Car-free in Miami: How to Give Up Your Car for Lyft and Uber . . . and Love it.

Car-free in Miami: How to Give Up Your Car for Lyft and Uber . . . and Love it.

Nov 29, 2016 November 29, 2016

This is a story of how one Miami condo dweller (that's me, Sep Niakan) gave up his car at the end of his lease and gained freedom (and $$) in its place. If you have been thinking of getting rid of your car or know someone who is, read on.

Why I Got Rid of My Car

It all started when my lease was up, and I didn’t feel like car shopping anymore. I don’t drive terribly often, and we already have another car that my wife drives primarily. We are both real estate brokers (I also run this Miami condo web site and blog), but she has many buyer clients she needs to drive around town. On the other hand I typically work with sellers, and most of my listings are within walking distance of my residence.

Due to my profession, I need to be seen driving a luxury car, or no one buying a big ticket Miami condo will listen to my real estate advice. (Hey, I didn’t make the rules, I just follow them). But people don’t seem to care what car you are getting driven in.

In addition to all that, Miami neighborhoods are becoming more and more walkable. I am talking about places like Edgewater, Downtown Miami, Brickell, Midtown, Wynwood, South Beach, etc.

So it was an easy decision for me to try my luck without a car and replace it primarily with Lyft and Uber rides.

Prior to this, I had used Uber and Lyft for nights out on the town, especially when I thought I might drink and/or be too tired to drive home. But that’s as far as I had taken it.

Now, I decided to go all-in, and so far the experience has been awesome in so many ways.

Big Savings

My last car was a Mercedes E-350. It cost me a cool $1000/month (see the table below).

Want to know how much I spent monthly for Uber and Lyft instead? $237 at the most, a whopping $763 monthly savings!

Monthly Car Costs for My Mercedes E-350 Sedan

Expense TypeMonthly Costs
Lease Payment550
Insurance150
Gas80
Parking120
Maintenance100
Total1000

Monthly Costs of Riding With Uber and Lyft

Month# RidesCost/TripTotal Cost
Sept20$5.00*$100
Oct25$9.48$237

*Uber had a special flat fee pre-pay option that month

Just a few notes. For the trips above, I always took the standard rides. I never took the shared or lux rides. A majority of my trips cost me the minimum $5-6 fare, and most of the others were just barely above that in cost. I only took a small handful of longer (10 mile +) trips each month. When I was going longer distances, it was usually a social event, and so we would typically be in my wife’s car for those trips.

Should You Go Car-free?

I am the perfect candidate for going car-free. First, we still have a family car due to the fact that we have a toddler that we would like to drive around safely. So basically we just became a one-car family. Also, as I mentioned before most of my business is pretty close to where I live, and my trips are both short and infrequent.

I got to thinking who else might be a good candidate to go car-free:

  1. Like my family, a 2-car family becoming a 1-car family, especially if one person works from home or has an office job.

  2. You work within 5 miles of your office and you have no more than one out-of-office appointment a day on average.

  3. Second-homer who is here only part of the year. I know many second-homers that have a luxury car parked in their condo garage in Miami, and most of the time the cars turn out to be a headache. If you are only here a few months out of the year, consider ditching your Miami car. The reward is that you don’t have that extra potential headache, AND you essentially trade it in for a driver-for-hire whenever you need it. If you have the need to ride in luxury, then go for UberLux for a more luxurious car riding experience.

  4. You just f’ing hate driving. You will live a more peaceful life without driving, and everyone else will be appreciative they don’t have to sample your road rage.

  5. You stink at driving. Thank you for getting off the road and keeping our streets safe :)

Of course, all of those make a lot of sense if once you get home you live in an area where you can get many of your basics done within walking distance or short drive from your house. For example, I can walk 3 blocks to the grocery store, have a large handful of restaurants I can walk to, a park next door, and dozens of places for food, entertainment, shopping, etc, within a $5 minimum ride.

Who Shouldn’t Go Car-free

These are probably pretty obvious, but just to get it out of the way . . .You shouldn’t go car-free if you:

  1. own your car outright, and it has little maintenance issues and reasonable insurance costs.

  2. are in a business that requires you to travel regularly to client sites.

  3. are a social butterfly that travels by car far and wide for a good time (although if you drink then it’s worth considering).

