One Car Family?

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I would love to hear your opinions on the subject of being a one car family.

Our new home in Charlotte is in an area that is very condusive to walking or biking to shops, activities, and the Husband’s work. Since I work from home, and the Husband’s clinic is only 1.5 miles from our place, we might be able to sell one of cars.

Thoughts:

1. We would sell my car, which is paid off. We would turn around and pay down the loan on the Husband’s car with the profits.

2. We’d save about $100 a month in car insurance, gas money, and repairs by selling a car.

3. The Husband might get a Vespa or electronic scooter as an option when he doesn’t want to walk to work.

Are you a one car family? Why? Does it work out well? Could you ever a share a vehicle?

{ 176 comments }

 

  • Allie June 6, 2010, 3:11 pm

    Hey Caitlin,
    My family is a one car family right now. My sister had to take my mom’s car after her’s bit the dust driving back from her college graduation, haha. We have a gas scooter with a 50cc engine which requires no special driver’s license. Living in the suburbs around Pittsburgh the scooter is perfect for my dad and I when we need to get from point A to point B…we even grocery shop on the scoot! I totally support a one car family lifestyle.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs June 6, 2010, 3:14 pm

    It sounds like you could have 1 car; my family have 3, but that’s cos my step dad commutes an hour, my mum commutes and drives everywhere, then there’s mine! But if you can get away with one, I say go for it!

  • Meghan@traveleatlove June 6, 2010, 3:18 pm

    We are a 1 car family. Living in Boston makes it pretty easy, and we save a ton. I walk or take the T to work, and my husband works in the suburbs and has to drive.It hasn’t really posed many problems for us. Things like big grocery hauls just wait until the car is available, but we have learned to plan really well.

  • tasha - the clean eating mama June 6, 2010, 3:20 pm

    We really have no choice but to have two cars. With a toddler and not so easy commute to anywhere makes it difficult. However, if I lived in an area that was easily accessible to either walking or biking I could and would do that all of the time. Although, I get a little “freaked out” if I feel stranded – aka without transportation.

  • Kat June 6, 2010, 3:22 pm

    I think you’d like it; not only does your situation sound very conducive to walking/biking, but my friends who went to UNC-C loved the public transportation. Besides, you can always get a beater car in a few months if you need it!

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope June 6, 2010, 3:23 pm

    I think you should do it!! it would be awesome!

  • Tracy June 6, 2010, 3:25 pm

    I just read Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” (highly recommended). He would probably suggest that you sell your hubby’s car and use the money to pay down other bills (or buy the Vespa). Even if your car is older, it doesn’t sound like you will be driving that far anyway. Plus, it’s heaven not having a car payment!! Just a thought!

    • Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN June 6, 2010, 5:13 pm

      Same here! I just got done reading that book, and I totally agree with your suggestion to sell hubby’s car, keep the “paid-off one”, and put that money toward paying off other debt, etc. πŸ˜‰ Just an idea. BTW… http://www.daveramsey.com has all books and material on sale for $10.00, very often. Good luck with the decision! πŸ™‚

      • Kristen June 6, 2010, 6:53 pm

        I agree with Tracy and Jessica! Why not save the entire car payment each month instead of a mere $100 from insurance, etc. You’d probably have left over money to put toward other loans or savings that way.

        • caitlin June 6, 2010, 8:55 pm

          Well, if we sell the Pacifica, we will get about $9,000 and we owe $8,000 on the loan. If we sell the Civic, we’ll get about $6,000 towards the Pacifica loan. We’ll be short on the Pacifica loan but we could finish paying it out of pocket (maybe). The Pacifica is bigger, nicer, and newer, and the Civic is reaching 10 years old…. So it’s kind of a toss up.

        • Tracy June 7, 2010, 8:24 am

          But look at it this way (sorry . . . I’m in my Dave Ramsey obsession mode!) If you sell the Pacifica, that’s $9,000 in your pocket. If you sell the Civic, that’s 6,000 in your pocket. The chances of you having a $3,000 repair bill, even over time, for a Honda are VERY small. Hondas last forever . . . I drove one for 15 years and it had over 200,000 miles on it. I spent very little money on repairs for it as opposed to the car I’m driving now.

        • caitlin June 7, 2010, 9:24 am

          tracy – TRUE, and civics are known to last forever. lol fo-ev-er.

  • Georgina June 6, 2010, 3:32 pm

    Hi Caitlin, I’m lucky enough to be within walking/cycling distance of work so share a car with my boyfriend. It works out pretty well.
    A vespa would be a good compromise, I have a motorbike (for lazy days) and the repair/running costs are a heck of lot less!

  • emily June 6, 2010, 3:33 pm

    We’ve been a one car family all year. I was only a part time student, but the husband is in medical school full time and we live somewhere where almost NOTHING is walking distance. When you love each other carpooling (while sometimes annoying) is just another time to spend time together. I say if you live in a walk-friendly area, go for it! Perhaps you could also buy a grocery basket for your bike?

    • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:20 pm

      i think id have to get a hybrid bike if i wanted to bike around the area…. my road bike might not work!

      • Erin June 7, 2010, 10:56 am

        I don’t know about that. In Chicago I see TONS of people using their road bikes for everything.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers June 6, 2010, 3:35 pm

    I would definitely go for it- it sounds like you’re in the perfect situation to do it, and it makes a lot of sense. My husband and I shared a car from time to time, and that’s when we were both working full time- it’s not bad, just takes a bit of coordinating! You can always make a savings account for an emergency car purchase down the road if you change your minds πŸ˜‰

  • Evan Thomas June 6, 2010, 3:35 pm

    Well, I’m not a family and I can’t drive so I’m certainly not a one car family. But since you laid out all the pros it seems like your mind is pretty made up! sounds good to me.

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine June 6, 2010, 3:36 pm

    We’re the absolute opposite of a one-car family (6 cars, 4 drivers…my dad and brother both have their “fun” cars, which I think is soooo stupid and unnecessary), but my BF’s family has 3 cars for 5 drivers and his mom loves it because she’s forced to manage her time well and get all her errands done at once. She says it’s made her much more organized!! Charlotte doesn’t get too cold, so I definitely think you guys could make do with one car…less insurance, less gas, less stress…sounds like a good idea!!

  • Ellen June 6, 2010, 3:37 pm

    We are a ZERO car family. Granted, we live in Manhattan which makes it very easy to not have a car. We sold the car about 2 years ago, and love not having one. I highly recommend down-sizing to one car – it makes you think more about what you “need” and don’t need. We have gotten very creative when grocery shopping, travelling out of town, etc.

    Can’t wait to hear what you decide!

  • Steel Springs June 6, 2010, 3:39 pm

    We’re a one car family and it works really well for us. We didn’t own a car when we lived in DC, but basically had to get one when we moved to a much less pedestrian-friendly city. I don’t think I’ve ever wished that we had two cars. Occasionally, one of us has to take an inconvenient/especially long bus ride when we having overlapping appointments, but that’s not too much of a hassle and it’s environmentally friendly! You might find yourself taking the bus even when you could drive. There’s something relaxing about not driving. We’ve talked about getting a second car when we have kids…you might want to consider when you’re planning to have children when you think about whether or not to drop to one car.

  • Becky June 6, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Selling one of your cars sounds like a completely reasonable idea. Last year, my boyfriend’s car died and we shared my care for almost six months. We don’t live near a city with mass transit and we still made it work. We were actually surprised at how manageable it was. Sometimes it took more planning, but it was totally worth it to save money for awhile. Go for it!

  • Samantha @ Mama Notes June 6, 2010, 3:40 pm

    It sounds like you could do it very easily. Especially since you work from home and your husband can ride his bike/scooter to work. You can still leave during the day if you need because you’ll have the car and he will be at work!

  • Nikole June 6, 2010, 3:40 pm

    My husband and I share a car. He travels every week for work so either we just have to worry about getting him to and from the airport. I am lucky enough that my parents live close by and help out when needed. Worse comes to worse an occasional cab fare is cheaper than a car payment and all the additional expenses. Plus it forces us to really think about driving places. I walk to the store a lot since it is only a few blocks away. I think that you guys would do well only having one car.

    Plus aren’t your in-laws going to be living near you? I am sure they could help you guys out if you ever needed a second vehicle for anything.

  • PhillyGirlRuns June 6, 2010, 3:40 pm

    We’ve been a one-car family for about four years now. We live in Philly, so it’s not unusual at all to have one (or no!) cars. I work exactly 1.17 miles from home (ran it with the Garmin one day!) and I walk. My husband either takes the train to work, whenever possible, or drives when necessary. Everything is within walking distance for us — and when you live in a city, the definition of “walking distance” really expands.

  • rebecca June 6, 2010, 3:41 pm

    It’s a great idea, we’re in NYC with no car. But I’m confused as to why you’d sell the paid off car? Sell the one with payments so that you lose a car payment as well.

    • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:21 pm

      well we could use the paid off car profits to pay down the loan on the nicer and newer car πŸ™‚

  • andrea @ a cake for a wife. June 6, 2010, 3:43 pm

    Like Ellen, we too are a ZERO car family, but we live in downtown Toronto. Does Charlotte have any kind of auto-share or ZipCar thing where you can rent cars by the hour? That’s what we use when we need to drive anywhere, they’re super convenient and relatively cheap (compared to buying or leasing). Maybe you could go down to one car and then sign up for something like that for the times you find yourself in desperate need of getting somewhere fast.

    • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:22 pm

      I just googled it and there’s no zipcar in charlotte πŸ™ sad face.

  • ida June 6, 2010, 3:43 pm

    i think it would work out fine for you two. it seems like Kath is able to bike a lot of places. it might take a bit more planning, but i think it would be totally worth the savings.

