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.