Thursday, September 13, 2007

I need a little Vroom

I knew this was going to happen - I so miss my SUV. I'm one of those people that really likes to drive. I drove to Colorado for college every August, and each following May I'd drive back East to Connecticut. I loved testing my first car, a little red coupe, on the twisty back roads and I loved pile-driving through the snow in my small-for-an-SUV grey beast.

No, I don't need a car in NYC. Although it would be nice to have one about now to transport my stuff to the storage unit I just rented. The insurance cost, parking cost, worrying cost and plain old cost would be far too much for me to bear. But on those days when I wanted to escape the'd be nice to have a car. On those days when I need to transport lots of'd be nice to have a car. On those days when I need to go somewhere just outside the city, beyond the limits of mass'd be nice to have a car.

Right now I'd love to have a Mini Cooper. Zipcar runs them as their main fleet car in NYC. For those who don't know, Zipcar is a rental-car type service with a unique spin. You pay an annual fee (depends on what plan you sign up for) and then pay to rent a car either by hour or day. Your insurance, gas and tolls are all paid for by Zipcar, which is very nice in Gotham. I feel like it's a pretty good deal if you're renting by the hour. But by the day it works out about the same or maybe even a bit more than a rental place like Enterprise.

Of course, the main appeal for urban hipsters are the cars they rent. Scions, Minis, Mazda 3's and 6' granny cars on the lot. Last time I rented from a mass agency I got a Chevy Monte Carlo. Other than feeling like Dale Earnhardt it was less than fun. It was a pain in the ass to park and it had surprisingly little go on the highway. And it was a boat.

A boat would never work in the city. Cars I'd never considered like Nissan Versas or Toyota Fits suddenly become appealing, parallel-parking friendly options. But once I got outside the city those cars would feel like little Davids to the soccer parent's hulking Goliath tanks.

Or how about a Vespa? I wanted one in college. A little scooter to get me from place to place, carry my groceries. Like a convertible, it'd be a two to three-season vehicle. And certainly a Vespa would be no help getting my crap to storage. But in absence of a motorcycle, it would be fun.

My renter's insurance premium went up by over $100 as soon as I moved down here, so I can only imagine what my insurance premium would have done. Tripled? And parking is at least $350/mo. I have a friend who lives in Manhattan but parks his car in the Bronx because it's cheaper. What's the point? You have to take the subway or bus to just to get to your car? And forget parking on the street. I worried about my car parked on the streets of idyllic Norwalk. Parking on a Manhattan street would surely drive me insane with worry.

Yet still, it would be great to have a little car waiting so I drive out my stress. Perhaps once fame and/or fortune find me.

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