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I've been reading an interesting blog by a lady living lakeside who does not have a car and she seems to get by fine without one. However I get the feeling that she is definitely in the minority. Obviously many locals make do without one, but how many expats live here without a car?

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I've been reading an interesting blog by a lady living lakeside who does not have a car and she seems to get by fine without one. However I get the feeling that she is definitely in the minority. Obviously many locals make do without one, but how many expats live here without a car?

I lived without a car for three months, after moving here. I had visited, many times, without a car. You do not need one. I used to drop about 5 - 10 pounds each visit here because I walked 5 -10 miles a day. After getting a little car, I gained thirty!!

A car, if you live in walking distance to groceries and a farmacia, is not a necessity. You can rent a car, once a month or so, when you want to do a little more exploring. You can take one of the organized bus trips to Guadalajara if you want to go to the big stores and there are always taxi's for the evening.

I bought my car because I wanted to drive and explore other parts of Mexico. I wish it would refuse to drive anywhere I could walk to. ^_^

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We are forced to lived without our vehicle for 3 weeks while it is being repaired. This happened one other time, and we actually did more walking, which allowed us to see more unique shops and businesses in Chapala.

Chapala is easy to be in without a car. Yesterday, we needed to load up on groceries so we walked to Soriana, got a cab for about 20 pesos, had help loading and unloading the items.

Cabs are cheap, buses are cheap, and walking is good for your health. Many friends in Chapala live without a car, less to worry about.

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I've lived without a car for 12 years. I walk, take the bus or a taxi rarely. This is a small village and it's easy to get around. You can see more that way. You can take the bus to Chapala or Jocotepec or San Antonio...meet lots of nice folks and it keeps your healthy.

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I quit driving at 49 when I moved to Tokyo so I had learned to live without a car well before retirement (59) and moving here shortly afterward. The mindset was already established. That helped.

I appreciate friends who drive but try not to rely on their generosity. As I did in Tokyo, I buy a few items whenever I pass by a grocery store. I don't need to buy the huge bag of pet food. What I pay extra for buying the smaller is peanuts.

What with the robber transitos and the problems of being in an accident (very different from NOB) I would say that your stress level goes up with being a car owner.

I don't miss it Lakeside but it would be nice for exploring the country. However, the buses go everywhere and they are safe and comfortable so it is a matter of weighing the convenience and freedom of driving vs the benefits of walking and riding the bus.

I should add that I live in Riberas and I have no fear of walking in the dark. The bus stop is a block away.

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We have lived without a car for 3 years and we love it. When we lived in Chapala/Ajijic, I walked everywhere. We lived near Maskaras Clinic and I would walk from there to Ajijic at least 4 times a week, stopping at Superlake, Walmart, Salvadors, etc., along the way. We have since moved to PV and haven't had a car here for over 3 years. Busses run everywhere here and walking along the ocean to downtown is very enjoyable. If you are fortunate enough to have good enough health, walking is the way to go. Between joining Weight Watchers and walking I lost 18 pounds while living at Lakeside. Don't miss the car at all.

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We, too, live without a car as a matter of choice. I stopped driving when I moved to Tokyo about 10 years ago, so it's been about 11 years since I've been behind the wheel. Torontonian and I have that in common.

We live midway between San Antonio and Riberas. I can and do walk to both, sometimes to La Floresta, usually to WalMart. The bus stops directly outside our subdivision, and I take a cab when I have a full load of groceries.

I miss my car, I miss driving, but not enought to start it all up again. Too $$ for what we would use it for. We can fly or take a Primera Plus bus to other parts of Mexico, and sometime n the future, as we age, we will probably get a golf cart for use on the back roads.

As my husband says, "You can get a LOT of cabs for the price of one year's maintenance."

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If you are without a car now where ever you live you are probably used to being without one and could manage here. But remember many places here aren't served by buses or the buses shut down early and you can't just go out and hail a taxi. In fact it can be difficult to call a cab to come to where you live and they shut down early also. So having no vehicle will restrict where you can live. It would be a real hardship for me to live without a vehicle. I had a house near Puerto Vallarta for 13 years and it would have been very difficult to live without a vehicle. It depends how you live. Here I would miss seeing a lot of things if I didn't have a vehicle-how would I go exploring looking for old haciendas, mountain towns, various neighbourhoods, lighthouses, birds, etc. I walk a lot here not because I have to but because I want to.

