No car, no problem. For many urban dwellers a car isn't necessary. If you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars each month on car payments, insurance, and gas, consider moving to one of these cities that make car-less living easy.

1. New York City

NY Subway

NYC is an obvious choice, but there is a reason it tops every list. With a subway system that is far and away the most comprehensive public transit in the country, getting around NYC is as easy as swiping your metrocard. The Big Apple is also a great city for walking. Its high-density design means that everything you need is in your neighborhood. Pop down to the bodega on the corner to pick up a few essentials, or meet a friend for a bowl of spaghetti at a tiny Italian restaurant down the street. No matter what neighborhood you choose, there is a local bar, coffee shop, and laundromat within walking distance.

In New York, a car is more trouble than it's worth. Monthly parking fees at a secure lot are exorbitant, and navigating the clogged streets of Manhattan is equal parts exhausting and infuriating. With both Boston and DC an easy train ride away, you don't even need a car to get out of town. The rare time you need to drive, you can rent a car, or invest in a Zipcar membership.

2. Minneapolis

This mid-sized city is a Midwestern gem. Brimming with public art, green space, and cultural events, Minneapolis has a lot to offer in a compact size. Ranked the most bike friendly city in America, many locals choose to pedal to work instead of drive. With wide bike lanes, well-maintained trails, and a plethora of bike racks across the city, Minneapolis makes being car-less easy.

3. Washington DC

You don't need a car to appreciate the nation's capitol. In fact, its notoriously bad traffic and excellent subway system may make you like it more without one.

A mere 68 square miles, DC packs a whole lot of culture onto a small plot of land. With metro lines crisscrossing the city, zipping across town is a snap. Washington DC is a very pedestrian friendly city; look out your window in the morning and you'll see suited government staffers walking to work. And with such pretty historical architecture everywhere you turn, strolling the sidewalks of Georgetown and DuPont Circle makes for a pleasant pastime as well as a convenient form of transit.

Washington DC has been investing in automobile alternatives in recent years. Its recently established bike sharing program, Capital Bikeshare, has been rapidly gaining popularity since it was introduced.

4. Portland


One of the country's best biking cities, Portland is a small city with decent public transportation and pedestrian friendly urban planning. Sporty Portlanders bike everywhere, and are proud of the cycling culture that defines the city. With every neighborhood in Portland featuring its own miniature hub of shops, bakeries and microbreweries, hitting the town is as easy as a quick jaunt down the block.

5. Boston

Teeming with college students, Boston is a city you can easily take advantage of on foot. Boston's public transit system, called "the T," was the first subway system in America, and can take you most places in the city. Ranked third in the country for walkability by WalkScore, Boston is a pedestrian's dream. Plus, Boston's drivers are notoriously bad, so staying off the roads is probably a good idea. When looking for an apartment check out Chinatown, North End and Bay Village, three of Boston's most walkable neighborhoods.

6. Chicago

The Chicago Transit Authority, lovingly called "the L" by locals for its elevated, above ground sections, is the third busiest public transit system in America. If you live along the metro line, navigating Chicago sans car is easy. Hop on the L for a quick trip down to the Navy Pier, or take the blue line north for a hip dinner out in Logan Square. But for many things, you don't even need to leave your neighborhood. Pick an apartment in a strategic location and you'll be able to get to the grocery store, park, local coffee shop, and your favorite restaurants, all on foot.

7. San Francisco

San Francisco

Long upheld as one of the most pedestrian friendly cities in America, San Francisco has it all: stunning nature views, a booming tech industry, a rich history, and mild climate. Locals take on San Fran's famous hills on foot, walking to their local grocery store, coffee shop and restaurants with ease. The steep inclines ensure pedestrians get a good workout. San Francisco's transit system, the BART, makes crossing the bay to Oakland and Berkeley simple. Biking is also popular in the Bay Area, if you are brave enough to take on the hills.

Having a car isn't necessary if you live in the right place. If you hate driving, or don't want to deal with the expense of maintaining a car, consider moving to one of these walking and transit friendly cities, and trade in your days on the freeway for a new life leisurely walking city sidewalks.

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