In this report, I ponder the question, Do I need a car to retire early cheap overseas?
Growing up in America, it may have never occurred to you that you can live without a car. If you are like, and you grew up in a small town, you may remember the first time you saw people getting on public transportation.
I remember thinking, wow, those poor people can’t afford to get their own car. How sad. Before I left the USA in 2007, I had my own car my entire life. In fact, I bought my first car before I was even old enough to drive it.
It was a 1958 VW bus. I bought that old bus in 1976, about a month before I turned 16 years old. About 30 days later, about the time I got my driver’s license, I had mag wheels on that bus, a new stereo system, and padded carpet from floor to ceiling.
But I have been outside the USA for over 14 years now and I have never once owned a car. I have kept my drivers’ license this entire time, but I have rented a car fewer than 5 times overseas. If I added it up, I bet I have rented a car for less than 30 days in those 14 years living outside the USA. Here is how I was able to retire early overseas for cheap.
I am not telling you what to do. You will need to think this through on your own. But let me explain why I don’t need a car anymore. Plus, I will give you a few examples of how and why I get around without a car living overseas.
In 2018, we traveled all over Mexico in large beautiful airconditioned buses. Every city in Mexico has bus stations where you can catch a beautiful bus to almost all other cities in Mexico for $10 to $20.
We visited 20 of the best retire early cheap cities in Mexico without worrying about a car. We never had to worry about gas, police stops, repairs, parking, missing road signs, or being stranded out on the open road hoping someone friendly would come that spoke English, to help us get a car repaired.
Our retire cheap reports in Mexico explain where we caught buses, but you can also use international transportation services like Rome to Rio to find ground transportation routes all over the world. In most cities around the world, there are internet taxi services like Uber, Grab, Lyft, etc. that will take you to and from the bus stations without needing to speak the local language.
When I am in a foreign country, I just feel more safe traveling through remote areas in a beautiful modern bus full of people with a professional driver, rather than being on the open road I have never been before alone in my car or with a friend.
Avoiding the possibility of finding myself isolated in an area unknown to me just feels better from a safety perspective. I will include links to my Mexico touring report and my international safety report.
When we were in the Philippines, we traveled between cities on Ferries and minivans, but we often rented a scooter for around $100 per month for most cities where we spent more time.
But one of the biggest reasons we are able to go without a car around the world is because we pick walkable neighborhoods to live in. Whenever possible, we find furnished apartments in the most interesting parts of town. Walkable areas with restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and nightlife. Here is how I find the best apartments.
Then if we need to go somewhere on an excursion or self-guided tour we take the local transportation, which usually costs less than $1 USD each way. Google Maps has most of the public transportation information around the world and is easy and convenient to use. If there is no meaningful local public transportation, we take Uber, Grab, or any other ride-sharing service.
Taxis are almost always our last choice especially if the local custom is to negotiate the costs of a ride and we don’t know the local language.
I am not ruling out the possibility of getting a car someday if I ever settle down in one place for 6 or more months of each year. In that case, I would buy a 6 to 10-year-old reliable beat-up Toyota or whatever local car is easiest and cheapest to get repaired.
So that is the short story of how I have lived all over the world without a car for the last 14+ years. Make sure to stop by VagabondBuddha.com to check our 80+ retire cheap reports on how to live all over the world for less than it costs to live in your home country.
My name is Dan. I left the USA in 2007 and have been to 67 countries so far. Subscribe to see where we go next. Make sure to grab a copy of my free eBook, “How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 14 Years.”
Thank you for checking out our report, do I need a car to retire early cheap overseas. This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube channel for VagabondBuddha.com. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?