Owning a Car in San Francisco: The Good and the Bad

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If you are moving to San Francisco from a smaller town, whether or not to keep your car will be a big decision and one that you should put a good amount of thought into. There are several pros and cons to owning and driving a car in San Francisco. This includes money, public transportation and where you move, but the final decision depends entirely on your own personal preferences.

One of the major perks of San Francisco is the access of public transportation. Whether you take the bus or light rail, you will no longer be dependent on your car. But, do you still need your car? Think about your daily routine. Do you commute to work? Do you carpool with friends? Is there a convenient bus or train route near your apartment? If you don’t think you can get to work, maintain a social life and run errands without your car, it may be worth keeping it.

In spite of this, you will have to think about where and how to park your car. Does your neighborhood have enough parking or will you need to pay $75 to $150 a month for a parking spot in a garage? Will you need to buy a city sticker for zoned parking? Is your neighborhood safe? Make sure to think about all the aspects of maintaining a car before you commit to moving as it can be very costly.

Also think about your extracurricular needs. If you own a dog, you may find a car is necessary for getting to vet appointments If you are an avid sports-person, you will need a way to transport bikes and mountain climbing gear out of the city on the weekends. Or, if you plan on visiting out-of-town friends frequently, you may find a car to be more convenient than public transit.

In essence, it comes down to cost and convenience. If you have the budget for city fees, parking, and higher car insurance, it may make sense for you to keep your car. If, however, you want to save money and can easily transition to living without a vehicle, you will find public transportation an easy and affordable option. Whatever your lifestyle, make sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons of owning a car in San Francisco.