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Interesting, so by reading here it seemed as though everyone had a car, I guess that is not the case at all.

How limiting would not having a car be as far as finding housing?

Having lived in Central America before, cabs or buses were readily available just by walking out to a main street up until pretty late except in the smallest towns,. This is not the case at lakeside I take it?

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Using an agent / manager to find housing should be no problem and they will haul you around.

Cabs get a little scarce after dark, so that can be limiting, but if you find a driver and make arrangements that can be overcome.

It all depends on where you live and your health.

If you're in good shape and can walk and carry, you can do well without a car.

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taxies are usually good, but if they are busy you may be out of luck. personally i find taxies easier than having a car, but thats me. many of the small busses are not sanitary. (i use taxies frequently). walking is ok but depends upon location, many streets are not set up for that. personally i think this is a car culture.

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We don’t have and don’t intend to have a car in Puerto Vallarta. We can walk to almost everything here in Old Town and downtown is an easy bus or cab ride. It is like having most of what is in Guadalajara the same distance away as Chapala is from Ajijic. We will use buses and/or car rentals for longer trips. And maybe the best benefit is being forced to walk more. We lived in Ajijic for 7 years and I would not have been able to get by without a car and still find it frustrating to visit without our own wheels. The whole "scene" at Lakeside seems to revolve around large groups of people meeting for dinner and drinks at widely scattered venues whereas the venues in Puerto Vallarta are all within easy walking distance.

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When we came down 8 years ago, we thought we were 'cutting back' by only having one car. Surprise! Living where we do (what was then "out in the country") it became impossible for both of us to have our various activities with only one car. So we're back to two. I go one direction, hubby goes the other direction and we get together for drinks on the patio in the afternoon.

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Add me to the list of "no car by choice". I am not here full-time and have rented a car when I had family visiting but basically I do fine walking, the local busses and accepting rides from friends now and then. One of the reasons I chose this area is because it is easy enough to get around without owning a vehicle. There are too many cars here already and dealing with break downs, mordida, and lousy driving conditions is not for me. I get enough gas fumes just walking along the Careterra. People complain about the parking at Superlake, traffic in town but forget they are part of the problem. No car for me until the day comes when walking becomes too difficult.

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I moved here from Manhattan and never owned a car, public transportation there is excellent. I could walk or take a bus or subway to get anywhere. I lived here in Ajijic for about a year when I bought my first car ever. I had friends living from Riberas to El Chante and taking buses and taxis got tiresome.

I love being able to zip from LCS to the Farmers' Market to HandyMail in one morning. I call Francisco Miramontes when I need a cab day or night if necessary. I LOVE having my car!

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If you are wanting to live at Lakeside without a car, you would be less stressed if you live in one of the villages within walking distance of the Careterra, a few restaurants, and some little stores. You can take the bus easily during the day and just figure things are going to take a little longer. It may limit some of your activities, but if you are flexible, you can find other things to take their place.

Taxis may be cheap within the villages but it costs $70-80 pesos to go from Chapala Haciendas or Brisas to anywhere in Chapala. The Haciandas to Soriana or back? Yup $70-80 pesos. Each way. So don't try to live in any of the rural communities unless you want to waste a lot of time on buses that won't stop or taxis that overcharge..

Look around your potential dwelling and make sure there are enough shops within reasonable walking distance. You'll be fine.

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Ask your realtor to show you where the closest bus stop is located.

Ours is right outside the subdivision, and both the large Chapala Bus, the bus that goes to GDL, and the smaller bus that goes in and around and through San Antonio and downtown Ajijic stops there as well.

Farther west, in Ajijic and around La Floresta, you can also grab the Directo bus to GDL that uses the libramiento.

I have found bus travel easier than I thought, but you are limited to what you can confortably carry around. I've had a backpack loaded up so full I had to have the man behind me push me up so I could make that first step. Some steps are fairly high !

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those that taxi as needed, take the buses, and walk certainly must be saving money when you consider insurance costs, but for where i live i prefer the convience.

when i drive a friend without a car, they usually chip in for gas.

Would you be able to get by if none of your friends had cars?

