The Cost of Owning a Car in Chicago

May 19, 2021 | By Lauren Bozarth
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Living in the Windy City makes getting around the city without a car fairly easy. The public transit options, the city’s walkability, and the other modes of transportation beg the question, “Is the cost of owning a car in Chicago worth it?

First, you have to look at all of the costs associated with owning a car here. Here’s what you want to consider if you’re trying to decide whether owning a car is worth it for you.

The Cost of Owning a Car in Chicago

  • Maintenance – To ensure your car is and stays in good condition, regular maintenance is vital. Routine car maintenance keeps your engine running and helps avoid more serious and expensive car problems. Those basic services generally include oil and filter change, tire rotation and multipoint inspections.
  • Fuel – If you want your car to run, you’ll need gas. While the price of gas fluctuates, it tends to cost more in the city. Right now, the average cost of fuel is $3.07. Keep in mind, this expense also depends largely on how frequently you use your car and what kind of vehicle you own.
  • Insurance – The state of Illinois requires every car owner to purchase liability insurance. This helps protect the driver against the cost of injuries or damages caused to other people in a crash. While many factors influence your insurance rate, the average annual cost runs an Illinois resident $1,303.
  • Parking – Free street parking is few and far between in downtown Chicago. You will most likely need to purchase a permit to park along streets near your home or purchase a parking spot at your building or in a nearby garage or lot, which can cost you quite a bit.

If owning a car in Chicago doesn’t make sense for you, the good news is that there are other transportation options:

  • Public transit – The public transportation system in Chicago is excellent. From buses to the infamous “L” and metra system, you can get anywhere in the city with the efficient routes and options. While you can pay a single fee or purchase daily passes, a monthly pass for $105 may be the most cost-effective option.
  • Biking – You can invest in your own bike or take advantage of the Divvy bikes– a shared biking system. You can purchase daily, monthly, or annual passes and find biking stations all throughout Chicago.
  • Walking – Chicago has consistently been ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 most walkable cities. Downtown Chicago and many of the surrounding neighborhoods provide excellent walkability.
  • Ride-hailing – Chicago is home to plenty of cabs and other ride services, including Lyft and Uber. This is a convenient way to order or even schedule a ride ahead of time.

Whether you need parking space, a close commute, or nearby access to public transportation, Luxury Living Chicago Realty can help you find a luxury apartment that fits your needs. Begin your search by connecting with one of our experienced brokers today.

For more on the costs of living in Chicago, check out our comprehensive guide below.

The Cost of Living in Chicago

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