Living as a One-Car Family in the Suburbs

Usually when a family can live car-free or with just one car, they live in a city with convenient mass transit. We’ve been living in the suburbs with just one car for over a year, and I must say that it’s been 10% inconvenient and 90% awesome.

For some families having only one car would make life harder, not easier, but for us it’s been golden. It was a dream of mine to get rid of the second car and own just one.

With two cars, there was always something we had to do: oil changes, inspections, more gas, and new tires. One car is so much easier to take care of, and we drive less in general.

We sold our second car before we left for Italy so we wouldn’t have to store two cars. The car we still have is a ten-year-old BMW that we bought used two years ago. (We paid cash so we don’t have ongoing car payments.) It’s been really reliable, and I hope we have it for a long time.

A few choices have made it easier, with the most important being a home office with no commute. Schools are down the street so we can walk. We’ve found friends and babysitters in our neighborhood. The after-school ballet class is at the neighborhood recreation center. A grocery store is close enough that we could walk to it in twenty minutes if we had to.

With the home renovation, sometimes we need a truck to haul big things like lumber and landscaping. A few times we’ve rented a truck from Home Depot and paid just $20 to get it for an hour.

With only one car, you must have a fast, smart mechanic. The only mechanic we will take our car to is Jeff Keesee at Clown Shoe Motorsports in Dallas, and I’m not receiving anything for this recommendation except for maybe Shiner beer and a burger.

I do need to coordinate the day with my husband, but that’s fine. With two little kids, I’m more home-centric at this stage in our family life, so later we might need to add the second car again.

Would you consider giving up a second car? What do you think it would be like?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I would love to get rid of our second car. No car payments, no maintenance, no gas. Sounds like a win, win, win situation. Sure it would be inconvenient, a bit, but I think overall, it would be a win win situation.
    I’m on a mission to become a minimalist and I recently (a few days ago) blogged about how I don’t think we could get rid of our second car. But this post, reinspired me.

    Thank you!

  2. We just got rid of our second car last week. Two adults and a teenager mean more careful planning and more walking to and from school.

  3. Kristin says:

    My husband and I only had 1 car (and lived in the suburbs) for 2 years before we had kids. It meant that he drove a few minutes out of his way to drop me off at work first and I had to hang around for a few after I got off work for him to come get me. It really wasn’t a big deal. With kids we got a second car but we basically have 1 car we use all the time and 1 (an older Corolla) we only use when necessary so it rarely needs gas/oil changes. I don’t feel safe having my kids at home and no way to transport them in a emergency.

  4. I would consider it if both my husband and I worked from home, but he has a full time out of the house job, and I frequently have to meet my mother or mother and law up to a half hour drive away so they can spend time with my daughter. And we live in the Atlanta area, which possibly has the most abysmal excuse for public transit among any metropolitan area. For us it’s simply not an option at this time.

  5. It is my dream to have only one car. We just can’t manage it right now unfortunately, even with my husband working often from home and me being a stay at home Mum. Our suburb is so spread out that we aren’t anywhere near a supermarket or corner shop even (they don’t seem to exist anymore unfortunately). We aren’t near anything within walkable distance actually. The various sports and activities we are all involved in (my kids are 10 and nearly 7) and my husband’s sometimes erratic work schedule make one car a pipe dream but maybe one day!

    • I should add, we are expats here in the US so I wouldn’t feel safe not having a car when my husband needs it as our daughter is asthmatic and occasionally ends up needing the hospital. I don’t have family around to rely on in those instances so that is another factor for us.

  6. My husband and I only have one car living in the too. It might be a bit inconvenient (he works full-time outside the home, and I’m a full-time student), but we find that we’ve been able to work it out so far. I definitely appreciate the lower cost, less hassle, and more time together spent carpooling!

  7. We were able to do it for a while when our kids where younger, (and we had 1-2 instead of 4) but as they get older it gets more difficult, as schedules get more complicated. I do recognize that it is a choice our family makes to participate in activities that might take us out of the neighborhood. (Community children’s choir, mathletics competitions, piano lessons, etc.) We could do without them if we wanted to, but have chosen to do them because we feel that they are worth the effort.

    We live in the suburbs of midwestern city. The schools of the city proper are not-so-good, therefore the suburbs.

    My husband will, when the weather is nice, bike the 13 miles to work downtown and back, but again, being in the midwest, that is not too often. The summers will have stretches of 100+ heat w/high humidity, and the winters are cold and icy.

    If we were in a better climate, though, we could totally lose the 2nd car year round.

    • This has been our experience, too — sometimes one car works and other times it doesn’t. I find myself living in a family of five with FOUR cars at the moment — something I never would have expected, but with two adult children living at home and jobs to get to and parents who depend on us for transportation to appointments and so forth, that is what we’ve got right now.

      Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.
      Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…For the Record: Why is Patience Never Clearance-Priced?

      • I agree! Right now it is working (3 kids ages 4,2,1), but I can see it being a little tricky when they are older and some of the extracurricular stuff plays in. It will also depend on my husbands permanent job. right now he is a full-time student and working part-time jobs. Not always the most convenient, but we always make it work.

  8. We live in Amarillo, TX and my husband works 30 miles outside of town. In December our second vehicle was totaled in an accident and we decided to try to wait a year to buy a new one. We instead used the payout from insurance to finish renovations on our home so it would be ready to sell sometime this year. There were a few things that made only having one car work for us the last 4 months or so.

    1. We plan to move and every city we’ve looked at has had the possibility of us only needing one car. We do not want to purchase a second vehicle if it meant we’d be looking at selling it in within the first year.
    2. We home school. I don’t have to worry about getting our kids to school in rain or snow etc.
    3. If necessary I can bike or walk to two different grocery stores with our two kids (8 and 6 yrs old). We sometimes will bike the 2.5 miles to a local park for playgroup or the library.
    4. My husband has a reliable carpool. I am generally able to have the car every other week. Though I’ll be honest when we go out of town it generally happens to fall on our week to have the car which means going 3 weeks without a car for appointments and such. The meeting spot is also .75 miles away so sometimes my husband will even walk to it on my week to have the car so we don’t have to walk over to get it or drop him off early in the morning.

    Overall, it has been pretty easy. Yes there are times we have to borrow a truck from a friend and we don’t like that inability to be self sufficient. But our little 98 Buick Century (that we purchased in 2004) is fantastically reliable. We do have a mechanic we trust and friends we can call on if needed. One of the things to helped us set a timeline for a year is that my husband’s parents are likely moving overseas in Jan ’13 and would be selling their ’08 pathfinder. That is the exactly type of vehicle we would be purchasing and we know it has been well taken care of. So we’ll wait. By then we should know where we’re going to be living and when the time comes we can gift our car to someone.

    I have to say being a one car family has very much simplified our lives. We miss some activities and aren’t ready to sign our children up for gymnastics, etc because of transportation issues but it is working for us right now.

  9. Francesca says:

    We have friends with only one car, and they definitely rely on us and other families to do their share of the chauffeuring the kids. I’m so glad they get to save money, but they are not remotely desperate and it gets old that they don’t drive their fair share. But to be fair, they are kind of generally clueless and selfish, it didn’t start with the car!

