dense hood.  Still, I think we could swing it and it's also allow me to set it up as an instant rental on relayrides.

HA got it, I didn't realize that.  If you have a dog you take places regularly that would definitely be an issue.