YNAB BLOG

Can a Two Parent, Two Child Suburban American Family Get By with Just One Car?

car

Spoiler alert for a future post:

I’ve been walking to work since the day after I wrote about robbing the emergency fund to buy a bike. Walking to work is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. Details to come.

I don’t drive much – in the last five years I’ve put 10,000 or 11,000 miles on my car. Since I’ve been walking to work (three weeks now), it has left the garage once.

In the spirit of putting all major expenses on the table, my wife and I are talking seriously about getting rid of it and becoming a one car family.

The numbers:

Make: Honda
Model: Civic
Year: 2000
Mileage: ~145,000
Monthly Payment: $0
Insurance: $24/month (liability only)
Registration: $10/month
Annual Safety and Emissions Test: $4/month
Maintenance Cost: ?*
Estimated Resale Value: $2,000 to $2,500

*In 2004 the car required new brakes – the only time it’s been to a mechanic in the nine years I’ve owned it. Of course it will eventually need repairs, but I have no idea when that will be, or how much they’ll cost.

Maybe you YNABers can help me out by sharing a) what you budget monthly for car maintenance and repairs (according to Rule 2), and/or b) any big car repair expenses you’ve incurred recently.

If a safe estimate of repair costs is $50 per month, the car is costing me around $90 per month to sit in the garage. If the real cost of repairs is $150 per month, I’m closer to $200 per month for a car we hardly use.

Even if the fixed cost of the car is only $100 per month, it seems like a no-brainer to get rid of it.

But what about the what ifs?

  • What if I want to have lunch with a friend in Salt Lake or Provo?
  • What if I want to drive up to American Fork Canyon for a hike by myself?
  • What if my mom comes to town and wants to borrow the car again (as happened last week)?
  • What if I want to take a solo road trip?

The Bottom Line

Cost: some loss of freedom and flexibility that comes with having an extra car on hand.

Benefits: $2,000 to $2,500 now, $100 to $150 per month in the budget and the freed-up garage space. Also, a simplified life thanks to one less large possession.

I’m torn about this decision – as is my wife (unlike in the case of getting rid of the house for an apartment, which was over before it started).

We’re considering a couple of options:

1. Put the Car Out to Pasture

Near our subdivision there are plenty of people with large unused plots of land. Some of them use their extra space for RV and boat storage. We could approach one of them (we know most of them through church), and see if we could park my car on their property for a small fee.

That will give us the full experience of having the car out of sight and mind. If we don’t miss it, we sell it. If we find ourselves missing the car (and frequently walking over to get it from Farmer John), we’ll keep it. We might even keep it at Farmer John’s place, which would give us the garage space without giving up the extra car convenience.

2. Four Wheels Move the Body, Two Wheels Move the Soul

Stole that line from a scooter forum user’s signature. Laughed right out loud when I read it.

When Kate and I were newlyweds I had a scooter and commuted on it for over a year – half an hour each way. I enjoyed it, even in the winter.

I’m sure I could get a 150cc or 250cc scooter with the proceeds from selling the car. I don’t know if the fixed costs of scooter ownership are much lower, so it could be a wash financially. But we’d get the fun of a scooter and the convenience of speedy transportation on demand.

Whichever path we choose, I’ve decided not to drive the car at all in the month of May. If we find ourselves NOT missing the car after the month is up, the right decision becomes much clearer.

What would you do?

54 Responses to “Can a Two Parent, Two Child Suburban American Family Get By with Just One Car?”

  1. Nicole Stauffer

    I like the scooter idea to be honest. My husband and I are in the same situation. There is debate of going from a 2 car family, down to a 1 car family, as the cars are not being used like they used to be.
    So, why keep a scooter instead of the car? Well, you are going to run into situations, like you said, where you’ll need that additional vehicle. Why not make it a vehicle that’s easy to maintain, you can pay for it in cash for a decent machine, gets great gas mileage (gas will be cheap) and should easily last a good 5+ years. I think having a scooter is good for those days that just one of you has a doctor’s appointment, and you don’t want to drive each other around. Best to keep the large vehicle with the children and adult who’s around the children, and the scooter for those places that are just too far from reach via walking/biking.