  10. We only have one car, and live in the next county over from where we we both work. Luckily, we both now work at the same university and roughly the same hours, so we just carpool. For about a year or so, though, we worked about 2 miles away from each other, and our hours were slightly off. We still carpooled. My husband got to work ridiculously early and I just stayed late.

    Occasionally, I do need to stay late at work. This can present problems, but we are able to coordinate it before hand. Usually, he just stays in town until I can leave. Recently, though, I had to do this back-to-back days, so we actually took our dogs to the kennel overnight so they wouldn’t be left alone for that long two days in a row.

    We are interested in moving back to town, where we work. If/when we do so, it will be a lot easier to be a one-car household. In general, I like that we only have one car. We spend more time together, we coordinate more, and cut down payment numbers. It certainly isn’t always easy, but thank goodness for rentals and friends!

  11. We have one and a half cars :). My husband uses a scooter to get to and from work. We talk about getting rid of the scooter and getting a car, but the increased expense of gas and upkeep makes us think twice. We have a grocery store/bank/etc about 2 miles (each way) from us, so it is totally doable to do on foot if my husband needs the car one day. We have a great stroller, so the walk is quick and enjoyable!

  12. vermontmommy says:

    We live in the suburbs and I have to say we drive everywhere. We had one car for about 6 months. I did not mind it but my husband said he did. I, like you, love the one car in regards to maintenance, repairs and just for the fact that we could have just one car.

    My hubby works out of the house but travels here and there for work. On those days or weeks his company did pay for a rental car. It was a hassle here and there having to make sure we had things in order so that he had a car when he needed it. Lots of things with his job are last minute so it was a bother but it always worked out.

    I would love just one car. Our kids are 12, 10 and 5. My hubby is already thinking about when our oldest can drive and giving him our 8 year old Honda (what would be 12 years old). I am not there yet. Three cars is a lot and I just don’t see the need other than the fact that “everyone” else is doing so.

    • I wrecked my mom’s car when I was sixteen, so I can see the benefit in having an older, third car for a teenage driver. After the accident I drove around a clunker, not my mom’s car.

  13. V. Higgins says:

    We only have one car and I really would like to keep it that way until we have kids at least. But one of the only reasons it works is because my husband’s job let’s him take his work truck home at night and even if they didn’t, his drop off is on my way to my job 40 minutes away. He’s looking for a new job and even if it’s in town he wants to get another car, all I can think of is “cha-ching, cha-ching!”. I would much rather have slightly longer days by picking him up/dropping him off than spending the time, energy and money on another car.

  14. we did one car for awhile when we were first married with only a baby simply b/c we couldn’t afford two cars. now our cars are paid for and require minimal upkeep, we’re not in a position to go to one car. for us with where we live and the stage that we are at it’d be more of a hassle for us. while we can walk to school, i can’t walk to the preschool, nor the grocery store, nor the library, etc. honestly, for us it’s not a priority right now. :)

  15. I wish! My old car recently broke down for good and now we have two new cars with $200+ a month car payments. Unfortunately we live in Tucson, where everything is so spread apart I can barely make it to the community pool without dying of heat exhaustion. I work in a hotel and my husband works in a prison (both open 24/7) so you can imagine the scheduling conflicts there, and we don’t even have children.

  16. We only have one car, but it’s because we were in a horrible car accident and my partner is terrified to drive, however, it affects us just the same. Luckily, we are only about a half mile of the bus route so my partner takes the bus home from work three days a week. It’s harder on her because I have to drop her off at work every morning at 8am and she starts anywhere between 8 and noon. So bascially she works a lot for free. The hardest part is the weekend, there is no bus so I have to drop her off and pick her up both Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I hate it, but it usually just forces me to plan my day out more. I sometimes wish she would drive, and wish for a second car, but right now I am appreciating one car payment, paying for one person’s insurance, and our quiet morning commute together (with no children). :-)

  17. I’ve been wanting to go down to 1 car for a long time now. Luckily my nephew is going to turn 16 this year so one of our cars is going to him. The other car is already paid off. My boss allows me to work from home, so it’s nice not to have to drive in, she’s perm work from home & doesn’t mind at all. My wife works from home a few days a week. We can work it out pretty easy with our schedules & we’ve been practicing only using one car at a time since my nephew doesn’t need it yet. My wife wants to get a small cheap car to replace it “just in case”. But I want to try 6-12 mos with only one car & see how it goes. I live in Orlando, Fl btw, horrible public trans & not bike friendly.

  18. My partner and I sold our only car about 9 months ago and have been living successfully (and happily!) without a car ever since. We don’t live in a large city, but one large enough that we have a good bus system, and also the ability to rent Zip Cars for those occasions when the bus just won’t take us there. For vacations, we rent a car. To get to our church on Sunday, we barter with a neighbor by trading our garage space for the use of his second car on Sunday mornings. With a little creativity, it is possible to live without a car!

  19. Absolutely NOT! Lol. We live way out in the rural country and having one vehicle would be a logistics nightmare. Kids’ school is 10 miles away. Hubby’s work is a good 30 miles. We just added a 3rd (main) vehicle for our 16-year-old. It has been worth it in the fact that he can get himself to and from activities/practices himself. (we do have a couple other vehicles for farm purposes) If we went down to one vehicle, our kids would have to say goodbye to sports, other school activities, church youth group activities, and any social events and I don’t know what we’d do when the school called to say come get your sick kid since there’s times when my hubby’s counterman is gone and that means he can NOT leave until they close at 6. Taking and dropping off the hubby really wouldn’t work since he has to be at work at 7, 16-year-old at school at 7 (to catch vo-tech bus) and the other 3 kids (which I’m not comfortable leaving alone) catch the bus at our house at 7. Can’t be in 3 places at the same time!

  20. We are a one car family and even with a house full of teens (and tweens, and elementary aged…and preschool age…) it hasn’t been a problem.
    *We live close enough to the schools that all my kids can walk
    *We are within 10 minutes of a grocery store
    *and I made sure that we were close to public transportation so that my 2 college students that live at home would be able to get across town to the community college without relying on me.

    I love to hear that others are paring down, makes me happy!
    Heidi @Adventures of a Thrifty Mom´s last post…Support a Caregiver (or How to Get Support if You Are One)

  21. We haven’t had any car for a year and a half. Initially it was to save money and simplify our life. We lived in a very urban area and it wasn’t too much of a hardship to not have a car.

    However, six months after we got rid of our car we unexpectedly moved overseas. We had been told by other residents of our small island town that a car was a must have for living there.

    We decided to just test the waters with no car and, lo and behold, it was possible. There are some sacrifices to it and I’d say we’re also at the 90% awesome, 10% inconvenient but we really do love it. We walk a lot and make use of the fun public transport in our historic European town. I just went on a grocery run with my son by horse tram!
    Rachel´s last post…The Power Of More

  22. Catherine says:

    We just sold our 2nd car a week ago. Similar situation with 2 kids under 5. We’ll give it a go for now and adapt if needed as they get older. For now we like the piece of mind of just managing one vehicle and all the time it takes to maintain it. A little bit of inconvenience is worth it and with gas at $4 a gallon we found ourselves keeping the second car parked anyway.

