Warning: This is a non-technical, lifestyle post
I consider my life to be “car-enhanced”, not car-dependent.
It all started when I was shopping for new insurance this year. I had to re-familiarize myself with the difference between “Comprehensive Coverage” and “Collision Coverage”, and the quote included something called “Rental reimbursement”. Reading details, I realized it covered the cost of a rental car in case my car was in the shop being repaired after an accident.
This possibility had never crossed my mind. I always assumed that if my car was in the shop for a few days, I would just be car-less for that duration. Which didn’t sound terrible to me; I just wouldn’t be able to go out of town on a weekend without renting a car.
Thinking about it further though, if this type of coverage is offered, it means people need it. People prefer to have a rental car and pay money for it while their own car is being worked on. They need it to get to work, pick up kids from school/daycare, buy groceries, whatevs. They are car-dependent; they literally cannot function without an internal combustion engine in their driveway.
For me and the missus, none of these things apply. I take the train to work, she takes the bus to school. We bike to buy groceries and for most other errands and funtimes within a 2-3 mile radius of our apartment. We have no children. Not having a car would remove the possibility of driving 20 miles away at the drop of a hat, but otherwise, our lifestyle would not be significantly impacted in the short term. Our lifestyle is enhanced by owning a car and having it around to use whenever we need it, but it isn’t dependent on it.
I don’t have rental reimbursement insurance now.