    But, this is coming from someone with a 5 year old and a 2 year old. We always want the car with car seats with the children, which the other car is used for other means.

    Biking, walking and public transit is very liberating, as well! If you can manage going by walk/bus/bike, I vote doing it that way. Otherwise, get a scooter. :)

    Reply
    • mark

      Yep – my kids are 5 and 3, and we may have one or two more before we’re through. You’re making me like the scooter idea more and more…

      Reply
      • Christian Aasland

        As an avid motorcyclist I can tell you that a scooter is probably not any more economical than an economical car. To do it right, you will have to purchase a significant amount of protective gear which does not come cheap. You will be on public roads and in traffic; you’ll be just as vulnerable to left-turning drivers chatting on their phones as any other motorcyclist. To mitigate the risks (think: spouse+kids), wearing the right gear and taking the classes to become a proficient rider seems to be in order.

        Don’t forget about the weather – you may not be able to ride it for a large portion of the year. Even if it doesn’t snow where you live, once it gets below 70F or it starts to rain you’ll need that expensive protective gear just to stay comfortable.

        You’ve already sunk the cost into the Civic. It won’t wear out sitting in your garage, so the amount of money you spend on maintenance items is commensurate with how much you use it. It is infinitely more practical than the scooter.

        The high MPG of the scooter is tempting, but don’t forget the other wear items: tires, valve adjustments, CVT belts, etc. Maintenance frequency on 2-wheeled vehicles are more frequent than on 4-wheeled ones, and the parts are made in less quantity and cost more.

        And finally … as your children grow they’ll want to be carted around various places. That’s hard to do on a scooter, and you’ll be shopping for a car again.

        Reply
  2. Shauna

    We are a one-van family and have been a one-car family for over 7 years (before we were married and living together). My husband takes transit and we work out when we need the vehicle. Our kids are very young 2 & 4 and go to the same daycare so the legistics are not too difficult yet. We plan on staying a one-car family until absolutley necessary (ie: my husband needs one for work – I have to have one as I am a home care RN).

    I would say get rid of the car. Remove the temptation and deal with it.

    Reply
    • mark

      The funny thing about removing the temptation is I’m not even tempted. My mom borrowed the car last week, and now that she’s brought it back to us I’m annoyed to see it. I’m not bothered by cold or rain when it comes to walking and biking, so my only hangup with ditching the car is the whatifs I mentioned in the post. If I can come to a conclusion about the real probability of the whatifs, I’ll ditch the car in a second.

      Reply
      • Jeff S

        I had similar hangups before I sold our family’s second vehicle. Ultimately I decided that if a situation arose where a second car was absolutely needed, I could rent a car for a day or two. The savings that result from having just one car are way more than the occasional cost of renting a car.

        Reply
  3. Janice

    Just get rid of it! That’s what hubby and I did last year, and while it is sometimes inconvenient (having to plan ahead, no spontaneous trips into town), it’s totally worth it! I get out and exercise walking everywhere, and so do the kids. We are in a rural village so public transit is not even an option. If I want to go, I walk, or plan ahead and drive hubby to work. If I had more time to think about it at the time, iI probably would have hemmed and hawed, and “what-if’d” it to death, and would most likely STILL be trying to make the decision. We’re saving $2000 a year on insurance for an ’05 Honda Accord (we’re in Ontario, Canada the most expensive insurance in North America) at least $500 on maintenance, and probably around another $2000 on gas. Plus as an added bonus, my shopping is more planned, no more boredom trips to the mall, so my miscellaneous budget account is quite healthy at this point!

    Reply
    • mark

      $2,000 per year for one car?? That would make my decision much easier. I’ve noticed the same reduction in miscellaneous purchases since I started walking to work.

