Is it Worth it to Own a Car After Moving to Chicago?

Moving to Chicago is a big jump for many looking to relocate to the big city. You might be used to hopping in your car and heading to work, the store or anywhere else on a daily basis. While you can certainly do this in Chicago, it's not a necessity with the public transportation options and the ability to walk to many things nearby. Keeping your car may allow you to travel outside of the city. You will need a place to park it or store it and this can be expensive. You will also need to get a city vehicle sticker for your car.

Do you Need a Car to Commute to Work?

Commuting to work in Chicago with your own personal vehicle can be challenging. You may have to deal with long rush house from 6:30am to 10:30am and from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. This may be enough reason to ditch the car for public transportation for some.

You don't need a car to get to work, in most cases. The Chicago Transit Authority or CTA, will get you to every corner of the city. You also have the option to get a bike and ride it to work. Of course, you can always share a ride with UberX or Lyft and there's always the option of hailing a taxi.

Where will you Park?

If you decide you will be keeping your car, you may need to have a lawn chair or something else ready to call "dibs" on a parking spot. It's very difficult to deal with parallel parking in Chicago and if you leave a spot open, it will be taken by the time you come back. You have to pay attention to the parking signs and tow zones, too.

In the winter, you will have to fight the snow, which means you may have to claim your parking spot. Just because you shovel it doesn't mean it's automatically yours. You have to mark the spot with lawn chairs and other items you are not using. Even by marking the spot, there's not guarantee it will be open when you come back.

Research the Neighborhood Before Deciding

Chicago is full of unique neighborhoods and some are more car-friendly than others. For example, parking in Hyde Park is much easier than Lakeview. Each neighborhood is a bit different and you may want to make sure you understand what you're getting into before you choose to keep or sell your car.

There are many things to consider if you keep your car. You may have to pay high parking fees and it may be difficult to find a parking spot. Make sure you take the time to consider all of the possibilities and your personal needs before you move to Chicago with your car.

Moving is already stressful enough without additional decisions. It may be best to make the decision to keep or sell your car before you hire a Chicago moving company and prepare everything for transit. At least it will be one less decision you will have to deal with.

Moving to Chicago - Should I own a car
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