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So far this thread seems to have attracted mostly those people who don't have cars and want to explain how easily they get by without one. That's fine - different strokes, etc., but here's a point of view from one who does have a car and is glad of it. Within my circle of friends in Ajijic, by far the majority have cars and wouldn't dream of being without. Speaking personally, if I were from NYC or Tokyo, I'm sure I wouldn't have bothered with having a car there, either. But I'm not from any such place, I'm originally from the Pacific Northwest, where towns are scattered around usually with some miles between them, and where everybody drives their personal vehicle, so I'm not one of those who are used to alternative means of transportation. I agree that it would be easier here to be without one than it is in most places, but to that I say "Sure, but so what? Who really wants to? Certainly not me." If I want to go somewhere, regardless of whether it's to the next town or to the coast or wherever, I don't want to have to rely on someone else's schedule to get there - I will just get in my car and go, and that's it. It's a matter of convenience and I strongly suspect that in that respect I'm in the majority of expats living Lakeside. In fact, like many who have been here awhile, I'm in the process of nationalizing my car and going the visa pernanente route because I like living here and intend to keep on doing so. With a car.

As I said, different strokes.

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I've been here a year now and haven't had a car since I arrived. At first I used to take taxis everywhere, but that became cost prohibitive. Since I've learned to eat and shop from the local markets here in Chapala, I've been much happier. No need for taxis, and I'm spending much less for food. On those occasions when I do need to go to walmart, I can usually find a friend to give me a ride. I'll admit, that sometime I wish I had a car, for convenience sake. However, even more often I'm glad I don't when I hear about the hassles people who own them have to deal with, such as licensing and being stopped for a bit of mordida. Not to mention the cost of upkeep and fuel. Nope, count me firmly in the 'no car here, thank you' camp.

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That's because the original poster was asking about those people without a car. DT22 wrote, Obviously many locals make do without one, but how many expats live here without a car?

If I had plenty of $$, no fear of the bad habits of other drivers, no fears regarding the apparent lack of attention in many of the locals, and if my driving skills were more recent and in better shape, I would consider a car. For now, though, the costs and aggravation of ownership far outweigh the ease of going somewhere.

Of course, I'm still relatively young, in good health, used to walking and taking the bus, so I do it. Sometimes friends drive, and we share the costs or I cover it completely. Most places I want to go I can get to on my own. Does it limit me ? Sometimes. I deal with it.

Do I miss our cars ? Absolutely. Do I miss driving ? YES !!!

We lived on the sunny Southern California coast and drove PCH many times with the top down, wind in my hair and the heater blowing on my on my feet ! We lived on the East Coast and drove lovely, winding back country roads in all seasons. Miss it a lot.

Still made the decision not to own a car, and by the time I need one, I'll be too old to be driving it !

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OK, cstone, here's the answer to DT22's question, ". . . but how many expats live here without a car?"

Nobody knows, because there is no way to know.

And he or she isn't going to find out by asking that question in that way on this webboard or any other. So naturally the responses have been from people who, of course, don't know how many but instead are explaining why they themselves don't (or do) have a car. Since most have been from those who don't, I thought I'd post another point of view. No harm, no foul.

Once again, different strokes. :-)

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We have been here a year and we sold our cars before we moved down. We walk and use the bus system both Lakeside and in Guadalajara. We don't worry about parking or gas prices, we have lost weight :D, we've met many of our gringo and Mexican neighbors and have a great time. There are times when a car would be nice but they are few and far between. We never "bum" rides from our friends who have cars (we feel that would be unfair) but we have accepted rides from friends who want us to go out with them. So far we are happy with our decision not to drive a car here. That may change in the future but we do not anticipate that right now. We have hired a taxi or a driver on occasion--but rarely.

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never had a drivers license or thought of getting one. but it is limiting here w/out a car. as i said i take cabs about 50% of the time. but, if i took cabs everywhere all the time, it would be many thousands of pesos per month. therefore i dont have a normal life.

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I have been here almost 3 years without a car. I constantly get people telling me I have to get a car. I haven't owned a car in over 13 years. Every time my friends with cars complain about gas prices and repairs they seemingly constantly have to make, I am thankful I don't have that added stress and expense. Plus, I prefer to get the exercise, and I have learned a lot more about Chapala than I would have if I were driving everywhere, missing all the small stores, and not getting to know all the people on my way to and from the stores. I buy food as I need it. If I happen to be out with someone in a car, and we stop at the store, I'll buy things I don't normally buy. I can pretty much buy everything I need to be content within a 2-4 block radius here in Chapala.

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