      Reply
      • Janice

        It was actually closer to $2400. Insurance here is crazy! Funnily enough, have a 2011 Mazda Tribute as our only vehicle now, and our insurance on it is only $1500 annually, for more coverage and a higher value vehicle.

        Reply
  4. Janice

    Forgot to mention my kids are 4 and 1, and I still manage to get by without having a car during the day while hubby is at work :-)

    Reply
  5. Kelly

    I’m not sure how old your children are, but mine are in grade school. Although my husband and I both work from home, we need the second car to transport our kids to activities and sports. Almost every night my husband and I both have to be in two (sometimes three) different places. We would really struggle without the extra car.

    Reply
    • mark

      My kids aren’t (yet) involved in too many activities and sports. What are your kids doing that require so much transportation? And these are activities that couldn’t be reached on a bike?

      Reply
      • Melanie

        This is the comment I would have made. We are two miles from school where many activities take place … but limited sidewalks and travel on busy arterials. Then there are two kids in scout activities, and each kid is in one sport, requiring (at least) one practice a week and one game a week. We live in a suburb of Atlanta.

        Even if we didn’t already consider it a necessity to have two cars, pure logistics often require us to be in two places at once. Yes, carpooling is sometimes possible, but can’t be counted on as the kids get older.

        Reply
        • Heather

          Here’s the thing though — if you had been a one-car family all along, you would have found different ways to manage, and possibly different activities for your kids. I imagine it’s hard to go back, but if you make the decision early on in the life of your kids it’s easier to stick to.

          Reply
  6. Jason

    I suppose the question depends on your values. I’m a car / motorcycle nut and fortunately our incomes support my toys addiction while maintaining an aggressive investment / savings strategy. Even as basic transportation, though, I can’t imagine wanting be a 1 car household, and right now it’s just my wife and I (with a little girl on the way). We’ve done it before, and I did it again just recently when I sold one car just prior to ordering its replacement. When I found out the wait would be 6 – 8 weeks I ended up buying yet another car two weeks into the wait to get us back to having 2 daily drivers b/c I was annoyed at having to plan so carefully around, at times, varied and hectic schedules.

    Since your car is paid for, Hondas are generally bullet proof, and the monthly expense is so trivial (depending on your income) I say just keep it. It’s not worth the hassle of finding yourself in a position to need and not have it, which I can imagine could happen a lot with multiple children of varying ages. Also pick up a scooter, though, because they are just silly fun!

    For comparison, we were budgeting about $350/mo on maintenance, which includes 2 car washes a month, tires, general upkeep, etc. Our major services were expensive, though – $1,000 on one car and $2,500 on the other for their 100k service interval, both in the last 2 months. That was for 2 high end vehicles, though. $50/mo for the civic seems very reasonable.

    Again, it comes down to values, though. I genuinely love your budgeting system, but generally disagree with you on what seems like a focus on frugality over convenience / indulgence. Not that either of us is wrong, I’m just no good at going without!

    Reply
    • mark

      I’ve wondered lately if these posts are off-putting to people who aren’t interested in this sort of minimilist/frugality track. I’d enjoy a conversation with you about your philosophy on money, spending, convenience, and indulgence.

      Reply
      • Jason

        Sure, happy to share my views on the topic, though “off-putting” is probably overly harsh. I’m not turned off by these topics, I just don’t necessarily share the same goal(s).

        In my haste to read / respond to the post, I miss-attributed it to Jesse in my mind. Perhaps I should speak in more general terms by saying that the YNAB culture tends to focus on frugality more than I personally care to.