  23. Dorothy says:

    To take the opposite tack, I always try to have one more car than I have drivers in the household. That way when one needs repair or is otherwise unavailable life goes on smoothly.

  24. after our older (paid off) car died, we didn’t want to buy another one, until we had the OTHER car paid off. two car payments just blows.

    anyway, we thought we’d try to just stick it out for as long as we could with just one car and it ended up being almost 2 years before we had to buy another one. we’ll have about 4 months with two car payments but it’s better that paying two for the whole time, i guess.

    our circumstances really came together to allow us to stick to one though: my partner stays home with our kids and was able to take me to work and then take the older to preschool until noon. in the late afternoon/early evening, they’d all load back up to come get me.

    it was not all that fun since it was a lot of driving with littles and more gas/wear & tear on the one car, but it was still better than two car payments at once. :)

  25. prior to children i was in the morgtage banking industry and drove all over for appointments with clients. my husband is a certified financial planner and although he has an office, most of his appointments are off site. we live in an urban area; our school (2 miles) grocery store (4 miles) and church (2 miles) are fairly close, but it would not be safe to walk to and from several of those places even during the day. we buy used and pay cash so it is nice not having ongoing payments. even though i do not put many miles on my car yearly i don’t think we could do without it completely.

  26. We had one car for over a year in the suburbs, and now we have zero cars in Luxembourg (btwn France/Germany/Belgium) as of yesterday (we are brand new expats)! We have two kids, I stay at home, and my husband was riding the bus to work (he walked about a mile to and from the bus stop every day, often in head-to-toe waterproof gear). I didn’t know any other families who did it in our suburb – the bus system was okay, but not great. I am fortunate that my husband never complained about his bus/walk commute – he loved it.

    We occasionally had to rely on family and friends for a ride, but for the most part in day-to-day life, we were pretty much self-sufficient. You definitely need friends or family to call in an emergency. But if you are a good friend to others, there’s no reason they can’t be a good friend to you in this way. I think in general we need to do a better job of relying on each other, and not be ashamed. The more we can rely on each other, the less we all consume and own as a whole.

    We will see what happens in our new life here, we really want to give a no-car lifestyle a go. It’s not Paris or London or New York where public transportation is amazing and a way of life for everyone (most people here have cars), but we’re hoping that it’s doable. We purposely got a small apartment close to the city center to help make it possible. We know we will need a support network of friends, but we strive to not be “mooches” as well.

    • I agree, I think it’s important to encourage helping and borrowing instead of always being self-sufficient and independent. We ask for help from like-minded family and friends occasionally, but more often we try to offer it.

  27. I would love to be a one car family. We tried it once a few years back when our SUV was totaled. Having one car was a nightmare for our family. My husband does not have a regular job site, and actually usually works in three states at various times of the month. Its not so bad when I take him to the airport to fly out, but its impossible when he had the car for work at some job site in another city, and a medical emergency came up for me here. We are also on call to leave at a moments notice for work, so usually have bags packed in the car. Even so, sometimes I am called to bring a weeks worth of clothes/meds because my husband is being sent to another location. We even tried renting a car once or twice a week as needed, but its hard to know before hand that a medical emergency will be happening at 2 am with no way to get a car. We also tried to rely on my mother in laws car (sometimes the emergencies were because of her or her sister). My mother in law was 15 minutes away, but would take an hour and 15 minutes to leave the house to pick me up to go to her sisters house another 30 minutes away, and then to the hospital. Far too much work, worry and STRESS for me.

    In the end, we now have an SUV and a sports car :) We also had a pickup for hauling, but gave it away to a relative who needed it for his farm. We have a U-Haul rental place 5 minutes away to rent trucks and pickups which works very well for us. We are blessed, we don’t owe payments for our vehicles and so money does not play into our decisions. I so envy those that can manage with one car, but for us, the frustration was not worth it. Maybe we will try again when we reach retirement age.

    • Forgot to mention, that I am the one who keeps the cars clean and presentable. I am the one who gasses the cars up 95% of the time, and it falls to me to take the cars to the dealers to be serviced and maintained since my husbands 80+ hour work weeks keep him pretty busy. So one car would be a lot less trouble, not just less insurance and upkeep.

  28. We’re in Seattle with one car and love it. Our house gets a walkability score of 77 and I think compared to the rest of the country, that’s pretty good.

  29. Jessica says:

    I see the appeal and it’s got to be great if you can make it work, but my husband’s job isn’t accessible by public transportation, so I would be tied to the neighborhood until he got home every day. We do have one family car that we love and that is more “luxurious,” while my husband’s commuter car is more “rustic.” I’ll admit, though, that if finances allowed it, one of the first things I would do is upgrade that car!

  30. I dread the day we have to get a second car.

    Right now, my husband is pursuing his PhD; we live basically in a suburb, but there’s a busline right into the university for him. We live within walking distance of a grocery store, mall, Target, and a great park…but our church is far from us. We drive to visit family (4 hours away) when we can. And some days…well, I’d rather hop in the car and drive to a different grocery store. Or the library. So I greatly appreciate having a car, though I know we could make it without if need be.

    But one day we hope to have a farm…and then? We’ll at least have to have one good car and one emergency/farm vehicle. But for now I couldn’t imagine life with more than one!

  31. We’ve been a 1 car household for about 4 years. I am a SAHM and my husband works full time and we also have 3 young kids with loads of activities. Luckily, we live in a town with a great bicycle route, so it takes him less time on his bike than with the car to get to work. So he takes his bike in the summer and carpools in the wintertime. On occasions he takes the car to work but it really hasn’t been a problem. We don’t miss our second car at all.

  32. We have two cars because everything I bring our preschool-aged daughter to is far away unfortunatly. But we do drive cars that over ten years old and we only pay cash for our cars – we don’t believe in car payments and intend to be this way forever no matter how financially wealthy we get. Personally I think that people who buy brand new cars are brain-washed and not thinking straight. I mean, why pay 2 to 5k more to just have that ‘brand new car smell’?? Even a car a year or two older will save you thousands.

  33. We’ve been driving one vehicle for almost a year now, and even with older kids and lots of scheduling I’ve found it to be a blessing. We’re more intentional about the activities we choose. We’re also spending more time together and I’m not as apt to run “errands” when I don’t really need to. Funny how we save money when I stick closer to home :). I have noticed the need to be more intentional about cultivating friendships. This usually means inviting them over for tea rather than meeting up at the coffee shop. It’s been an adjustment, but a good one.

  34. This makes me feel a lot better! We live right downtown, but even if we did move farther away, I’d like to think we could make do with just one car. Thanks for letting me know it can be done!
    Jennie´s last post…Make Time for Quiet Moments

  35. We did it for years, even after we split up. my daughter and I would be in the car for about an hour every morning getting the ex to the train, my son to school, my daughter to daycare and then I’d go to work. When we split he used the car on those days when he had the kids. It takes organization and planning but as long as there is some public transportation available it can happen.