  4. live very far from your work, and public transportation isn’t a feasible alternative.

  5. don’t live in a walkable neighborhood or at least a neighborhood where you can get to key destinations like grocery stores within a short ride.

Things You Might Not Like About Using Uber and Lyft

There are times when not having a car can get pretty inconvenient, and you have to be ok with this.

  1. When your phone runs out of battery, so you can’t call Uber or Lyft to pick you up.

  2. Many drivers are pretty new to your area, so they strictly rely on GPS. It’s fine, but it always feels better when you know someone knows the lay of the land.

  3. Occasional you get a cruddy drivers or cruddy car. I feel bad giving them less-than-stellar reviews since this is their livelihood.

  4. You realize that all these drivers will be out of a job in a couple years when these companies come out with driverless fleets. Sad.

Things You Will Love About Not Having a Car

Getting rid of my car has done wonders for my life in so many ways. First, I feel like my life has gotten that much simpler. It’s just one less material thing I have to worry about maintaining and taking care of. Second, it has given me more incentive to walk, which helps me get to know my city better and get a little exercise to boot.

Here are a few benefits of using Uber and Lyft instead of driving. You:

  1. don’t have to pay attention to the road

  2. can get work done, or read a book

  3. can meditate (yes, I do occasionally do this)

  4. can get to know someone. Some drivers have pretty interesting stories, and everyone can be interesting if you are curious. And if you take the sharing options (which I have not done yet), you will end up in a car with other riders and can possibly spark a short but interesting conversation.

  5. have a bit more incentive to walk places.

  6. don’t ever have to worry about finding a parking space. It’s an amazing feeling to know that no matter how hectic of a place you are going to, once you get there you don’t have to pay $20 for parking or drive around the block 5 times looking for a space. You just hop out of the car and head into your destination.

  7. don’t have a big expensive thing to maintain or worry about.

  8. know exactly when you will arrive. The Uber and Lyft phone apps tell you the approximate time you will arrive. They uses special GPS software that also takes into account traffic, etc, so you will usually know when you will arrive.

So what’s stopping YOU from embracing the car-free lifestyle?

Contact Us
Sep Niakan
Broker / Team Lead
(305) 697-7667
sep@blackbookproperties.com
Request Info
By sending you agree to CondoBlackBook's Terms of Use

