Joan’s Journey: When Handing Over One’s Car Keys Is Not So Dreadful

joan-and-her-car-twoWelcome Joan’s Journeyers. Since June, my fabulous-fake designer purse is slightly less crowded. The absence of car keys has lightened my purse and elevated my bank account. Moreover, the heavy responsibilities of driving throughout greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area are the responsibility of professional drivers.

Since moving to my senior living community in Santa Monica nearly two years ago, my daughter Allison has been concerned about the complex, often dangerous driving on the roads and freeways. I am a excellent driver and am quite proud of my 54-year driving record. Allison’s concerns are the other drivers.

The leasing agreement on my comfortable sedan terminated last June. For months prior to the lease’s completion, Allison lobbied with her two brothers to convince me not to lease or buy another car. Their solution to LA driving was hiring drivers from Uber and Lyft, professional driving services that provide almost immediate door-to-door travel at a cost allegedly lower than traditional taxi rates.

For months I argued the virtues of driving my own car but received relentless insistence from my adult children that I consider a three-month trial of professional driving services. June 2015 arrived and my car lease expired. To stop their conjoling, I most unhappily agreed to the Driving Ms. Joan Experiment.

The Driving Ms. Joan Experiment

To determine whether these professional driving services actually saved me money, I decided to do a comparison of using these services instead of my own personal automobile. The factors I compared included:

  • Monthly driver costs versus leasing and/or owning vehicle, including monthly lease or purchase fees, gasoline, auto insurance, and auto maintenance
  • Safety of driver service vehicle and driver
  • Courtesy of professional driver and driving habits
  • Availability of driver when ordered
  • Length of time to pick up
  • Comfort of service automobile

In the next Joan’s Journey, I’ll share the surprising results of my Driving Ms. Joan Experiment, including an unexpected transportation perk of senior living. Until the next post, enjoy your journey day by day.

Joan London is a freelance medical and social service writer who specializes in topics on aging. London moved from Maryland to California to enjoy life in a senior living community and enhance her quality of life by living closer to her children and grandchildren.

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