        Reply
  7. Rachel Ruhlen

    There was a story on NPR (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/27/172968900/in-many-families-exercise-is-by-appointment-only) recently that compared 2 suburban families: one mom spends hours in her car taking her kids to their sports & lessons so that the kids will be healthy & fit. The other mom piles her kids in her cargo bike, and they walk a lot. They don’t go to sports & lessons that aren’t in walking distance. I’m extrapolating based on other car-free families: Those kids are healthy and fit and more independently mobile (they can walk to a lesson alone or with an older sibling or friend). Keeping them fit isn’t such a chore for the mom (or dad). Keeping them fit doesn’t come at the sacrifice of mom & dad’s health.

    We became a 1-car family several years ago. Our daughter did keep us hopping for a while, but she bikes a lot too. We kept her on swim team even though that was clear across town and we did have to use the car for that. Swim team was a good experience, but I’m not convinced that her life would have been significantly less enriched without that experience. It was a constant challenge to convince her to go to practices.

    When I biked to work back then, there was one killer hill. It took me forever to get up that hill. I distracted myself by calculating how much money we saved every time I biked!

    We use our one car less and less. I bike to work, we walk to the grocery store, my daughter bikes to school (except in the worst weather) and when she graduates, we’ll only use it for the out of town trips. With her at college, those out of town trips will become more frequent. But do we need even 1 car?

    Our car is paid off, it is 14 yrs old so it does need repairs. We discussed having a separate category for car repairs, but ultimately we decided to use the emergency fund for car repairs, because they are so difficult to predict. We stay current on our oil changes & maintenance, easy to budget for that.

    Instead of owning a car, we could rent a car for the out of town trips. I’ve done the math; we could rent a car about 8-10 days a month before a car payment is a better deal. Because our car is old and paid off, it is cheaper to keep it than to rent a car for those trips.

    Obviously my vote is get rid of your extra car. Your family and your finances will be healthier without it.

    Reply
    • mark

      Great insight about mentally assigning car repairs to the emergency fund. I’ve thought that if I got a car repair category in YNAB to $1,000 or $1,500 I’d probably call it good and leave it at that.

      I love your thoughts on creating a family culture of activity and independence. Thanks for the insights.

      Reply
  8. Jon

    If you can afford to keep the car, it is a form of insurance for when your primary car is in the shop. We have two kids and purchased a second kid friendly car becasue getting car seats in and out of my rock crawler is an exercise in stupidity and we need two cars unless we make serious lifestyle changes.

    Reply
    • mark

      Ha – great visual of you trying to load kids into and out of your rock crawler. I guess I’d consider a rental car an cheaper insurance policy than a second family car. What serious lifestyle changes would you have to make to drop to one car? Is it at all appealing to you?

      Reply
    • mark

      Seems like the closest Zip Car is in Boise, about 400 miles away. :) Great concept, though.

      Reply
      • Benjamin

        If you’re in Salt Lake, there is a program from UHaul called UCarShare. Not sure if it’s just for students (I’m up at the U), but I’ve used the service when I needed things done in a pinch and it’s incredible!

        *Note: Didn’t really read about zipcar, just figured it was like UCarShare.

        Reply
  9. Brad

    My family was forced down to a single car because of a bad transmission. There are times two cars are nice, but I have found other methods of transportation (bike, walking, hitching a ride). Things I used to do solo is now done with friends. We plan more our trips better and communicate schedules more because of having a single car.

    A bike/scooter is fun, but defeats the purpose of reducing costs. Plus your walking now.

    Consider this: Gain $2,000 today and $2,400 every year after in savings of not spending.
    First year return on investment: 120%

    Advice: Sell car and figure how to invest/pay off something.

    Reply
    • mark

      I know…$2,400 per year can do some real good if put to work. But that’s assuming the gain would be costless. Doesn’t seem realistic.

      Reply
  10. saveourskills

    What if I want to have lunch with a friend in Salt Lake or Provo?

    You’ll have to pass

    What if I want to drive up to American Fork Canyon for a hike by myself?

    You’ll have to pass

    What if my mom comes to town and wants to borrow the car again (as happened last week)?

    She won’t be able to

    What if I want to take a solo road trip?

