Living in the city, not everyone has a car. Some people are students whose parents drove them to campus on day one and left them to figure out how to navigate the rest of the semester alone. Others don’t have the luxury of affording a car. Some just are flat out irresponsible and unworthy of having their own vehicle. No matter the circumstances, living with a roommate who doesn’t have a car poses some problems.

Chauffeur holding a sign.More than likely, you’re aware your roommate doesn’t have a car when you move in together. You assume that they’re used to their situation, and can get around on their own. You don’t mind occasionally giving them a lift to school or work, or being the one who has to drive on road trips. However, over time, the constant requests for rides starts to wear you down. You try to know their schedules and avoid being at home whenever you know they have to leave. Eventually, you consider starting to charge gas money because the whole charade is draining your wallet and your gas tank.

Yet your roommate is too clever to pay out of pocket (despite not having a car payment of their own). Instead, they use the promise of food and nights out to trick you into giving them a ride. They may already be at their boyfriend’s house while you’re at work. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could just pick them up on the way home? It may not seem like they’re asking for much: it isn’t too far out of your way. But the short trips begin to add up. The next thing you know, you’ve got a new part time job as their personal chauffeur.

You’ve forgotten what life was like before you spent all of your free time driving your roommate around. There may have been days when you could watch Netflix, take a nap or catch up on assignments. Now, all you see is the open road. “Take a left at this next light, driver,” you hear from the backseat. You absent-mindedly turn on your blinker and make the turn. You pull up to the stop sign, and your roommate makes their way out of the car. “I’ll be ready for you to pick me up in an hour,” they say.

You nod your head slightly, accepting that this is your fate. For the next half hour you circle the block, waiting to take your passenger to their next location.

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