  • Kelly June 6, 2010, 3:45 pm

    You just have to consider the fact that sometimes winter weather in Charlotte can get nasty (icy/snow) and one of you may be trapped at home with only one car.

  • Whitney @ Whitinspired June 6, 2010, 3:47 pm

    I think it’s a good idea for you guys, considering you don’t have to commute. If our normal 8-5 days were like our weekends, we would only need one car too!

  • Jill June 6, 2010, 3:48 pm

    We live in a city and have no car. It is something that we have to work around, but because it saves us so much (and is environmentally responsible) it really works well for us. Friends of ours (married couple, no kids) are a one car household and love it.
    It can be done if you want to do it. I might take some planning or logistical forethought, but it can be done. I say go for it!

  • Abby June 6, 2010, 3:48 pm

    One car isn’t bad! My husband and I had only one car our first year of marriage. I worked for the college where he was a student and we only lived a few blocks from campus. When we moved, we had to buy another car.. but it was simpler (and cheaper) with only one!

  • Kayla June 6, 2010, 3:49 pm

    We’re not a one car family because that just wouldn’t work for us – the hubs and I work really conflicting schedules sometimes, there is no form of public transportation here, and nothing is within walking distance. I definitely second taken the weather there into consideration and also thinking about how that will work when you have kids.

  • Andrea June 6, 2010, 3:51 pm

    I’m another zero car family but live in Toronto. I’ve never had a car and always been reliant on transit. I do see the benefit of having 1 car, but not two – unless you both work in areas where you either can’t walk or take transit.

  • Kate June 6, 2010, 3:52 pm

    We went to a one car family a bit over a year ago. When we did this my husband and I were both able to walk to work I promptly got a different job that did not allow me to walk anymore, but it still works. Even if you have to go back to two after a bit it is nice to only worry about the one car for a while. We are in Albany NY, which is not a crazy metro area where you can truly go car-less, but we don’t regret it at all.

  • Tammy @ Defining Wellness June 6, 2010, 3:52 pm

    My in-laws are a one car family. They chose to do so to save money, and they decided, like you, that they really didn’t need a second car. It works out very well for them. My mother-in-law works from home, so she’s able to pick up my father-in-law from work. It’s really a great idea if you can swing it. Saves money, gas, better for the environment, bonding time for you and hubby. We’d do it if it didn’t mean I had to wake up every day at the crack of dawn to take my husband to the train station. πŸ™‚

  • Marissa June 6, 2010, 3:54 pm

    We are a one car family. We save a ton on gas, insurance, car payments, car repairs,etc. If I am home and my husband has the car I will bike or walk to wherever I need to go. I would say go for it!!

  • Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! June 6, 2010, 3:54 pm

    My husband and I share one car and I love it. You know, it supports both frugality and fitness which is my M.O.! I rely heavily on public transit because I live somewhat far from my 9-5 job. Husband needs his car to get to work, too. With both of you not needing a car to get to work, you can definitely manage with only one car. It will save you cash, another car to maintain, and the environment. Win-win-win!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople June 6, 2010, 3:56 pm

    I think it sounds like you could handle it.

    With where we live and how far we have to drive to get to things we definitely need both of our cars. I remember when my car was broken and I was basically trapped at the house all day while my husband was at work. Made me feel very claustrophobic! Which is weird for someone who struggles with agoraphobia at times.

  • Julie @savvyeats June 6, 2010, 3:56 pm

    Dan and I just have one car between the 2 of us, and don’t anticipate having any problems. He bikes to work most days (Kristien could get a bike for the 1.5 mile commute to work!), and we walk or bike when running 98% of our errands…totally doable if everything is close by! You could do it! πŸ™‚

  • Therese June 6, 2010, 3:58 pm

    I’m so jealous. I would love to be a one car family! We’re not in walking distance of work for either of us, but if we were I’d get rid of a car for sure. Especially with the oil spill, I’m so disgusted with how dependent we are on fossil fuels!

  • Helen June 6, 2010, 3:58 pm

    I think you make good points for not having 2 cars. If you can walk everywhere then you should definitely sell one. At the moment we only have 1 car as my boyfriend can drive but can’t afford to insure himself on my car! I drive to work and he has to trek around on public transport to work and back. I think he does want to get one so he feels independent. Maybe you should see if you both feel independent with one car, I’m sure you will. I’m all for one car families if it’s feasible for everyone.

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini June 6, 2010, 3:58 pm

    Well we are a no-car family and it works out fine. Himself doesn’t even have a driving licence!

    From what I understand it is probably easier to do in the UK (especially a bike friendly city like Cambridge) than in the US and likewise I admit it isn’t a choice that everyone is ready to make but it has been a thousand times easier to do than you’d think. When you have no other way of getting somewhere than on your bike even if it is raining, then you get on your bike! Also it means I’m cycling about 50 miles a week so not only do I not have petrol/tax/insurance costs, but I don’t have to pay for the gym either!