  36. In Europe, it is pretty easy to have one car or even no cars at all. Here in Texas, not so. I distinctly remember the time when I lived on campus at TCU without a car and people looked at me suspiciously walking to the grocery store. The campus officers routinely gave me lifts to a nearby bar! Just recently, I’ve heard a “shocking” statistic that 2.3% of the working force actually walks to his/her job – the announcer made it sound this unacceptable and called up on us as a nation to get it together.
    I wonder if it is our unshaken belief that we deserve to prosper – have a car, big home, lots of things – that ultimately made walking uncool?

  37. We are a one car family. My hubby totaled his car 18 months ago. We buy all our cars with cash and we got $6k for his car and it wasn’t enough to get a car in the same side category so we decided to do without for now. It hasn’t been too bad and we are actually moving to a city next month so we would have gone down to 1 then so we are excited we are already there.
    Ashlee´s last post…Third Birthday Gifts

  38. We had a short stint at one car when I had my first child, it was mostly by accident instead of choice. We had one parking spot at our condo and didn’t have enough money to buy a second. I found work within walking distance and we saved a ton.
    We now have two cars but have a plan that when our second (and last) child enters Kindergaten (school within walking distance) we’ll get rid of the second car. I work from home currently. The only problem I foresee is the few weeks out of the year that my husband travels for work. I guess I’ll investigate zip car or rentals. Does anyone have good experience with either?

    • I use HourCar which is a non-profit version on Zip Car and love it! You’ll want to check into how close your are to the nearest hub (where they keep the cars.) I’m two blocks from the nearest one and within walking/biking distance of another 5. The nice thing about HourCar is your can make a reservation 24/7 and go get your car. I will occasionally do a big grocery run at 6 on a Sat morning which wouldn’t be possible with a rental car (since city locations wouldn’t be open that early.) I also rent cars occasionally too. If I only need a car for a few hours I use HourCar. If I need it for the day maybe HourCar maybe rental car (car sharing services generally include insurance/maintenance and gas in your hourly/daily rate. If I rent by the hour miles are $.25 per or if I rent for the day 100 are included.) If I go visit my parents in another state then I rent a car (or take Greyhound.)

      • Debbie M says:

        I was carless pre-Zipcar, but I can tell you that car rental places cater to two kinds of people: the kind who have cars but they are being repaired and the kind who have cars but they are in another location (travelers). My experience was that the former were MUCH easier to deal with.

        I lived near an airport, so it was actually convenient to go there, but they could never really get it that I was not from another city and I did not have a flight number, etc.

        The other kind will sometimes even pick you up to get to the rental place and drop you off when you’re done (though only when they are open). I just picked one near a bus stop.

        Car rentals are generally cheaper per day for the whole weekend or the whole week than one day at a time. But if you can stock up on supplies, etc., so that you don’t need to make many (or any) trips, renting a car might be overkill. (I rented one when I wanted to visit family 200 miles away.)

        I’ve also used a taxi for short trips with big items, but it sure is expensive.

        I’ve also borrowed cars (mostly from people flying out of town, in return for dropping them off at and picking them up from the airport). And I’ve gone to the grocery store, the laundromat, and parties on the bus but had to ask for rides home from the parties lasted longer than buses were scheduled to run.

  39. We only have one car and it gets driven, on average, twice a week. We NEVER take public transportation. The key for us is biking. Everyone in the family has a bike and we have a bike trailer for our children (with a waterproof cover) for longer rides. My husband bikes to work daily and I bike to the grocery store, bank, pool, library, etc… with the kids. We save money, get exercise and have a great time. I even bike to Zumba three nights a week (which is a 20 minute bike ride, hour long workout class and 20 minute bike ride home – excellent workout!) We really only use the car for trips out of town (visit family or taking the kids to a train park about 45 minutes away, camping trips, skiing, etc…) or for the few trips that we just don’t have the time to bike.

    I think that you could easily use a bike or walk as your second form of transportation if you lived in a small town or a large ‘bike-friendly’ city (like Portland, where we live). This could be a lot harder in the suburbs. That’s actually one of the reasons we prefer living in the city. We both hate being in the car.

    • I was scanning the comments for ‘bike.’ We have four children, live in a town of 40K (it’s like a suburban town), haven’t put gas in our van (only car) since March and ride bicycles everywhere!!! :) Nearest grocery is 2.5miles. School is 2miles up hill. We have saved a bundle, love the time together, the exercise, the slow pace, the sense of getting in touch with our community, prioritizing and simplifying our time. Love reading about other families doing the same!

  40. We are a one car family, as well. My husband left his day job back in January to expand our home business and join me working and raising our children at home. So far, the difficulties have been very few and far between.
    We own our car fully, so there is no car payment – a blessing. I don’t see any need in the near future for another vehicle.

  41. We’ve been living car-free for five years now. We live in Chicago and have one child, who is three and a half. Living without a car has been really great. I’d say it’s been about 95% fantastic and 5% difficult. We bike every where and now have a fleet of bikes at our disposal, but the total cost of those still equals less than what we would have spent on a car, car repairs (including broken windows from thieves) and gas. We can get groceries easily with our cargo bikes. I can even shuttle the kids I watch around in the Madsen cargo bike – it seats four in the bucket and you can add a front riding seat if you need a fifth seat or one for a small child.

    No regrets. We’ll soon be moving to a small city in Oregon, and I look forward to seeing how it will compare to here. I think it will be much improved, even if we end up riding longer distances.

    We are healthier and happier (and our pockets are more lined) without a car, and we don’t plan on going back! Our city even has the option of two different car sharing companies, but we haven’t used those. There is also an extensive (if a tad unreliable) transit system that we only occasionally use, particularly for visiting friends out in the suburbs.

  42. We are a 1 car family after years of having 2. I have 3 kiddos (15, 14,8) who are all very active and into everything it seems. The 15 year old works part time and plays soccer. My 14 year old is playing softball currently and my little guy plays soccer and baseball. All 3 go to public school. My Husband is currently working 4 tens (7-5:30). I find I have to be very deliberate in my trips as we live 10 miles from our small touristy town. I at times have to pick and choose where I can be and do ask for help occasionally (honestly it happened when we had 2 cars too). For instance if I can’t make it to a softball game I ask another family that lives close and has a player on the team if they can help me out. In return I often help them. I’m not certain if this would work if we lived in a larger area, especially with older kids. My Husband thinks we actually have more quality time now and loves not having to worry about parking. Parking here is insane during the summer.

  43. After many years of being a multi-car family, we are now a one car couple [empty nesters]. I didn’t think we would ever go to one car but it works for us. Our little burb doesn’t have public transportation but that hasn’t been an issue for us. We are fairly close to shopping, church and services so with a little planning we have been able to make it work for us for over 2 years without any problems.

  44. My husband and I share one car and have done so for the past 10 years. In reading the comments it sounds like a lot of communities don’t have the same structure that we are blessed to have. We have a grocery store, target, library, restaurants, etc all within 10 minutes walking. We can also easily bike downtown in 15 minutes. We chose our house based on this ideal location. We wanted to be able to do those things without constantly driving everywhere and relying on a car. You have to make some sacrifices along the way, but if it’s important to you, you can make it happen. Plus we save money and get extra exercise along the way!