Your Miami Condo Awaits

Recent Posts

Pre-Construction Condo Spotlight: La Baia in Bay Harbor Islands
Preconstruction Pre-Construction Condo Spotlight: La Baia in Bay Harbor Islands
Looking to bring the same transformative change to Bay Harbor Islands as he did in the South of Fifth neighborhood in South Beach with the iconic Continuum Condo Towers, developer Ian Bruce Eichner launched sales for La Baia residences in October 2021. The ultra-luxury La Baia will be a bayfront, boutique condo community featuring only 68 plush residences and its own 20-boat private marina. La Baia: A Waterfront Enclave of Luxury in Miami’s Northern Islands Crafting a new language of bespoke living on the water, La Baia condo residences will be tailored to fit Bay Harbor Islands’ tranquil ambiance. Designed by Revuelta Architecture, the stylish glass building will rise only 8 stories with a total of 68 luxury residences. Big on space, the one- to four-bedroom units at La Baia will range from 1,125 to 2,500 square feet in size. Owing to the Bay Harbor waterfront setting and expansive balconies, all La Baia residents will be able to enjoy unobstructed views of Biscayne Bay, Bal...
Introducing Downtown Miami’s Okan Tower - Luxury Miami Condos
Preconstruction Introducing Downtown Miami’s Okan Tower - Luxury Miami Condos
Meet Downtown Miami’s latest supertall condo tower that is sure to become an icon of the Magic City’s skyline for years to come - Okan Tower. With sales relaunched in November 2021 and buyers going straight to contract, after putting the project on hold, Turkish developer Okan Group is determined to make up for lost time. Back in action with revamped floor plans and the addition of an all-weather, glass-enclosed rooftop deck and observatory, the Okan Tower will feature 70 stories of luxury Sky Residences, world-class amenities, and 5-star Hilton Hotel & Resort. The Okan Residences Experience - Unfolding the Tulip Tower of Miami On track for a June 2022 opening, the condo-hotel marks Turkey-based Okan Group’s first development in the U.S. Designed by the Coral Gables-based Behar Font & Partners (the architects behind Quadro), the glass tower will feature a tulip-inspired façade as an ode to Turkey’s national flower. Certain to stand out on Downtown’s skyline, the...
Video: Take a Walking Tour of Edgewater, Miami
Lifestyle Video: Take a Walking Tour of Edgewater, Miami
Having spent almost 17 years in this mainly residential locale, Blackbook Properties’ luxury condo expert Sep Niakan takes you on his bright and sunny morning walk through this Edgewater, Miami, one of the city’s most popular waterfront neighborhoods.   Filmed in December, with a balmy winter morning temperature of 79° F/ 26° C, this scenic walking tour takes you through Margaret Pace Park and onto the Venetian Causeway. Besides being popular among walkers, joggers, and runners, the bayfront Margaret Pace Park is also a hot favorite among dog lovers, picnickers, and sports enthusiasts. The 8-acre park features two lighted tennis hard courts, two sand volleyball courts, one basketball court, personal fitness equipment, a gated playground, and more. The Venetian Causeway connects the mainland to Miami Beach, and again, makes a scenic seaside escape to clear your mind or simply absorb the sights and sounds of Miami. Watch the video to walk along. If you want see available units...
Miami Condo Development Guide: 52 New Pre-Construction Projects in 2021
Real Estate News Miami Condo Development Guide: 52 New Pre-Construction Projects in 2021
It’s a trend we’ve been talking about since the last quarter of 2020 - waves of buyers are contributing to one of the biggest real estate booms in Miami history. As individuals and businesses escape high tax states like New York and California, and have the freedom to work from any location, luxury condo developers in Miami are announcing new project after new project.   Miami condo developers announced more than 52 new and relaunched condo projects last year in 2021. In an attempt to appeal to a wide range of new residents, each new project aims to be taller, more luxurious, and offer the most exciting set of amenities imaginable, and could bring more than 10,000 residential units to Miami over the next few years. With the real estate market in Miami in one of its most lucrative cycles yet, here’s a look at the latest condo projects proposed in Miami in 2021: New Miami Condo Development Projects 2021 - Table of Contents New Downtown Miami Condo Development...
Get to Know Brickell, Miami: Comparing North Brickell vs South Brickell vs Brickell Key
Real Estate News Get to Know Brickell, Miami: Comparing North Brickell vs South Brickell vs Brickell Key
Brickell is one of Miami’s most desirable and popular neighborhoods, known the world over. Starting at the junction of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay, extending from Downtown Miami south along the water to the Rickenbacker Causeway that leads to Key Biscayne, Brickell is now known as the “Manhattan of the South.”  Indeed, Brickell is one of the world’s most important international financial hubs, home to many transnational companies and professionals from around the world. But Brickell is more than just Miami’s Financial District and the largest global banking center in the US south of New York. It’s an ultimate live, work, and play destination, and many celebrities have made their home in Brickell, including such Latin pop icons as Luis Miguel, Jennifer Lopez, and the late José José, as well as salsa legend Marc Anthony. To really get to know Brickell, and also know where you might want to live, Brickell actually consists of subdivisions that exist as distinctly different...
Video: Waldorf Astoria Residences, New Heights of Luxury Comes to Miami
Preconstruction Video: Waldorf Astoria Residences, New Heights of Luxury Comes to Miami
Combining the luxuries of New York City’s oldest hotel brand with Miami's first residential supertall tower, the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami will transcend and transform luxurious living in Miami – all in the heart of Downtown. Moreover, a joint venture between the developers (PMG) and city will including expanding the green spaces in front of the luxury tower along Biscayne Boulevard, transforming the main boulevard of the Miami.  Waldorf Astoria Residences will be the tallest building south of Manhattan, transcending the skyline here and the heights of Miami luxury as we know it today.  Watch the video for more information.   Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami Key Details Groundbreaking: Early 2022 ​​Completion: 2025 Architecture by: Carlos Ott (conceptual artist) & Sieger Suarez (Miami’s award-winning architects). Designed to look like 9 offset crystal cubes, this sculptural condo-hotel is set to redefine Miami’s skyline. Interiors by: San Francisco’s...