Author Topic: Has anyone regretted going car lite?  (Read 3607 times)

fallstoclimb

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Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« on: September 29, 2015, 02:44:37 PM »
Just one more check on the boards to see if there's something I'm not thinking of here!

We live in the suburbs, can walk to grocery store, bank, coffee shop, dentist, acupuncturist, frozen yogurt (v. important), pharmacy.  Can bike to the library, restaurants, primary care doctor, work.  Also can carpool to work with DH as a backup.  As a backup backup I can walk (3 miles each way, long walk) or Uber. 

Places very difficult to access with public transit, walking & biking:  my parents house, out in the city to visit friends

Places I cannot access without a car: my in laws, specialists, the horse barn (only go 1x/week though). 

However, my DH and I are codependent homebodies so I don't see this as much of a problem. My two biggest concerns are if I have an ongoing health problem that precludes biking AND requires lots of appointments with specialists (but you've got to be an optimist, right?) OR if he gets a new job that makes carpooling more difficult - however, he is a teacher, so it will at least be in the same county - but may be in the opposite direction of my work.  BUT, biking is my primary mode of transit, and I have lots of flexibility with telework - this is more likely to increase than decrease in future years.

We are like 99% decided.  The car costs us very little to own and will only net about 4K, but I hate implicitly supporting the idea that American families need (at least) one car per adult.  Everyone I know IRL thinks we are crazy for doing this which keeps shaking my confidence but we have done a one-car test run for a few weeks now and all is fine. 

But, what would suck would be getting 4K for my reliable car and then having to turn around and shell out probably more money for a used car that may or may not be reliable, if we are wrong about this.

Thoughts?


DagobertDuck

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 02:53:23 PM »
Do it.

KCM5

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 02:56:52 PM »
Probably won't have to buy another car. But if one of your catastrophic things happens in the future, then buy one!

We only have one car and have just about the same setup as you. The only thing that we have come across is if I need to leave town with the car (I'm the biker) my spouse has to bike to work. Does your spouse have another way to get to work or is it only by car?

(By the way, I've only left town with the car when my spouse has to get to work once and that was for two days. It was fine.)

Getting rid of second car felt so good. Just do it.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 03:02:31 PM »
The only thing that we have come across is if I need to leave town with the car (I'm the biker) my spouse has to bike to work. Does your spouse have another way to get to work or is it only by car?

No -- he's a cyclist too but unfortunately we've been unable to find a safe route for him to get to work (despite a lot of trying).  I suppose worst case scenario he could Uber, and we are also close to an Enterprise location.

I HATE driving though, and all my work travel is of the flying variety.  Very occasionally I do have to drive about an hour away for day meetings or conferences, but I have a few public transit options for that. I also have the ability to check out a work vehicle for these things, although I've never tried that - would always opt for public transit first.

We are at the point now where if I say lets just do it, we'll do it.  At least I think DH is there.  I am sorting through the very last of my hesitancy right now. 

seattlecyclone

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 03:21:05 PM »
My wife and I went down to one car more than five years ago. No regrets whatsoever. We have maybe one occasion each year where we both want to go to different transit/walking-unfriendly places at the same time. It's hardly worth owning a vehicle just for that when rental cars and taxis exist.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 04:58:18 PM »
We did one car for a while with two kids. No regrets.

You are not sick now, right? If you get sick, you'll buy a car. The chances that this would happen so soon that you would lose money over selling your car are remote.

nora

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2015, 05:24:39 PM »
I got rid of my car last year when we moved close enough to my husband's work that he could walk. It was a great move, no regrets. Many days the one car stays at home anyway as I can bike or walk to a lot of places.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2015, 07:11:14 AM »
We did one car for a while with two kids. No regrets.

You are not sick now, right? If you get sick, you'll buy a car. The chances that this would happen so soon that you would lose money over selling your car are remote.

No, not sick, but this summer I dealt with an injury requiring specialist visits (but, thankfully, allowed me to continue biking).  Injury always seems around the next corner.  That said, there IS a PT I can walk to, and we can manage some kind of car juggling on days I need to get to an unwalkable doctor. 

I think its time to just hold our breath and leap in.  We can always buy a beater if needed, although I don't love the idea.   

Le Poisson

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2015, 07:25:19 AM »
We went down to one car for a while, but with 3 kids and being active in the community found it didn't work for us - plus we ended up putting on a lot more km's on the car we kept because we started doing extra back-and-forth trips to drop each other off at various places so the other one could have the car.

Better planning and more efficient use of our time may have helped, but with momma active in scouting and guiding (which require a lot of driving to meetings/camps/etc. and me active in sailing, and kids in swimming, scouting, gymnastics, school, etc. we found that one car just didn't work.

We often ride bikes to work, but it was all the extra-curriculars and the assumptions those groups make that killed us.

acroy

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 07:59:10 AM »

We live in the suburbs, can walk to grocery store, bank, coffee shop, dentist, acupuncturist, frozen yogurt (v. important), pharmacy.  Can bike to the library, restaurants, primary care doctor, work.  Also can carpool to work with DH as a backup.  As a backup backup I can walk (3 miles each way, long walk) or Uber. 

Wow that is great, and rare for being in the 'burbs!!
If your definition of 'car lite' is 1 car household, then do it. I see now downside!

smalllife

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 10:15:52 AM »
We are "car lite" in that we have a car and a scooter for backup. The scooter gets used once a week and is way way cheaper than the second car was. Its a good middle ground to cut costs if the second car isn't "necessary".

nawhite

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2015, 11:21:37 AM »
Been a 1 car family for about a year now but it is really easy for us. No kids, I work from home, wife used to walk to work, and we live right next to a light rail station. So definitely a no-brainer for us.

The biggest hardship we've had is that my wife is now doing yoga teacher training Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and I like to kayak on the weekends. She has agreed to bike the 3.5 miles there but she's not crazy about it, that's for sure.

What we did before we cut the chord on our second car was we parked it on the street far away from our house and tried not to use it for a month. We counted every time we REALLY needed it. We found that in 1 month we used it 3 times but all 3 of those times we could have rescheduled one of our activities to make it work. Not worth it for the extra $20/ month in insurance and $50/month amortized in maintenance and repairs (you still should change the oil after a certain amount of time even if you haven't hit 3000 miles, and things like wiper blades still fail over time regardless of use, etc). After that month we sold it and haven't looked back.

FLBiker

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2015, 11:26:05 AM »
Sounds like a good situation for 1 car and, like other folks said, if the situation changes, you can always get a car.

We're an aspiring 1 car family, but we still have two cars because my wife's 16 year old Ford Explorer is still alive.

robartsd

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2015, 11:46:29 AM »
Go for it - you'll find a way to deal with any problem that comes up. Read http://humofthecity.com/ for inspiration on dealing with challenges that people usually think of as making a car a necessity (warning, you may start thinking that one car is too many for optimum happiness).

Fodder

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Re: Has anyone regretted going car lite?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2015, 11:51:00 AM »
Our decision has been helped in part by the fact that I don't yet have a full driver's licence, but we have found it to be relatively easy to be a two-child, two-adult, one-car family.  There are some challenges and some occasional sacrifices, but it's well worth the extra money in pocket.

Perhaps it's not entirely mustachian, but I also use the occasional uber or taxi when there is no other viable solution (public transit, walk, bike, etc.).  Even with the occasional use, it's still a fraction of the cost of owning and maintaining a car, even one you don't drive that much.

I live in a rural area, right at the edge of the suburbs.  It's possible for me to walk to access the bus, the grocery store, etc. (though at about 2 miles, it's preferable to bike it).  Winter is a bit long though.