  45. Debra Kasel says:

    We don’t have a car– what makes this feasible is that we live in a city with a really great transit system. I love not having to deal with the hassle and expense of gas, insurance, parking, maintenance. However, if we were to move into a city with poor/no transit, or to the country, we’d be getting one immediately. In isolated/remote rural settings I would see it as a necessity for each person to have a vehicle.
    I can imagine feeling utterly trapped to be at home with no way to have a job, or deal with daily tasks, or be ever able to have a visit to the doctor, or go to a library, until DH got home. And in that hypothetical situation–remote rural areas don’t often have evening and weekend hours to do all those things!
    My long-winded point: I would never begrudge others 2 cars if the situation warranted it; I’m glad to be in a situation where I have freedom of movement without it!

  46. Brittany says:

    My husband and I will celebrate our third year of being a one-car family in June. We love having only one car!! There are so many benefits–too many to name. Very, very, VERY rarely do we have a TRUE conflict where we both need the car and logistically it doesn’t work–to be fair we purposefully lived (and paid to live) just one block from my husband’s law school and on three bus routes. When he interned, he either was able to take the bus 10 minutes downtown, or we got so very lucky that two other offices were literally on the way to my work, so I’d just drop him off and pick him up. When he was offered a post-graduate internship with a judge in town, we ended deciding to not move so we could continue the easy one car/short bus ride lifestyle. We hope after his internship we’re able to avoid a second car by living downtown. When we’ve had issues, it’s always been user error–I remember that first year, my husband called me once after work “Where are you? I need the car and I’m already late.” “I’m at the grocery store, you said you were going to play basketball so I thought I’d go to the grocery store by my office (but 20 minutes from our house) to avoid the worst of rush hour.” He didn’t tell me that he needed the car–usually his basketball games are walkable! And I didn’t tell him I was going to grocery shop after work. Whoops! Three years in we don’t have that kind of miscommunication anymore, thank goodness! And the amount of money we’ve not had to put toward a second car has helped us keep our student debt minimal, and travel more. We wouldn’t be going to Europe after he takes the bar if we’d had a second car the last three years! Even if we do have to get a second car after next summer, I’ll be so thankful we were able to swing it at all and for several years.

    • Brittany says:

      *clerkship–when you work for a judge after graduation, it’s called a clerkship. Getting my jargon confused!

  47. I don’t think there’s any way we could only have one. My husband is gone for 9+ hours a day M-F, which would leave E and I totally stuck at home that whole time. There’s a gas station 3/4 of a mile from us – but otherwise we’re surrounded by desert. The closest grocery store is 6 miles away. The library is more than 5 miles away. Anything else is even farther…

    We talked about trying to have only 1 car for a bit, before buying our current one, but I figured I could handle maybe 2 weeks of being stuck at home all day before going insane, so we didn’t bother.
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…Reading in Bed

  48. We’d love to do this for the budget and for the environment. I do not see how to make it work though. Everyone I know who has one car has a single income earner out of the home. We both work out of the home and have kids who go to a sitter because they are too young for school. My husband works 15 minutes south of home. The sitter lives 20 minutes west. I work an hour north east of the sitter. Hmmm… Maybe someday it’ll all come together!

  49. My husband and I have been married for 8 years, and have been a one car household for the last 6. We’ve had many changes in our lives since we began sharing a car (School, job changes, moving from an apartment to a house, having a child) but we have always made it work. He currently rides his bike the 2 miles to work and back, and if it’s raining my daughter and I will go pick him up. If I know that I am planning on hanging around the house for the day sometimes he drives, but likes the exercise of biking. I hope to continue on for a long time with only one car…saves money for sure! We are more intentional about where we go and how often.

  50. My husband and I sold our second car when we moved from the suburbs in Michigan to Chicago. We kept one car for about three years. We then decided to sell our only car and have had zero cars for two years now and its been amazing. We joined zipcar and it has been amazing and saves us TONS of money. We are currently childless and have agreed to only buy one car when we decide to have a baby.

  51. With our family the size it is (4 going on 7) with the possibility of more I definitely do not see us downsizing to just one vehicle. Plus, we’re in a very very rural area. We are more than willing to give up certain things in life to enjoy the blessing of many children!

  52. With our family of 5 we really want to stretch the possibility of living with one car for as long as possible. When my husband moved over to Brisbane, Australia while we were still in Perth (18 months ago) we purposely decided that we wanted to live close to public transport so that my husband could easily get to work. We also wanted to be within walking distance of school. It’s also great that we can easily walk to get groceries, and to the doctor if we need to. As our kids grow older I can see that we’ll need to get a bigger car, but we also want to encourage our kids to make use of public transport.
    Alice @ MusicAl Mama´s last post…Quiet time

  53. When I was younger, single, and living in Boston, not having a car was no problem. Moving to the suburbs however required one, thanks to the crappy public transit choices and their schedules. We do try to plan trips and travels to minimize gas/auto use, but Hubby’s second shift job, three kids, and New England winters means multiple cars. With the Oldest just getting his license and holding down two jobs plus school, we’re up to three.

    And despite living in a central location, it is amazing how many people are unwilling to share carpool duties, or even to reciprocate when you always seem to be carting their kid somewhere. Don’t understand that one.
    WorkingMom´s last post…Leave A Message At The Tone

  54. Jenlarson says:

    We live in a suburb of Minneapolis and have gone back and forth between one and two cars over the years…when my husband (then boyfriend) and I were in highschool, in different towns, we each had a car. When we moved in together, we car-pooled about 95% of the time, so only needed one car. Having kids a couple years later, made us want to shorten our commute time (and I switched to part-time) so we got a second car. When the first car died a couple years later, we decided to try one again – my husband started taking the bus (the closest bus stop was about 8 miles away) and we made it a couple more years until our oldest started school. There’s a possibility of a new bus transit station within a mile of our house…if that opens up, we’ll probably switch back to one car again!

  55. Christina says:

    I wish we could do this, but it would be almost impossible. My office and my husband’s office are each 30 minutes from our house — in opposite directions — and as a prep sports writer for a daily newspaper, he keeps odd hours and has to have access to his car often to drive between games, practices, the office, etc. He’d need to drive me to work in the morning (an hour of extra road time) and then I’d need to get a ride home and if I needed a car at night, I often wouldn’t have one. Once we have a child, that will complicate matters tremendously as it is!

    • Christina says:

      Oh yeah, and we live in Florida. Sooooo… public transportation not so much.

  56. We’ve been a single car family since 2007. It is very occasionally a nuisance but really only when we are trying to coordinate with other people. When I was pregnant with baby 1 we bought a house that allowed my husband to walk to work. It’s not the best neighborhood, but we haven’t had any issues. We’ve made our home an oasis and we love it. We saved SO MUCH money when the gas prices shot up in ’07 or ’08!! We run all our errands together instead of me going one way and hubs another. It has really increased our family time and my husband’s stress level by not commuting.

