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Becoming a single car family!

July 24, 2013

single car

We have 2 vehicles and becoming a single car family wasn’t something we have even discussed yet. It is just sort of… happening. While pregnant with the “Newborn”, we discovered that the van I have been driving is in serious need of a new tire. So much so that Hubby does not want me to drive it because it is unsafe. Being very pregnant and then recovering from delivery, I didn’t go anywhere. So the van just sat there. We aren’t the kind of family to just happen to have money lying around for a new tire. So we have been putting it off for more than 6 months! The van is now just a sort of “back up” car. On days when there is a doctor appointment or grocery shopping that needs to be done, Hubby takes the van and leaves the truck for me or I drop him off at work and keep the truck.

singlecarfamily

The Toddler, 4 months old.

Right now it seems to be working out for us and we may just be “phasing out” the second car! I wanted to share this experience with you and hopefully give you all the confidence to make a change in your life. Here are some things that may help.

Benefits of being a single car family

  • Possibly one less car payment
  • Only one car to keep up on maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.)
  • No need for duplicate car seats or switching them from car to car
  • Get more exercise by walking to the park, post office, library etc.
  • Saves money on insurance
  • You do more together as a family, more outings traveling together (travel time can be quality time!!)
  • Bonding with your kids by talking while on walks
  • Teaching your kids to be eco-responsible and stay active

Tips for making one car work for you

  • Schedule appointments for the times when the primary driver is home.
  • Set a specific day to do regular errands like grocery shopping, etc.
  • Consolidate errands into one trip. Grocery shopping, post office, refueling, doctor visits etc can be done all in one trip if you plan ahead. This will also save even more on gas.
  • Communicate! Have regular discussions about what events are going on so that you know what you are available for. This will avoid having to cancel due to lack of transportation.
  • Know your neighbors. Have a list of people who could help you out in a pinch, in an emergency or whom you can borrow sugar from if you run out.
  • Have cash on hand for public transportation, just in case.

The drawbacks you should consider

  • Walking isn’t always practical depending on the weather.
  • Cabin fever. You can feel trapped in your own home sometimes.
  • Schedule conflicts. You and your other half may need to be in two places at once. This could result in inability to attend some events you may want to be at.

Have you thought about making a big change like this? I would love to hear from other families who make one vehicle work!

 

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Smith permalink
    July 24, 2013 3:49 pm

    We became a single care family 6 years ago when the car I was driving needed an engine over haul and the car wasn’t worth puttting the money into it. We just sold is to a junk dealer. In our case my husband took the car to work and thankfully our kids school was close enough to walk, My husband works 45 minutes away and starts work at 6 am so I didn’t want to take him to work to keep the car. The biggest advantage not only saving money by only paying expenses on only one car but we saved money because I didn’t have a car I didn’t do any shopping or eating out. I also lost weight. I did any errands I needed to do on the weekends. Our dentist was close enough to walk to. We did this for a couple of years untill we saved enough money to buy an 8 year old Honda Civic for myself.

    • July 24, 2013 4:15 pm

      I completely forgot about the fact that you don’t spend money on mindless shopping! That is so true! I have used “retail therapy” to get out the house numerous times! Kinda hard to do without a vehicle to take on a whim!

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