    Occassionally I have to get a cab, like when I have to get the cats to the vet for example but you can afford a lot of taxis on the money you save!

    I think you’ll do just fine with one car. πŸ™‚

  • Angharad June 6, 2010, 4:00 pm

    We’re a one car family: two cars are not necessary and therefore feel completely frivolous. My husband walks to work even when it’s 20 below zero out, since it’s only a fifteen minute walk. If the weather is super bad, I’ll drive him. We bike a lot (I’d recommend that to your hub over buying a much more expensive scooter — if his work is that close, a bike would be perfect!) and when there’s a clash over us both needing the car, we always find a way around it, either by giving each other rides or using our bikes! It’s totally doable if you both don’t need one for work!!

    Good luck!

  • Cyclist Kate June 6, 2010, 4:01 pm

    Definitely and easily doable. My partner and I were one-car for about two years–we only ran into trouble maybe once or twice, when both of us actually needed to use the car at the same time, but we worked it out and were none worse for the wear. When you live that close, bicycling is also great–it’s amazing how efficient bicycles are for commuting! I live 1 mile from my work and 2.5 from school, and bicycling ends up being faster than driving. I also have a basket for mid-week small grocery shops.

    One thing I loved about having just one car was that I was forced to walk and bike sometimes when I didn’t really want to–it made me slow down a bit and reevaluate my consumerism and driving (do I NEED to drive? do I NEED to go to the store?). It also helped me acquaint myself with my neighborhood very quickly–there is so much that is missed when in a car.

    • Cyclist Kate June 6, 2010, 4:03 pm

      Ooooh, yes, also, I love that on days that are totally crazy when ordinarily I wouldn’t have worked out, often I’ve gotten in 30 minutes commuting by bike or foot. Keeps me sane and happy.

  • Michele June 6, 2010, 4:01 pm

    For me, saving $100 per month would not justify not having two cars. Although it isn’t typical, weather in Charlotte does get severe both in winter and in summer. The idea of walking everywhere in a freak snow storm or a pop up thunderstorm is a lot less awful than actually doing it.

    Cutting back to one car sounds like a good idea — for the environment, for increased walking, for saving a few dollars — but in the end, the inconvenience will turn into resentment.

    • Cyclist Kate June 6, 2010, 4:06 pm

      Not necessarily! I’d actually counter that the idea of walking (or biking) in severe weather is much worse than actually doing it. You get the right clothes, suck it up, and get out there. I remember walking a mile to work in 3 feet of snow and more falling and it was totally lovely. It’s amazing to feel self sufficient and to be more in touch with what’s actually going on in the environment. Often it’s just a matter of being smart (not going out at noon in July) and prepared (having the boots and cold weather gear).

      • Michele June 6, 2010, 4:09 pm

        Don’t get me wrong… I do have very fond memories (and lots of snowy pictures I so lovingly took too) of walking to work or classes in the snow. I did like engaging with the snow VERY MUCH. I guess I just feel like that for me, now, it would make my life more inconvenient. I have to dress nicer at work now; so, I’d often have to change (just more inconvenience). Sometimes trying to simplify feels like creating more work.

        But I totally agree that proper clothing and gear makes engaging with the weather a magical experience sometimes.

        • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:23 pm

          i need to buy the husband intense rain boots!!!

  • Sarah W. June 6, 2010, 4:01 pm

    Sounds like for your situation, it makes sense to only have 1 car. I would also email the couple that runs http://www.younghouselove.com <–they live in Richmond, VA and only have 1 car – very frugal πŸ™‚ I WISH we lived in a pedestrian friendly/mostly good weather community – I'd gladly give up a car, but we live in Northern, VA and I commute 45min-1hr to Tysons and my husband commutes to Bethesda, MD which is 1hr+ commute each way.

    I love the commenter above who mentioned Dave Ramsey!!! I ditto her suggestion but it really comes down to how old your car is, what mileage it gets and repairs. Since it sounds like you wont be putting much mileage on the 1 car, I personally would sell the car that has the loan and keep your car since its paid off, there is no reason to have unnecessary car payments especially since I'm pretty sure your husband has school loans?

    p.s. you should def read dave ramsey total money makeover and/or attend Financial Peace U. very englihgtening!

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please June 6, 2010, 4:01 pm

    I think financially and environmentally, it would be great to go down to one car. I would do a little bit of research though on the public transportation in the town though. By going down to one car, you’re putting a lot of dependency on it. If it breaks down, damaged, etc. you should have back up plans in place. But I think it’s a GREAT idea!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) June 6, 2010, 4:02 pm

    I think that’d definitely be worth it! The only thing to think about is when one of you needs to go out of town, and it’d leave the other car-less.

  • Erica June 6, 2010, 4:07 pm

    We were a 1 car family for 2 years before I finally had to have my own; my husband and I just ended up having different work schedules. he works 9-5 and I am in grad school working in a lab so my hours were a lot more variable than his. It worked really well though!