  57. We are a one car family in the suburbs with four kids, where we both work outside the home, none of the kids schools or after school activities are in the same suburb & all our friends live in the city (and not all of them own their own cars). Surprisingly, it’s still only inconvenient about 10% of the time. It helps that we both work part time. Today my husband is going to drop two kids at school (the eldest kid has taken public transport & left already), drop me at my first client, go back to school with the toddler for an open day, pick me up from client 1 & drop me at client 2, take the toddler for vaccinations, pick up the two kids, be at home for when the eldest gets home on PT (pick her up from the station of its raining), and then pick me up from client 2. This is as crazy as it gets & what inconvenient looks like. If he’s had enough by the end of the day I will get a taxi home. Most of the time we manage well. We do have a supermarket in walking distance.
    Louise Allana´s last post…Roo at the park: 17 months

  58. We are also a one car family! Sold our second car last summer when we moved from LA to Florida and it has been awesome. I agree about the maintance- much easier and cheaper to handle one car. We also use our bikes much more (we have a 2 and 4 year old that ride in a bike trailer for grocery trips). I was scared to initially take the plunge to a one-car family, but now I can’t imagine going back.

    If anyone is interested in riding their bikes more as a family, I suggest checking out this article: http://familysponge.com/play/family-adventures/life-in-the-bike-lane/

  59. Jennifer says:

    I’m probably in the opposite camp of most here – my live-in boyfriend and I each have a car, and we live a ridiculously short walk from a metro stop and tons of buses outside DC. Now that my boyfriend works from our home, his car mostly sits in the garage. We use it when we go on longer drives (i.e., out to the mountains for hiking, day trips, etc.). I’m a consultant and I couldn’t do my job without a car – most clients are accessible by public transportation but I’ve had clients that are almost 2 hours away. But we really do not need two vehicles. When we met, he was driving a lot for his previous job. Both cars are paid off in full (I never had a car payment, he did) and neither requires much maintenance beyond oil changes… yet. We just don’t know where we are going next, and would hate to get rid of a car and need one in a year or two should we move back near our families.

  60. Abbington says:

    We have only ever had one car (despite having 4 kids, and living in a country town with little public transport!) However, we can walk to school and the shops. My husband can ride or catch a bus (they are few and far between, so he has to be organised) to work. We also have fabulous friends who live across the road, who will lend us their spare car at a pinch if we are desperate (helps them to justify keeping 2!), and it encourages us to make lots of friends with families at school, ballet, soccer, so that we can car pool for out-of-school activities!

    It is certainly keeping me fitter, teaches my kids that you don’t need to hop in the car to travel 6 blocks, and makes me appreciate my friends and neighbours!

    My older sister has never owned a car, and says that with what she saves in costs, she can easily afford to catch a taxi a couple of times a week, if she needs to. (She doesn’t have kids, however!)

  61. teacherof5 says:

    I grew up in the suburbs and we could have always been a one car family but for the fact the one car was on the road for weeks at a time When I married we lived in St. Louis until 15 years ago and we were a 1 car family most of those years. It worked well for us. We saved a lot of money. Taxes inspections insurance as well as routine maintenance I kept the car on the days that I needed to go some where, the bus stop was a 5 minute walk from the front door. I could walk to the store library and post office so I never felt stranded. There were side walks every where so I could push the stroller and the children learned to walk long distances from a young age. It did take planning. We are now in a mid size to small city moved here with one car and it was hard. I loved those years. But we have since moved and are now in a very mixed city farm land community that rambles everywhere and is set up all piecemeal. There was no public transportation when we get here and where we live there will not be. There are very few sidewalks and no matter where I could buy a house it would not have the library post office and grocery walking distance. We had a second car for a few years and we needed it there were to many times that I had to get someone some where. % children means a lot of things pulling you out. We have been on one car now again for 3 years with one car but I have three people that need rides to work and home The days I need the car are now 3 to 4 and to keep the car I drive 2 hours to dro[ my husband at work and get him home 30 monutes one way. When I used it 1 or 2 time a week max 6 times in a month it worked well but the wear and tear on the one car makes us think that the time has come to own 2 cars again.

  62. My husband and I shared just one car for six years together — it served us well! We finally got a second car when we moved way out in the country with my husband now commuting to work in town. Sometimes I feel a tad guilty about us owning two now. They both get excellent gas millage though (ones a Prius and the other is a Civic) so that helps lesson the guilt a bit.

  63. eileen marie says:

    Clown Shoe?? I love it! I wish -my husband does in-home tutoring, & I lug a load of my teacher crap to & from a job 1hr/20+ miles away, so 2 cars. I try not drive after work or especially in the summer, but I live in Chicago -easy peasy. I hope to one day get a job closer to home, so I can walk/cycle & dump 1 car!

  64. We’ve been a one-car family for years. We live downtown in a small city and we try to use downtown for what we need – bank, church, dentist, doctors, schools, food shopping. My job is 10 miles away, but it’s on the bus route, so I usually commute by bus.

    It takes ingenuity and communication. I think it slows our life down a little, which I welcome. One of my friends asked why people think it’s weird to walk 30 minutes to get somewhere, but not weird at all to drive that or longer. I keep that in mind when I have a longer errand to walk or bike.

    We do have friends and family nearby to help us out with rides when we’re in a pinch (we fill up their tanks or give them gas money).
    Margo, Thrift at Home´s last post…The Summer Pillow Cover

  65. We only bought our second car last month — we’d lived on one car since we were married 7 years ago, including the last 2 years with a child. We’re expecting #2 this summer, and I work outside of the house 2 days a week, so things are now much more convenient with two cars — but also more expensive. We’re re-evaluating our budget to make sure this whole 2 car thing is possible. P.S. We did pay cash for both of our cars! :)

  66. We live in a part of the world where public transport is pretty much negligible. My husband has a small car for work – it is not ours, it belongs to his company and he uses it to drive to and from the city each day. We used to have a VW van for getting the kids here there and everywhere… and it slowly but surely died… until about a year ago when it stopped completely… Well you would think it was a national crisis the way folks responded – “How would we live?”… but what a blessing it was!!!! We live in a small seaside town – we have a beach,, we have a mountain, we have a store and we have a library… my kids have all mastered walking to their music lessons. We are so much better for the lack of a car. How stressful is it to get kids in and out of a car, especially for trips that are not exactly essential!!!
    Now we hike together, pop to the beach together… my older kids run errands and we are all closer and better off for it!!! There are no fights about who gets the front seat or over who gets a window seat… Everyone always wants to go for a walk!!! Seriously better for it!!!
    Friends gasp – how do you live without a car, honestly it has been brilliant.
    After so many months a friend restored our van – we got it back a week or two ago – restored is a strong word here – and honestly we haven’t thought to use it at all… There just is no need for all the stress associated with a car… But I think you have to be without one for a while to be confident enough to believe you just don’t need one and to realize just how much stress they cause!!!

  67. GingerR says:

    Nope, we need two cars. We both work and there are too many conflicts. I have lots of things to argue with my husband about besides the car schedule.

