When you’ve decided to move to San Francisco, it’s important to do a little research and think about what you should bring with you. For this city, owning a car is one of the most important decisions and will define your transit options.
The cost of owning the car is the same as any other city — gas, maintenance, repairs, and car insurance all need to play a factor in the decision. Do the benefits outweigh these costs? Does it outweigh the high cost of rent and other bills that come with the Bay Area?
The Bay Area is walkable and there are enough modes of public transportation that you will be able to get anywhere you need to. The city’s famous for their cable cars, which are understandably congested. But, if you want to live free of transit constraints, owning a car is the perfect solution for you. And, if anything ever happens to your car, you can always go back to relying on public transit for a while.
The main benefit you will need to think about is the commute to work. The city has a large population, so driving may feel a little dense during rush hour. But, without having to be concerned about stations and seating arrangements, you may feel like you actually have more freedom in where to go and when. Also, the commutes may actually be shorter due to you being in control of your route to work.
Also, with a large population comes parking troubles. San Francisco is one of the worst places to find parking, at least in the US. Apps like Best Parking may help out with this one, but it’s still a struggle to get through it all. Nobody wants a parking ticket, especially in this city. In this city, consider smaller cars like a Honda Accord. They have great turning, making it easier to park over larger cars like the Ford F-150.
With so many things to do in San Francisco, another great draw to owning a car in the Bay Area is that it has a great deal of local getaways. If you are in the mood for a picnic, breathtaking redwoods at the Muir Woods are less than half an hour away from the Golden Gate Bridge. There are plenty of beach spots to spread out at too.
Also, if you like a great weekend road trip to other parts of California, owning a car is a no-brainer. To balance out trips and parking, try out a car like the Dodge Charger that has a plenty of space. You will have similar size and ease-of-use for parking.