  • Mica June 6, 2010, 4:07 pm

    I’m in a one-car situation, and it works out just fine. We have good public transportation, and a lot of things are within walking distance. We also use our bikes a lot to get to and from campus. I’ve thought about getting a second car, but the cost doesn’t seem worth it right now.

  • Mai June 6, 2010, 4:07 pm

    Let me preface this by saying that we live in Vancouver which has fantastic public transit.

    We are a single car family. Now it’s just me and my boyfriend so there are no kids going to eight different practices at once but it works great for us. I can walk to work and he usually takes the car unless he feels like taking transit. We mostly use the car for groceries (because who enjoys carrying bags?) and getting to the climbing gym which is across town. It’s a great way to save money and help the environment out a bit. We are lucky in that my boyfriend’s mom lives nearby and if our car breaks we can usually find a way to borrow hers, but I think you said your in-laws are nearby too? So maybe in a pinch you could take their car to the grocery store.

    I’m all for one-caring, especially if there are no kids involved. Once there are kids two cars can become necessary, particularly if one of them has soccer on one end of the city and the other gymnastics in a suburb… but till then…

  • Crystal June 6, 2010, 4:09 pm

    That’s awesome! I really wish that we could be a one car family- but unfortunately we have a very bad transit system here in RI.. I think its great- if only every household did it, what a difference it would make! For me- the extra savings a month is worth it..

  • Emmanuelle June 6, 2010, 4:09 pm

    We’re a no car family: I can’t drive and I walk to work and back every working day (40 minutes to go there, 40 minutes to go back home, easy way to squeeze in a workout and disconnect from work), Lovely Boyfriend uses public transportation. Ok we live in Brussels with everything at walking distance (which was one of the reasons we chose this apartment).
    In your case I think it would be a good idea to sell your car, it’s all a matter of organization and getting used to it!

  • Alison June 6, 2010, 4:19 pm

    We were a one car family for about 9 years and it worked just fine for us. Work/school for both me and my husband were close enough to home that walking/dropping each other off/sharing the car wasn’t a problem at all. Even after our daughter was born, we continued to be a one car family. Sometimes it took a little work to get schedules straightened out, but I’m a stay at home mom, so it wasn’t a biggie. I just walked with my baby to the store, etc. It’s a great way to save a little cash, even for a short period of time.
    We didn’t get a second car until our daughter started preschool. The thought of having to drive my husband to work before 6am every day seemed rather unappealing. Having two cars offers a great amount of freedom, but with that new found freedom, I found myself out and about much more than I should have been. And by “out and about” I mean shopping. Ahem. We saved money in more than one way by having only one car. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

  • Lauren June 6, 2010, 4:21 pm

    We’re a one car family and it works just fine for us. Like you, I work from home. My husband takes the bus most of the time, and takes the car on rare days when he needs it, so our car sits in the driveway an awful lot. It just sometimes requires a little bit of planning ahead (i.e. I need to remember to not schedule client meetings for days when he needs the car) but it’s been great for us, and we’ve saved a ton of money, especially on gas.

  • Lisa June 6, 2010, 4:22 pm

    My Husband and I live 1.8KM from work (We work in the same office)
    We have everything around us yet, still have two cars!
    We often go back and forth about it as its SO costly to have two.
    Often my car sits in the drive way and we’re out with his,
    Probably like 4 times a week. His car is much more expensive than mine ;(
    BUT, at least once a week there is a day that we both need our cars and we would be screwed if we only had 1.
    Stay with 2 if you can afford it!
    Have a Nice one….and an older one (Mine’s a 2005)

  • Dynamics June 6, 2010, 4:22 pm

    My friend is a one car family. When your hubby does not want to walk, you can drive him if you need the car or he can take the car for that day. It is all about scheduling. I vote for saving money!

  • midgetkeeper June 6, 2010, 4:22 pm

    We are a one car family, with 2 small children and we are more then fine with just one car. My Husband’s truck is paid off and we save a ton of money on gas and vehicle maintenance. Everything is so close here it doesn’t make sense for us to have another car, just to have one.

    We do plan on buying another if we leave the area but so far it works great.

  • Julie June 6, 2010, 4:26 pm

    Do it!!! My husband and I are a one car family (he works at home, I drive or take transit, so similar situation to yours). I really thought it might be hard at first, but it’s actually a nice relief. The money saved and positive environmental impacts make it worth while. I have a feeling that after you’ve adjusted (maybe a month or so), you’ll be happy that you downgraded. LOVE your blog!:)

  • Amanda @ Eat to Live, Live to Run June 6, 2010, 4:30 pm

    I think in your situation it is an excellent idea! For me it wouldn’t work, but I would love it if I lived close enough to my work to bike/walk. In case of severe weather like a previous commenter talked about … you could just let Hus take the car. I think that situation won’t happen often enough that you’d regret it.