  68. Heather says:

    Growing up – until I was in my mid to late teens – our family only had one car, and my dad’s office was a half hour commute away. We would sometimes drop him off at work if we really really needed the car, but that was maybe about once a month. We just stayed home! My mom homeschooled us, so we needed to be at home getting our school work done anyway. My mom grocery shopped on the weekends or at night, and we never did anything else during the week.

    Whenever I feel sorry for myself because we have only one car, I think back to how my mom must have felt. If she could do it, so can I. We live on the bus route, so if I need the car one day my husband will take the bus to work (or bike to work, because we’re only about 6 miles from his office). I get the car a couple of days a week, usually. I go a little stir crazy with two small kids in a tiny apartment, but rely on the car too much as a crutch when I could just go for a walk.

  69. My husband and I only bought a car just before we had our son. Prior to that we chose to live in locations with great public transport links and relied on these. When we moved out to the suburbs (in Canberra, Australia – quite a small city of 330 000 people) the car became absolutely necessary – especially for making the school pick-ups in time. Luckily, we both work in the CBD so can drive in together (or one can bus/bike in while the other drives). Sometimes we think that maybe we should get another car… then we remember the cost – car repayments for the second car, petrol,servicing, registration and insurance as well as paying for parking at work! No thanks.

  70. We had just one car when our kids were younger and I could walk to their school too. It was great at that stage for many reasons, like those you shared. Now we have teenagers and one just got his license. Now, having two cars and three drivers with four BUSY schedules, we are using some of the same techniques to share them that we did when we had one car :)

  71. My husband and I have shared one car for the six years we’ve been married – and have no plans to change that! The first two years we lived in Chicago, so public transportation was plentiful and convenient. For the past four years, however, we’ve been in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. Public transportation is more of an afterthought here than convenience. Even with the inconvenience of public transportation here, the benefits of sharing a car still manage to outweigh the costs of adding a second car. One of the best parts is the time I get to spend with my husband. We both work two jobs, so the commute time is sometimes the longest we’re together besides when we’re asleep! We’re also glad to be making less of an impact on the environment – something too often underestimated in favor of convenience.

  72. We are a one car family. I was the only one with a car when we got married, and it stayed that way till we purchased a new car when I got pregnant. Good thing, a car seat wouldn’t of fit in the first car! Then, about 6 months after buying the new car, the old car died a very expensive death (looked like either clutch or transmission and we wouldn’t know before A LOT of labor cost). So, we junked it and have been back to one car since. Yes, its inconvenient sometimes when I have to take Hubby to work so Peanut and I can run errands, but it really just means Hubby and I talk more about our plans for the next day. We will see what happens when a second or third baby comes along, but for now, it works just fine. We live just outside a mid-sized city in Central Texas, so no walking (unless you have all day or a few days to do the walking).
    Rachael´s last post…Gardening Spring 2012

  73. We got ourselves out of debt last year (through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University) and that has been the best thing we’ve ever done for ourselves. We sold our one newer car, on which we were making payments, and bought an older car instead with cash. We were then given a second car (a 1989 Toyota, from friends) because we were hosting two exchange students last fall and going a little crazy trying to finagle rides to soccer, etc. I really preferred having only one car. It forced me to stay home a LOT more during the days. Now with my own car every day, I somehow find ridiculous reasons to take the car out all the time. Errands, etc. I saved a LOT of money by not having a car. I think we’ll consider going back to that lifestyle soon. More peaceful, saves money. I think we’d buy a newer car again though, if we did, so we could depend on it not being in the shop too often.

  74. I could never give up my suv. My daughter is a year and a half needs to get out. My husband works an hour from home, and we can walk to our small little town but there’s not much there. Good for u, but I couldn’t do it.

  75. We have been a one car family for the last 4 years since we moved to NC from NYC. Before that we had no car – living in the city you certainly didn’t need one. My husband is a teacher and if we (the 3 kids 3 and under and myself) want the car on a given day we have to get up early enough to take him to work (7am) and then go back and get him in the afternoon. I have spent A LOT of time at home in the last 4 years. Husband coaches swimming from Nov-Feb and during those months he has practice at 5am and then goes straight to school from there so there is no way for us to get the car at all during those months. With the older girls (twins) starting Pre-K in the fall we can’t see any way past adding a second car just so I can get them to school – particularly during swim season. We have really really loved being a one car family for so long but I have to say I am getting sort of excited about the prospect of having a car myself and not being stuck at home (or within walking distance) most of the time. I think it really depends on what stage of life you are in. Way to go with the one car thing though.. it really is freeing.

  76. So glad for the name of a good mechanic. We moved to Dallas almost two years ago and have been looking for someone to work on our older cars. We live in UP and he is about 8 miles from our house. Thanks!

  77. That’s so ideal and economical. Unfortunately it won’t work with our work schedule. My husband works at 4AM while I start at 9AM. Although on the positive side, my husband can pick up our kid at 2pm without my kid doing after school program while I take him to school in the morning.

  78. We have only ever had one car (we both work and have a toddler) and I plan to never get another one. We always live near one of our jobs so we can walk or bike to work. We live in a fairly walkable neighborhood, which is a must.

  79. We’ve been a 1-car family twice in our 13 year marriage. It was GREAT both times. We saved so much money – by the obvious things like maintenance, insurance, and gas. But more than that, when my hubby took the car to work I was “forced” to stay home and not be out running errands and doing things just to occupy my time (READ: spending money when bored)

    We’ve since replaced the car, but mainly because we needed a new primary vehicle. (also paid cash for – found a honda civic 2011 model for less than $14K) When my husband’s 1991 maxima finally dies, I think we’ll be a one car family again. I have no problems with that.

    It really is rather freeing, and has helped me learn to thrive and cocoon at home!

  80. Kate S. says:

    We’ve been a one-car household for almost four years now and we don’t live in the city or the suburbs–we live 45 minutes from the closest grocery store! It’s been inconvenient on two or three occasions, but I am very content with our decision. I wish more people would try it!

  81. Wow you are doing better than I am with the gas!!! I decided to see if I could stretch $30.00 (okay, $30.01) worth of gas to last 30 days. I have 3 days to go and with nothing but awesome weather so I probably will make it as I bike most places. I my gas tank is flashing but it’s only a 2km drive to the gas station.

  82. I say no way for us! A 1-car arrangement worked for our family in Pittsburgh where we lived close to a train stop, and my husband walked to the stop to get to work.

    Here in the Indianapolis metro, it is suburban sprawl. My town has a long-term plan of adding more trails and sidewalks to make it more walkable/bikeable, but that’s a little ways off.

    It just wouldn’t work here, and I’m ok with that. :)
    Kacie´s last post…What we’re doing for preschool this year — Curriculum Fair 2012

  83. We went down to one car over the winter. It was a great way to save money. Thanks to a big car repair and our kids sports we needed two cars come spring but we may try and only have one car again in the fall (we did not sell our car – just changed the insurance to storage – which saved us $600 in 6 months).