    Rent a car

    Reply
  11. Lynn

    I think it really depends on if you have a strong support system near you. My children were very accident prone when they were small. Having a car always available was priceless to me.

    Reply
    • mark

      I hear you. The car would definitely be available to whomever was currently responsible for the kids. I

      Reply
  12. Jess

    what is the cost of renting a car for the day versus what you are paying (even if you get storage for free or cheaper?)? As little as it appears you need it, i’d lose it and rent a car when needed. And i’d say my mom has enough money to rent her own car, lol. i wish we could go to a one car, but my son has special needs and appointments aren’t in town, unfortunately. if we could swing it, we’d go for it though!

    Reply
    • mark

      Renting a car for a day seems to run in the $25 to $40 range, depending on what insurance they force you to buy. Renting isn’t a terrible option, but no way it would be cheaper than storing the car at Farmer John’s.

      Reply
  13. Brad

    The gain is costless. Your selling an asset that is costing you money. That isn’t being used.

    Savings:
    + Insurance:
    + Repairs
    + Registration
    + Depreciation (wait another year and it will be worth less than today)
    + Fuel by not being able to use it

    Reply
    • mark

      I’m thinking the costs would be things like occasionally having to rent a car or make extra trips with the car we keep. I don’t know exactly what the costs would be, but I do know that whenever I think an idea is all upside, I’m usually wrong.

      Reply
  14. Brad

    The gain is costless. Your selling an asset that is costing you money. What is your cost? Selling a not used asset, because someday you might use it?

    Reply
  15. Lynne

    I would also recommend renting a car when necessary. We have just 1 car (no kids yet though). My partner walks a lot when I am not free to pick her up, or just hangs around. Bikes help. When our car is in the shop we rent. In a pinch we have had enterprise pick us up at home. I work 30 miles away from home and we manage on just the one. Saves much more than the cost of renting. Then again, if we had kids it might be a different story.

    Reply
    • mark

      I’d forgotten Enterprise will pick you up at home! That could come in handy.

      Reply
  16. Lydia

    We have solved this problem by joining zipcar – we don’t own any cars, walk/bike to work, but when we need a car to say, move a piece of furniture, or drive up to NH for a vacation, we can pay $10 for the hour or $100 for the weekend (including gas). So, no monthly payments, but also no loss of flexibility/freedom. It has worked well for us, and the best part is you are always in a clean, new, car that has the repairs taken care of. I realize not all areas provide zipcar service, but for those that do I would most highly recommend it!

    Reply
  17. sstolhand

    wow one car, I could not do that. We have 4 at the moment and could use a 5th although were I live walking is not an option the closest store is 15 miles away. We have my wife’s car that she uses to get back and forth to work, then there is my car that is used for my job gets great gas millage, and a truck that is a must have for the handy man work I do to haul tools around, and finally my youngest sons that is living in the city with our friends to finish high school. I kind of wish we had another good car for my oldest son to use till he can get his fixed. and then there is always having an extra vehicle around for when one breaks down. personally I would keep the 2nd car if for no other reason than that. its paid for and repairs should be minimal without using it a lot. one of my favorite things to say is: Better to have and not need then to need and not have!

    Reply
    • mark

      Sounds like a situation where you do need the cars you have. I’m exploring the idea of not having and not needing. :)

      Reply
  18. Chris

    When we moved to the Netherlands, we bought just one car and we don’t use it very often. In nearly seven years, we’ve needed the car at the same time only once. I rented a car to solve that conflict. We have two kids and enjoy traveling. Mostly we ride our bikes, walk, or use the bus or the tram. Occasionally I have used a taxi. The costs of these alternatives are much lower than owning a second car.

    I think you can succeed with one car. It takes some forethought. But you will quickly adapt, I think. All the “just in case” situations that call for a second car can be solved with a rental, a taxi, a bus, a car pool, etc.

    You could also form your own car sharing situation. For example, perhaps someone in your neighborhood would want to share the costs of the car in return for borrowing it. (You might need to think through your insurance coverage.).