  • anon June 6, 2010, 4:31 pm

    We are a one car family and have been for a year and a half or so. I’m a stay at home mother to our 8 month old and my husband’s office is less than 10 miles from our home in the Atlanta area. I think that it just takes more planning and organization. The cost-savings is reason enough for us but I think that if your husband’s office is in walking distance, it’s a no-brainer!

    • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:25 pm

      i think you’re right… its just about pre planning!

  • ActiveEggplant June 6, 2010, 4:31 pm

    My husband and I want to be a one car family. We are planning right now to turn in my car when the lease is up and rely on his truck full time. We aren’t in a very walkable or bikeable area but we’re going to make the sacrifice. My husband plans to ride his bike to work (13 miles one way) and I will use the truck for my 20+ mile commute. We alreaty try to bike to as many places as possible (the grocery store, the beach, etc) and will continue to do that once we’re down to one car too.
    May not be permanent though – our plan is to do it for about a year and pay down some other debt we have. Then we will probably end up with a 2nd car again – especially if we have children by then.

  • Kelly June 6, 2010, 4:31 pm

    We were a one car family for about a year and a half. It wasn’t too bad, it was actually kinda nice to not have to pay for gas and maintenance things that come along with that car. However, it did get stressful at points. For both of us. Basically how we worked it is that I dropped the husband off at work in the morning, went to work myself, and then picked him up whenever he was done. The most stressful thing about it, I would say, was when it was the middle of winter -in Wisconsin- and horrible weather and I had to leave to go pick him up from work. Not something I was ever excited about doing. So, now we have 2 cars again, and I guess I didn’t really even realize how much it was stressing us both out until the situation was different. My advice would be to really think about the pros and cons before you make a decision.

  • Sara June 6, 2010, 4:32 pm

    I’ve never owned a car. Granted, I live in a big city with good public transit, and I love it! Cars, frankly, are a bigger hassle to me than walking 30 minutes. I recommend one of those folding grocery carts (like this http://www.amazon.com/Jumbo-Folding-Shopping-Cart-Chrome/dp/B0000UZ582) so you can transport groceries. As for bad weather, just slowly build up a wardrobe of clothes for winter, rain, etc. I put aside money I would have spent per month on a car (gas, insurance, car payment) and one day that’ll be a down payment for a house. It REALLY adds up!

    • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:25 pm

      hahah those folding carts are awesome! reminds me of the little old ladies in my neighborhood. i’m going to join their ranks.

      • Sara June 6, 2010, 9:29 pm

        Yeah, I call it my granny cart! So many younger people in my neighborhood use them that it’s not embarrassing, though πŸ™‚

        • Katy(Balanced Foodie) June 7, 2010, 1:25 pm

          I live down the street from Publix, I’m so buying a granny cart! It takes as much time to park the car and walk into Publix as it does to walk and it wastes gas. Totally nanny carting it. πŸ˜‰

  • Victoria June 6, 2010, 4:39 pm

    We live in a car-dependent area, but my husband and I still manage to be a one car family and we love it. In our minds, though it might occasionally be more convenient to have two cars, we make do easily enough with one and save a lot more money this way.

  • Heather (runningwithsass.com) June 6, 2010, 4:42 pm

    since you work at home and husbands work is so close I def. think it is doable. we live out in the country and ork in opposite sides of town (I am about 20 min from work) it would never work for us, but if you can get away with it I say go for it!

  • Astrid June 6, 2010, 4:42 pm

    My boyfriend and I only have one vehicle. The reason is a bit strange, though. I do not have my driver’s license. I walk, bike, and take the bus places. It is a hard thing in Texas, but it is definitely doable!! So I think having only one vehicle is the way to go, especially with your husband’s work being so close. I have a question for you. Do you or your husband know anything about foot reflexology and if it works?

  • MLT June 6, 2010, 4:44 pm

    We’re a no-car family, been that way for over 4 years. We’ve changed cities and public transportation isn’t always ideal, but we make it work. We always make sure to live walking distance to a grocery store, etc. We are walking distance to the movies, bars, and restaurants. The biggest problem with no car is that it doesn’t allow you to easily take weekend trips, but as long as you keep one car, that seems like it would work out fine, especially with you are working at home. On days your husband doesn’t want to walk or it’s cold, you could zip down and drop him off- probably take 2 seconds. I say go for it!

  • Cara June 6, 2010, 4:44 pm

    We only have one car! It works well for us, because we’re close enough for Joe to walk to school. On the weekends, we have an easy time sharing, because Charlottesville is so small!

  • MLT June 6, 2010, 4:45 pm

    Oh, and I agree with Sara- in many ways, a car is a bigger hassle than no car. I hate driving in the city, I hate having to find parking or paying for parking at my apartment, not to mention all those other expenses. Cars are one of the only investments that do NOT appreciate, so I just hate to see that money (car payment, insurance, etc) just going out the window each month. I also recommend the rolling cart, or a basket/bags for your bike, that works great!

