Hoboken’s famous for it’s terrible parking options, especially late at night, but there’s a flip side to that situation: Everything else associated with owning a car. Hoboken enjoys some of the highest insurance rates in the country (an average of $3,151 as of 2016), and if you can’t reliably find street parking you’re paying for that, too.
So, it’s not too surprising that some folks opt to get rid of their cars in Hoboken, as the cost and inconvenience isn’t worth it unless you drive regularly. Still, America is a car-centric society, and living sans car can get you some odd looks and puzzled questions. And if you’re sick and tired of dealing with car issues in Hoboken and thinking about taking the plunge into the careless lifestyle, you might wonder how you’ll live without a car in a world that’s been largely built around car ownership.
The good news? If you’re seriously considering going without a car, there are more options than ever for getting around. Here are a few tools and services that can help you get around without the year-long cost and trouble.
Car Service and Taxis
Disruptive technologies are shiny and modern, but often they’re just replicating something that already exists, just with a twist or two. Such is the case with ridesharing Apps—we’ve had taxis for decades, yo. When you know in advance that you’re going to need a ride someplace, a good old-fashioned taxi or car service does the job well, and you don’t have to worry about returning a car or surge pricing. Downside: Car service and traditional taxis can be more expensive choices depending on your destination. But on the other hand if you’re saving a minimum of $3,000 a year by not having a car, why not splurge.
Uber and Lyft
The obvious taxi alternative are the ridehsare Apps. It’s usually pretty easy to grab a ride from Uber or Lyft in town, though it’s difficult to predict just how much the ride will cost, or how much trouble getting one will be, especially during surge times. Still, the power to summon a ride home no matter where you happen to be is a pretty powerful tool, and the ability to not worry about drinking and driving is almost as important. Still, costs can vary wildly—surge pricing can sometimes be 400% higher than normal.
Recently launched in Hoboken, Getaround is a sharing service with a twist—you’re renting cars owned by other people. If you own a car in Hoboken you can rent it out through Getaround and folks pay to use it. It costs $10 to get your license reviewed and approved when you join, and rides cost $7.50 plus a mileage surcharge (or $62 for a whole day plus mileage).
Of course, if you’re thinking about renting cars by the hour there’s Zipcar, which costs anywhere from $0 per month (with a $25 application fee and an annual charge of about $70) to $7 per month with no annual fee, or $50 a month for about 6 hours of pre-paid driving. There are also daily rates which are close to what you’d expect from a traditional rental. Zipcar has obvious uses because you get use of the car instead of just a ride, and it’s a flexible rental that doesn’t require a commitment of a day or more, and it’s easy to grab a car on a as-needed basis, with an easy return process. On the other hand, there are a limited number of corner cars, so scheduling can be tough, especially on days when everybody wants to rent a car.
Avis & Enterprise
Speaking of traditional rental options, Avis and Enterprise still have offices in Hoboken, and you can always rent a car for a day or three. This is still your best option if you need a car for more than a few hours; Avis tends to have much lower prices during the week. Of course, you’ll have to make your way to 15th Street uptown or 2nd Street downtown to pick up and drop off the car, and weekends can cost an arm and a leg even for an economy car.
If you just need to get around locally and don’t need to move, say, a piece of furniture or 600 grocery bags, you can always sign up for Hudson Bike Share. They offer pay-as-you-go pricing, or you can pay a monthly membership fee of $12.95 or an annual fee of $95 and grab a bike whenever you like, and leave it at the nearest bike rack when you’re done.
As you can see, you don’t really need a car in the modern world, and with all the headaches that car ownership entails in Hoboken, a combination of these tools can set you free. On the other hand, if you love your car, you can monetize it with something like Getaround. What do you think—could you live without a car?