Phoenix, the capital of the state of Arizona, sprawls over a huge area. It has numerous neighborhoods and can take quite a bit of time to explore. While a car is recommended to discover all the city has to offer, it is not always necessary for residents.

Living in Phoenix, Arizona, usually requires a car to have the best access. Despite this, there are areas where a car is not necessary. Downtown Phoenix, in particular, is fully walkable, and there are other ways to get around that involves not needing a car.

If you live in Phoenix and don’t have a car, read on to see whether you need one and how to manage not having that resource.

Do You Need a Car in Phoenix, Arizona?

The huge size of Phoenix ensures that there is much to discover in the area and plenty of opportunities both for working and living there. The city is known to be car-centric and with incredible amounts of car traffic, but that doesn’t mean a car is always necessary.

Needing a car in Phoenix will vary case by case, but it is possible to have a car-free lifestyle in the city. This requires specific variables, like being close to public transport or living within walking distance of work, among others.

Where to Live in Phoenix Without a Car

When living in Phoenix without a car, it is essential to know which areas suit that lifestyle better. Luckily, there are enough options to sustain car-free opportunities. It is essential to know which areas are best suited to this in order to get the best out of it.

If you choose one of the areas below, you can skip the car and just pick up a great pair for walking shoes!

Downtown Phoenix

If you don’t have a car or prefer to use it as little as possible, Downtown Phoenix is the ideal option. This whole area is designed to be walkable, with every amenity you could need easily accessible by foot.

Downtown Phoenix has the best eateries in town, along with the biggest events and plenty of entertainment options. It is also home to the financial district, so those working in that sector can live there and walk to their job every day without needing a car.

This is the most well-suited area in Phoenix for a car-less lifestyle, and it has the bonus of keeping you in the middle of the city’s bustle at all times.


Tempe can be found just outside Phoenix and is very much a part of its metropolitan area. This city is a great place to live for those sticking to a car-less lifestyle. The Mill Avenue District, in particular, is known for offering the best shopping, eating, and partying in town, all within walking distance.

As home to an Arizona State University campus, Tempe has a college town atmosphere and has the highest walk scores in the state. This makes it an ideal solution for those who seek to live in the Phoenix area without needing a car.

Grand Avenue Neighborhood

The famous artistic community of the Grand Avenue Neighborhood is generally a sought-after address in Phoenix. It is also one of the best areas in the city for those without a car. Everything in Grand Avenue Neighborhood is within walking distance.

This includes some of the best art galleries, trendy bars, and boutique shops in all of Phoenix. An elegant and vibrant community, Grand Avenue Neighborhood can easily sustain a lack of need for cars.

How to Get Around Phoenix Without a Car

While having everything within walking distance is the ideal solution for those seeking to live in Phoenix without a car, there are also plenty of other options to get around the city.


Phoenix is a great city to explore by bike. While it is a massive location, those with shorter commutes can take full advantage of the biking opportunities. Getting a bike can be an initial investment when it comes to purchasing the gear, but it can save huge amounts on public transport or fuel.

Light Rail

The Valley Metro Rail is a popular light rail public transportation option that connects Phoenix to Mesa and Tempe. Light rail passes are cheap, and the Valley Metro is a great way to get across the city and the metropolitan area without needing a car.


The Dial-a Ride program in Phoenix offers accessible public transportation to residents with disabilities. This removes many of the challenges of going around the city for those with disabilities while eliminating the need for a car.

This affordable solution empowers those requiring transport assistance with the ability to move around Phoenix without extra stress. The service can easily be booked online, and personal careers can accompany each passenger.

The Dial-a-Ride service covers a wide area and can be scheduled in advance for extra convenience for users.


Phoenix, Arizona, is known as a car-centric area primarily because of its size. While a car is recommended, it is not always needed, especially when circumstances allow it. This may require strategic planning of where to live and how to schedule the day, but a car-less lifestyle can be very beneficial.