  • BethT June 6, 2010, 4:47 pm

    We went down to one car when we moved to SF. I love it. It takes a little planning if we both want to go somewhere that requires a car, but we always work it out. Especially if you both don’t really need it for driving to work, you should be fine. It saves so much on gas, insurance and maintenance, not to mention helping the environment.

  • Stacy R. June 6, 2010, 4:48 pm

    I think a lot of what I wanted to say has already been said.

    Although one suggestion I would make is to keep your car for the first two months that you live there and ONLY use one car! See how it works, see how much money you save in gas and evaluate how you felt after only having the 1 car. I would suggest selling the hubbys car and keeping the car that is paid off, in the long term you will be saving more money that way. Having 1 car is not difficult, it just takes some planning & organization. We plan our trips, grocery store runs, trips to the gym, work trips etc on a calendar, that is how we stay organized.

  • Mo@MommyRD June 6, 2010, 4:53 pm

    We have been a 1 car family for about a year. (I’m a SAHM) and my husband works from home. That said, we are pretty active with different activities with the baby, tennis league, gym trips, etc. It takes some pre-planning, but we’ve loved how it’s worked, and feeling like we saved a little money in the process.

  • Claire June 6, 2010, 4:54 pm

    I think it completely makes sense for you two! I couldn’t do it with my boyf since we both need our cars since we work 12-14 hour days when working and my career usually means lots of running around/shopping spur of the moment. Since you work from home, it seems very possible, especially since K is working so close too. And environmentally, amazing…

  • Colleen June 6, 2010, 4:55 pm

    YES! We’ve been a one car family for the last 3 years and it makes so much sense. I highly recommend it – so much better for the environment, and of course, more economical too. Go for it!

  • Kim June 6, 2010, 5:03 pm

    I would keep the car that is already paid off, and sell your husband’s, so you don’t have a car payment! Or just think about which car is worth more $, and sell that one – a car’s a car (especially when you’re only driving 1.5 miles to work and can walk to many of the grocery places), but if his car is worth twice yours, keep the cheaper one and use the profits to buy the scooter!

    I don’t know how expensive Vespas are, but I’ve seen the new Honda scooters and they look like the vintage classic scooter style, I expect they’re cheaper than a Vespa. OR you could do like my boyfriend and buy a $80 bike from Target and hook up a $150 motor bike kit to it – instant scooter, no license required.

    You can definitely be a one car family, and your situation is more than ideal for it – good luck! Maybe one day you’d get to the point where you were a zero car family (assuming your in-town relatives still have their cars if you had a dire emergency).

    • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:26 pm

      hahahah i love that your boyfriend did that!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances June 6, 2010, 5:04 pm

    That actually sounds like a great idea, given your situation. I guess you’d just have to decide if you would be willing to do the extra planning that having only one car might require – but it sounds like you guys work together well, so I doubt you’d have anything to worry about. And saving money is always a plus!

  • Stacy June 6, 2010, 5:09 pm

    My husband and I share one car and it’s totally fine! I LOVE the money we save. We both commute to the city for work and are able to walk to our bus stop during the week. On weekends, I’ll use the car for errands, or we’ll take it out for activities. We do a lot of stuff together, so we’ve never had to fight for the car. Also, we figure if there was ever an instance when we both needed one we could rent a car. This hasn’t happened yet πŸ™‚

  • Sarah June 6, 2010, 5:13 pm

    Caitlin,

    My husband and I were a one car family for two years and it was fine! We lived three miles from school (I was getting my masters) and 17 miles from his work. We bought a scooter, which I rode a lot (until I crashed and then refused to get back on!) and my husband rode from time to time. I also walked to school a LOT and my husband would ride his bike to work if I needed the car.

    The only time things got dicy were when we needed to be in different places in the morning and then end up at the same place at night – or if it was pouring. And sometimes I just got wet. It happens.

    Our situation changed and I needed a car again so we’re back up to two cars, but it can be done! Especially in a city. We live in Atlanta.

    Let me know if you have any questions! (Or if you all want our scooter – we’re selling it!)

    Sarah

    • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:26 pm

      hehehe email me about the scooter! seebriderun at gmail dot com

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans June 6, 2010, 5:17 pm

    I’m a no car gal so I think its totally do-able. I live in Toronto and we have a great transit system which totally helps but I find that not having a car pushes me to walk more often and further. Win!

  • Allie June 6, 2010, 5:22 pm

    i definitely advocate being a one car family. when i was married we were a one car couple always. it was tough, but we made it work by walking and coordinating our schedules. we talked about having two, but it always seemed superflous to have one car per person. that said, i have always lived in or near pretty good transit. right now i don’t have a car and i love it! honestly, i don’t know when i will get one. it is not a financial decision, but i can walk to work and the store, and i can take public transit to where i need to go. or a cab. i feel good that i am making a smaller impact on the environment by not having a car if i don’t need one right now.