    And next time your mom visits, you can explain you’re down to one car and she will need to make some other arrangements. Is that an expense you need to absorb? For a full year of ownership?

    Reply
  19. Heather

    We have been a one-car family all along, and we now have three kids (11, 9 and 6). It factors into our decisions so that we don’t get ourselves into a situation where we would require a second car. When we were ready to move to a larger home, we drew a radius on the map of what area we’d need to stay within to comfortably get to work via walking, bike or public transit, and kept our home search with that limit (our first house was very central, near our city’s downtown, and by the time we wanted a larger place because of kids prices had gone up so much that we had to move further away from the core).

    As I mentioned in an earlier response, having one car will be be a factor in the activities you sign your kids up for, and in the way you manage things. Because our home is in that easy-travel radius, it’s also not a big deal if I need to keep the car for the day and the weather is too lousy for my husband to bike to work — I just drop him off. It’s less than a half-hour round trip. I stayed home with the kids for several years and when I wanted to start working again, we weighed potential work against the cost of having to purchase and operate a second vehicle. I ended up lucking out and finding interesting, decent-paying work that I can do from home thanks to high-speed internet.

    My husband has changed jobs since we first bought this home, but he found another job that he is able to bike to when the weather is decent (about 11km/6.8miles each way). Even when the car is at home I use my bike for errands whenever possible. Another benefit of biking/walking to work is that it gives you a nice buffer between the office and home to clear your mind and switch gears.

    Reply
    • mark

      Seems like a lot of people choose the one-car life very consciously – as way of life more than a money-saving exercise. Which is great. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  20. Malisa

    Note: Even without kids and working at the same school, we couldn’t imagine one car. We’re too independent and often like to go in different directions.

    Your car is a known. Yes, Hondas run forever. Yes, you don’t know what kind of repairs will come in the future. But you know the history of the car. You know how it’s been maintained. You know that it’s safe.

    If we project forward and you find that life without a second car isn’t working, what would it take to replace your car? I’d look at THAT expense. Or if you got rid of it for a few years and then found that you needed another car as the kids got older (on a more regular basis than renting would make practical), would you replace it with the same sort of thing?

    Basically, if it doesn’t work out, how much more could it potentially cost you both in dollars and in ‘unknowns’, IYKWIM. I’d keep it with or without stashing it at Farmer John’s.

    Reply
    • mark

      Hey Malisa –

      I had the same thought – “what if I hate it?” Then I’d have to buy another car, which would be a total unknown.

      Reply
  21. Melissa

    Right after we got married we asked ourselves the same question: can/should we go from 2 cars to 1 car? I was gung-ho about selling the car and my husband was very speculative, so we decided on “the test” very similar to yours. We parked the car for one full month. My husband was sure it wasn’t going to work, that we would NEED the second car at least once if not more. And he was shocked when he didn’t even think about grabbing the keys once in 31 days.

    We sold the car.

    We made 1 car work rather well for 4 1/2 years. Sure there were some difficulties through job changes, having our first child, home renovations, vacations, meetings, etc. We used public transportation, walking, carpooling, renting–all the great ideas listed in previous comments. We bought our 2nd car when a rare medical issue arose during my 2nd pregnancy requiring 4-5 medical appointments per week and one car wasn’t going to make that possible. Because we had been with 1 car for so long, we had saved enough to buy the second car with cash–a BIG benefit to our budgeting and financial situation.

    Other comments bring up lots of reasons to keep the car because someday you might/will need a second car. But do you need to keep/pay for the idle car for the next 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 years waiting for the need for a 2nd car to arise?

    Can you make the decision to meet your CURRENT needs and prepare for future needs? Go to 1 car knowing that someday your needs might/will change and you’ll use the meantime preparing/saving financially to meet those needs when they arise.

    It’s Rule 2 at it’s best: SAVE for a rainy day (not SPEND for a rainy day).

