Cars & Clerking

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ak362
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Cars & Clerking

Postby ak362 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:56 pm

This is a bit of a random question, but for those folks who are clerking next year (in a non-public transport city) and who currently don't have a car because they live in a public transportation-friendly city (DC/NYC), do you plan on getting one? I'll be working in a fairly populated (but car-centric) city next year, but plan on moving back to DC after my clerkship ends. I'd prefer not to permanently own a car because a) D.C. public transportation is pretty solid and Zipcar is reliable otherwise and b) don't really want to go through the hassle of registering a car here in D.C. and paying insurance, etc.

Hope this makes sense. Thoughts/suggestions are most welcome.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:07 pm

how long is your clerkship?

ak362
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby ak362 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:how long is your clerkship?


Just a year. I've explored Zipcar (no dice in the city I'll be clerking in). I'll bite the bullet and buy a car if I have to, but I'd really only be using it for running errands, grocery shopping, etc. I plan on living within walking distance to work, hence making me reluctant to buy a car.
Last edited by ak362 on Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:10 pm

ak362 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:how long is your clerkship?


Just a year. I've explored Zipcar (no dice in the city I'll be clerking in).


Ah, if two years I was going to say do a 24-month lease. There is also always http://www.swapalease.com in the off-chance you can assume someone's lease with a year left.

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jessuf
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby jessuf » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:13 am

the city doesn't have a bus system?

what about living walking/biking distance? not sure how hot the summers are in this city, though.

Geist13
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby Geist13 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:21 am

Hold on. Walking distance to work and you only need the car for errands and stuff? Get a bike dude. Unless we're talking some place like Minnesota (too cold for winter biking) I'm not sure why there is a question here.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:21 am

Can't you buy a beater for a grand or whatever on craigslist and just drive it into the ground?

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NoleinNY
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby NoleinNY » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:32 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Can't you buy a beater for a grand or whatever on craigslist and just drive it into the ground?


+1

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larsoner
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby larsoner » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:44 am

Geist13 wrote:Hold on. Walking distance to work and you only need the car for errands and stuff? Get a bike dude. Unless we're talking some place like Minnesota (too cold for winter biking) I'm not sure why there is a question here.


Minneapolis actually has a great public transport system and very good bike paths. People bike year round (there are special snow tires). Not relevant at all to the question, just thought I should speak up for Minnesota.

ak362
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby ak362 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:52 am

Jessuf wrote:the city doesn't have a bus system?

what about living walking/biking distance? not sure how hot the summers are in this city, though.


The city's scorching hot during the summer (humid, too). The bus system is apparently completely unreliable. I've never biked with groceries before, and there are no grocery stores in the area near the courthouse. (Lots of restaurants, etc., though).

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Can't you buy a beater for a grand or whatever on craigslist and just drive it into the ground?


Probably going to end up doing this, but just wanted to see if there were better and more economical options out there.

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jessuf
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby jessuf » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:29 am

I have this predicament with my internship being downtown. One thing is - if you get a car, you might have to pay parking fees. I'm pretty sure I don't get reimbursed for parking, even at the courthouse, which means an insane amount of money will be going towards parking this summer for me if I go that route.

I too will be in a very hot and humid city, but I'm thinking of either biking to downtown, showering, and changing at the ymca there, and then walking the short distance from the y to the courthouse or taking the bus even though the city's bus system is small and for some reason takes 45 minutes to drive 5 miles.

anongoodnurse
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby anongoodnurse » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:39 pm

The city's scorching hot during the summer (humid, too). The bus system is apparently completely unreliable. I've never biked with groceries before, and there are no grocery stores in the area near the courthouse. (Lots of restaurants, etc., though).


If the ONLY thing you think you'll need a car for is groceries, I'd probably just get a bike and take a cab to and from the grocery store once or twice a month. It sounds like there are a lot of restaurants around, so you should be able to get by buying groceries that infrequently. (I suspect that there are also probably some bodegas nearby for emergencies.) And even if you end up spending $100 on cab fair every month, that's waaaaay cheaper than buying a car. It may even be cheaper than the car insurance.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:49 am

ak362 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Can't you buy a beater for a grand or whatever on craigslist and just drive it into the ground?


Probably going to end up doing this, but just wanted to see if there were better and more economical options out there.


Actually, that is a pretty economical solution. Remember, you are most likely going to be able to recoup most/all of your investment on a beater car, assuming you don't by a complete POS (mechanically, that is).. I bought an 87' Taurus my freshman year of college for $150, drove it for 2 years, and then sold it for $300.. It's really all about knowing a little bit about cars and shopping around for a bit to find a quality beater. You can definitely find some bad looking, yet, well running cars for around $300. Probably cheaper than cabbing to and from the grocery store twice a month for a year.

anongoodnurse
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby anongoodnurse » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:00 pm

Probably cheaper than cabbing to and from the grocery store twice a month for a year.


Insurance and gas. The former will likely run at least $50 a month. And that's in a dirt cheap state -- if it's Texas (and judging by the OP's description, it sounds like it's that or Phoenix or Atlanta), figure $100 a month. Gas will probably be $60 every two or three months if s/he drives as infrequently as predicted.

So figure at a bare minimum, $300 (purchase price) + $600 (insurance) + $240 (4 tanks of gas) = $1140. It depends on how much it is to cab to the grocery store, but if it's less than $50 a round trip, it's probably cheaper. Not to mention you avoid the hassle of acquiring and then selling a beater, registering it, buying insurance, and then assuming the risk that it will need repairs at some point.

dudders
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby dudders » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:13 pm

Does the city you're moving to have Zipcar?

If you're worried more about transport than buying massive amounts of groceries, there's always a scooter. Used ones aren't terribly pricy, and if you keep it, they're way less of a hassle in the District than a car. (You still, obviously, would have to go to the evil, evil DC DMV to register it when you got back, which for me would be at least 50% of the reason why I wouldn't want to bring any vehicle back.) But it might be an economical middle ground in the meantime.

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shepdawg
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby shepdawg » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:31 pm

Get a good scooter (not Chinese). Free parking in cities with marked motorcycle spaces, cheap gas, and the funnest way to travel.
Image

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Cars & Clerking

Postby XxSpyKEx » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:35 am

shepdawg wrote:Get a good scooter (not Chinese). Free parking in cities with marked motorcycle spaces, cheap gas, and the funnest way to travel.
Image


Not really a great solution for running errands (e.g. picking up dry cleaning) & grocery shopping (because of the lack of storage space). Probably still have to register and insure it too, unless you plan on driving it on the sidewalk.. Scooters are fun though. Personally I'd get a dirt bike and toss on and enduro kit if I were going to go that route




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