  84. We could definitely get rid of one car…but my husband would fight to keep his truck and I’d fight tooth and nail to keep my reliable, beloved van! I home school so we don’t do much driving. We have grocery stores and the library close by. Will we ever do it? I doubt it – we use our truck a lot to haul and our future plans include more property…so for now, it was nice to dream :)

  85. I am glad it is working for you, but it (having one car for me, my husband, and our two-year-old) is not working for me. I also work from home, and my husband has full-time work and full-time school. I get the car on Tues/Thurs and we share on weekends, obviously, but I go crazy on Mon/Wed/Fri. It’s like I have an emotional reaction, feeling “trapped”, not to mention the inconvenience of packing errands or outings or appointments on certain days. I can’t wait to get a second car, but we’re planning a move soon and would like for us both to have steady jobs before we add another car payment. I look forward to the day of no car payments in my distant future, but the only way I’d willingly go to one or no cars again is if I lived urban. But, again, it works for some people, so it’s worth considering.

  86. We have only one car and live way out in the country. My husband drives 20 minutes into town every weekday for work and if I need the car, I have to drive him in and then pick him up again. Or I can borrow one of my parents’ vehicles because they live next door. It’s not always convenient, but does save money. You get used to it.

  87. We live in the city, so having only one car is no stretch for us. In fact, we were car free for years until baby 1 was 6 months old. I walk then ride the commuter train to work, and the car is for my stay-at-home husband who uses it to take the kids around.

  88. We manage the ‘burbs pretty well with one car. The two keys for us are 1) it’s an automatic that we can both drive (having only Hubs’ manual that I couldn’t manage was NOT a great couple of years!) and 2) I work literally around the corner from home, making the drop-off/pick-up situation fairly convenient. If we worked in opposite directions, I don’t think we could pull it off as well.

  89. We were a one-car family for years, while the kids were babies and we lived in town. I worked from home and often just didn’t leave the house except on the weekends. It was a bit harder when I took a job outside the house also, but we juggled two jobs, two kids, and one car for a bit. Then my husband took a job with a 60 mile commute, so he bought a motorcycle and also took the train in part way. Now, we are just outside town, beyond the bus lines, and have acres, so we bought a truck for all the hauling. So our little motor pool is growing, but I still like the idea of just one car. Actually, I like the idea of not having a car at all, but our world just wasn’t built for that.

  90. My husband & I have had 1 car for the last 16 years (minus a few months at the beginning when I freaked out about it). We have learned to coordinate/communicate, plan well (most of the time!) & with an 11yo daughter (going into middle school), I am here, there & everywhere with her. She has learned that you share, you connect with friends, you communicate, & yes, you sacrifice. Is it worth it? Oh, yes! We live in the suburbs, I drive my husband to/from work everyday, my daughter to/from school everyday & am on the go myself, working part-time. Thank you for sharing this! I keep thinking I half-cracked sometimes when I look at our choices, but know they are the best for us.

  91. We have always been a 1 car family and always lived in the suburbs. It has been convenient for us to buy our last and current home within walking distance from the train station, shops and close to a bus stop and school. We save ourselves a 2nd set of insurance, registration, car services, petrol and tyres, and it has been a very rare occasion when it has proven inconvenient.

  92. We actually were a one car family for 4 days this week. We sold our 2nd car and had not purchased a replacement yet. It felt so good to see just one car in the driveway. I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. We talked about just having one car. Sadly, it won’t work. We don’t live close by anything and we work in opposite directions. Boo.

    But! We replaced the 2nd car with a cheaper older (yet still reliable) car. We reduced our monthly payment by nearly half as well as reduced the insurance premium. So, even though we can’t be a one car family, we still improved our situation!
    Mel@TheDizzyMom´s last post…The Dreaded Toddler Diaper Change

  93. Based on the European influence of public transportation, walking and biking, my sister and I decided to go down to one car. We also decided to do this to cut down on cost. We LOVE it.

    I work from home 2 days a week and carpool with her the other two days, even if I have to go in extra early and stay later. The first month of sharing was awful, but after that, we learned to communicate, bike, walk, get rides from others or just stay home.

    We live in a rural area (3-4 miles from town) where there is no public transportation, but it is possible to bike there if needed. I have just learned to coordinate my trips to town and to enjoy staying at home. If I need a car, I can borrow one from my Mom or Grandma.

    If you calculate how much it costs to own and operate a car, it makes so much more sense (cents!) to share a car. Yes there are inconveniences (15%), but mostly it’s awesome (85%). If possible, I would highly recommend it.

  94. Yep. One car in the suburbs for the last 5 1/2 years. We were offered a second car to use recently but we had to pay taxes and insurances. We decided the cost wasn’t worth it!

    My son has just started school this year, at the same school my husband works at. Part of our decision to send him there was influenced by being able to have only one car, though it’s a little more awkward than it was before he was at school.

    I plan my week so that I only need the car 2-3 days a week and we catch a bus or just stay put the other days. The bus isn’t really convenient, but cheaper than owning a second car, so I use it once a week and my husband uses it once a week.

    Our next plan is to move closer to school, and closer to better bus routes so we can still have only one car. A second car is just an unnecessary expense, but the city we live in means it would be inconvenient for others if we didn’t have one car.

  95. That sounds awesome. I really wish we could just own one and walk most places, but we live in a little semi-rural pocket just shy of the city limit with four kids and a husband who works nights. I do, however, have a lot of success in making one tank of gas in the family car last for 10 days. Husband can sometimes go a month between fill-ups. Both cars are paid off.
    Zipporah Bird´s last post…BRACKEN III, The End

  96. We are a one car family and, for the most part, I do enjoy it. It forces me to be home more… thus, forcing me to actually get things done AT home. ;) However, there are times I wish I had another car, like: being able to grocery shop during the week, instead of on Saturday with everyone else. But, the benefits FAR outweigh the negatives.

  97. We got rid of our second car about 7 months ago and haven’t missed it. Now that I’m working part of the time outside the home again we are reconsidering. We are however, trying to hold out as long as possible. It all depends on your situation, kids, activity schedule, etc.

  98. My husband and I have shared a car for most of the last 7 years. 3 years living within walking distance of my work, while DH drove 20 minutes to school. We had two cars for about a year, and then moved closer to campus. So, now for the last 3 years, I’ve been the one driving while DH takes the bus. We now have a young son, and sometimes it gets complicated, but his daycare is near my office so I am in charge of that. When I’m off work and DH needs the car for something, my son and I can take the bus somewhere, or walk to the park/a store as we have a decent amount of stuff within a mile or so. It works for us about 90% of the time, although we do often rely on friends/family to pick one of us up or drive us back home. I try to make it up to them with gas money, meals, baked goods, etc.

  99. I have no car. I walk everywhere. Groceries 1 miles. dentist about 4 miles and doctor about 4 miles. Drug store less them 1/2 mile. There are times when I need to go farther then I want to walk so I call a cab. And even fewer times when a cab is not possible so I rent a car. My sister lives 2 doors away with a car and a car payment. I figure my expenses for transportation is about 15% of hers. I live in AZ so grocery shopping in summer is done at 6 AM and doctors and dentists are scheduled in cooler months. I am 66 and hope to do this til 96.