    Reply
    • mark

      …not SPEND for a rainy day.

      Okay, that was pretty good. Well played.

      Reply
  22. Kenny

    I don’t think you can consider items like maintenance on a second car as an added expense. Unless you drive 20k miles a year as a family with a second car instead of 10k miles a year, the maintenance cost is theoretically equal. If that is the case, then stop driving those extra 10k miles and save the difference. You are driving the same distance and putting the wear and tear on A vehicle. The only cash expenses I believe you can consider are the fixed costs, like registration and insurance. If you had a payment, it would be different.

    Reply
  23. erin

    We only have one car. I am a stay at home mom with the car and my husband rides his bike to work daily. It works fine. If he needs the car, I can work with him and move stuff around. We just have to communicate. You can rent a car for like 30 bucks a week too! I used to do that for road trips anyway. Your mom can rent her own car if she wants one.

    Reply
  24. AJ

    We don’t have a car at all so you can guess where this is going to go. We live in a big city so don’t need one at all, day to day, and rent one sometimes for trips away.

    We walk and (used to) bike a lot, although since we’ve had a baby the cycling has been limited to me getting around when I’m by myself. We had always thought “when we have a child we’ll need a car” but so far it hasn’t turned out that way at all. We do lots of activities within walking distance or a short bus-ride away. We only look for activities close to us, and we don’t feel at all limited by that. It’s NICE to support your local shops, clubs, and really be part of your local community..

    I used to have two cars to myself, then I moved to the Netherlands and learned that it’s possible to basically live without one (I had one there but driving was a pain). Now I live in London and I really doubt I’ll ever bother with one again. We just live differently now and love it.

    Just sell it. The financial reward is massive. If you aren’t SURE you need it, then you don’t.

    Reply
  25. Bryan Giles

    Considering the cost of the car and considering your what ifs and the cost of renting a small compact car from Thrifty at the current time, I would sell the car. Set aside the cash in a “What If” Category, save 50% of the “cost” of having the car, adding it to the “What If” category and keep walking or bike Riding.

    My wife and I with 4 children lived in St. Louis and I biked to work. We managed to go an entire year without a Vehicle. The Grocery store was 1 mile from the house so we utilized the Baskets on our bikes to transport Groceries. The kids bike rode to the store for small items. The Gas savings alone was worth it.

    Now we have one vehicle that I have out about 10k on in the past 2 years. Being self-employed if we are not making deliveries the vehicle doesn’t move. Meaning we make deliveries ONE day a week and Bus or bike the rest of the time. Keeps those fuel costs to a bare minimum.

    Just My Opinion.

    Reply
  26. LeiraHoward

    We were in a similar situation. I had a Chevy S-10 trucklet (not big enough to really be a truck), and my husband had a Ford Mustang. He then got a company car for driving to/from work, and we decided to downsize by selling the S-10. However… we aren’t city dwellers. We live in the country. It is a 10 minute drive (at 55 MPH) to his work, and a 20 minute drive to any one of our neighboring towns. So riding bikes, etc. are not good options for us.

    Within 2 years of selling the trucklet, the company decided to stop allowing use of company cars (this perk had been a part of his job description, so pulling it was pretty harsh) and we ended up needing the extra transportation, but only had the one vehicle. And realized there were a ton of things (like picking up a Christmas tree, or a load of lumber) that didn’t work well in a Mustang. And then we had kids and needed more room anyway.

    I wouldn’t downsize again. The amount that we gained by selling a vehicle that was paid off was not enough to offset the freedom of the extra vehicle, and the nice feeling of driving something that was paid off anyway. Plus we would have gotten more for it as a trade-in.

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  27. Jxp

    I think for the cost of insurance and registration, having a second car is a no brainer. Keep the Honda and don’t worry about it. $2000 per year will not make a huge difference in your lifestyle, but not having a car sure could. Plus most insurance companies will give you a break if you only drive the car few mew per year.

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