One Car Family

I'm not sure that I mentioned it, but last June 2011, the manfriend sold his Jetta wagon and went carless. This was in part to pay of medical bills from the scary migraine incident and in part simply to save some dough. Plus, he's a cyclist so it was like an exciting challenge for him.

That would so not be me. I like my car and I like getting places quickly and enjoy riding my bike on occasion when it's nice out. 

Well, it's now March and the manfriend has been car free for eight months! So how has it been? 

Actually, it's been great - a lot better than I expected. I wanted to be sure that him going carless didn't mean I was missing a lot of workouts/runs because I was picking him up. More importantly, I didn't want the car to be a reason we had arguments and thankfully, it hasn't!

In total, I think I've picked him up a handful of times and usually because I offered and we were going somewhere together after work (to run club, dinner, etc).

Moral of the story is, having one car has worked pretty well for us so far. The manfriend works about 3 miles away from home and I work about 5.5 miles away, both are pretty direct and easy to ride to.

If we lived in a bigger, less bike friendly city and worked further away from home, one car might be a bit more difficult. At this piont, the only issue is that it's about time for my 1995 Toyota Corolla to be upgraded so we've been looking at new cars, which is both exciting and stressful.

Have you ever thought of giving up your vehicle to bike everywhere? 

I've thought about it, but probably wouldn't ever do it 100% because I pack my days so full and need 2-3 outfits and pairs of shoes for all my activities. I'd need some kind of serious trailer to bring all my clothes and be able to go grocery shopping too!


Leigh said…
I think that's awesome that manfriend went carless! It personally wouldn't work for my city and for Brian & I. I could bike to work as it's easy to get to on the pathways, but I would not want to do it when it's -40C and really snowy. Glad that you guys could make it work though!
Jessica J said…
We are also a one-car family right now. We keep talking about getting another car, but it's obviously not that important to us, seeing as how it has been 3 years that we have only had 1 car. Doing our part for the environment :)
missris said…
We went from being a zero-car family in Chicago (where you can get anywhere by public transit) to being a one-car family in Pittsburgh, and it works out really well. The city is compact and we live close to work so we either walk, bike, or take the bus. The car gets used for activities on the weekend but other than that, stays parked for days at a time. I love it! We're still fairly car-independent but have it to use for big trips to the grocery store, going somewhere far away or inconvenient, etc. Although I do end up schlepping a lot of stuff back and forth to work at the gym every day.
Redhead Running said…
Congrats for 8 months! I think that is so awesome! I wish we could get away with that, but there's no way... I drive over 80 miles roundtrip everyday and Spike travels all over the state for his job.
* months is impressive! Imagine all the calories burned and $ saved! :)

I totally wish I could go car-less. Unfortunately, I live 20 miles away from work (it's pretty horrible) so a car is a must.

I try to ditch it on the weekends since I spend so much time in it during the week!
I was a no-car family for a long time. But most of that time, I lived in a city where the public transit was really good. I have never been a biker though. I used to love my train ride to work, since it meant I got a lot more reading (and studying!!) done that I would if I drove/walked/rode a bike.

In San Francisco they have the Zip Car, where you have cars all over the city that you can use whenever you want. I think they cost about 20 dollars for 4 hours and 50 dollars for a whole if you only need a car once in a while, it works out great!
Anonymous said…
I'm sure with gas prices, it's saved money! I don't have a car (live in NYC), but I do wish sometimes I had a bike to get around the city quicker. I do love being able to walk places and such here.
jen said…
It looks like this could be a permanent situation for you guys! In a small, bike-friendly town like Eugene (or even Portland!), one car is enough in my opinion.

We have been a one-car family for years. Since 2002! It doesn't even occur to me to get another car- that would seem excessive. We've organized our lives around the one car and it works great. Most days Zach bikes to work and I ride the bus- neither of us use it that much! Plus, a second car would be a huge expense!

I would, however, love to replace our car with something newer/bigger since we have a baby coming!
Anonymous said…
I don't have a car... or access to one. In Seattle I don't need one day to day but I would be really nice for things like running quick errands and big grocery shopping trips. But I am a STRONG advocate for driving as little as possible!!
I could be a one-car family easily since I walk/bike to work every day and tend to walk/bike to get groceries, etc when the weather is nicer. I will drive even less this summer as i am planning on buying a bike this summer (a road one). :)
Ricole said…
That is truly awesome. I would love to be carless, if I could walk anywhere I definitely would. But we live in te burbs and Seattle is a rainy place (I'm also a fair weather rider) so its just not possible now. But go you guys!
Kate said…
Hmm, my own "manfriend" and I have been considering downsizing to one car. I'm glad to see it's working out for you!!
We are a one-car family in the winters while Eric goes to school and it works out well! He takes the bus everywhere and I occasionally drive him or pick him up also usually because I offer. He also borrows the car from time to time!

Glad it's worked out so well for you guys! Hope you're having a FABULOUS vacay!

Popular Posts