  • Nancy June 6, 2010, 5:24 pm

    Hey–
    Not to be negative, but unless you have to pay to park the cars (like in NYC, where your garage is blocks/miles from your home!), I’d keep both. That said, you don’t have to USE them both. But there will be occasions where you will be glad you have two, and 100/mo. isn’t really that much. A walkabout town is great, and walk walk walk all you can and want to, but give yourselves some time in the new place before you think about becoming a one-car family. See how it all goes; lots of changes are good but don’t do too much too soon. Permanently getting rid of a car is more than the inconvenience of having one car in the shop…
    That’s all. Congrats on successful househunting.

    • Becky June 6, 2010, 6:23 pm

      I’m really surprised by the few comments that said $100 per month isn’t that much! That’s $1200 a year that they could put into savings, use to take a trip, etc. That’s a lot of money to a lot of people, and it’s nothing to sneeze at.

      We are a no car family. We live in London and almost never want a car. Someone above mentioned Zip car and I concur that you should see if a similar program exists in Charlotte.

      I really recommend downsizing to one car if you guys feel it is achievable. If nothing else, this is a way of minimizing your dependence on oil and companies like BP. Given the environmental disaster in the Gulf, now is a great time to reassess your need for two cars.

      • Nancy June 6, 2010, 8:41 pm

        True. 1200 bucks is a lot when you think of it in a big chunk. Lived in London for awhile, and didn’t ever need a car. Lived in NYC for awhile and never needed a car,either. Both cities very walkable. But real life is real life, and no longer in the cities, the need exists for cars. Most small American towns or even smaller cities don’t have the good transport of Europe or even DC or NYC. I love my husband, and we carpool when we can, but if I want to go away for a weekend or have appointments, etc, having my own car makes it so I don’t have to schedule my comings and goings with anyone. I like that independence, and if you can afford it, then it’s a good thng. I firmly believe marriage goes better with two bathrooms and two cars…it’s not really green, but I economize in other ways.

        • caitlin June 6, 2010, 9:27 pm

          I agree… $1200 is a lot. Plus, if we can use the profits from the first car to pay off the car payment on the second car, it’s REALLY about $7200.

    • Carolyn June 6, 2010, 11:08 pm

      I agree that while $100 a month does not sound like a huge amount it is a significant chunk for most people over 1 year. And well many would say to keep the car that is paid off, I would say to sell the Honda because at 10 years old, it is going to start needing some work in the next few years so in the long run you are probably better off putting the money from that sale towards the newer vehicle and aim to pay that off sooner by using the additional savings each month. Just my two cents – good luck!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now June 6, 2010, 5:26 pm

    Right now I am a zero car family, but I really don’t miss having a car as much as I thought we would. There are days when it stinks (ahem, grocery shopping) but most other days having a bike is just fine. I am sure you would be fine with 1 car.

  • heidi June 6, 2010, 5:32 pm

    we’re a one car family in CT right now – it’s not that bad. If Hubs isn’t around I can walk or take the bus to the train station and train it to work in greenwich and then walk to work from the train station. It’s not too bad and I don’t mind the walk anyhow (since i LOATHE driving). If you can swing it, the savings are definitely worth it πŸ™‚

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 6, 2010, 5:35 pm

    We couldn’t do that where we live but I think that could work very well for you!! It would save a LOT of money! Especially if gas prices continue to rise..

  • Joey June 6, 2010, 5:36 pm

    We did it for a while, & frankly we could do it again but we don’t because of convenience. I think that if you can do it, you should go for it! πŸ™‚

  • Amber June 6, 2010, 5:48 pm

    My boyfriend and I have lived together and had two vehicles and we’ve also lived together with just one. It’s a tough call…. It’s REALLY nice having two vehicles because then you don’t have to work around the other persons schedule if you want to go somewhere.

    You might want to consider just un-insuring the paid-off car for the first month or two that you are in Charlotte and see how it goes. Then if it works out OK you can sell it and if not you will still have the second car. Also, if you take the insurance off you won’t be tempted to drive it and you can REALLY figure out what it would be like to only have one car!

  • Chrissy (The New Me) June 6, 2010, 5:49 pm

    My boyfriend and I are a one car family. We live a mile from my job so I bike just about every day. We actually bike and walk pretty much everywhere, and it’s not a problem at all. I don’t know what we’d do with a second car if we had one! Plus we’re saving money, helping the earth, and burning calories by getting around on our two feet/wheels (with one car for grocery shopping, long trips, and taking the dog places). I highly recommend it!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie June 6, 2010, 5:50 pm

    Being a one car family is great.You’d be surprised how many stresses a car supplies with all the repairs, gas, insurance and what not it takes to keep them going. My husband and I share a car and he has a little 49cc scooter since he works about two miles from our house.

    I say, get a little scooter and go for it!

  • Tina June 6, 2010, 5:52 pm

    We just went from a 3 car to a 2 car family. My husband commutes 240 miles round trip 10-12 days a month and we have two kids. We sold my car that was a fabulous family car since the kids are getting a little bigger. We have the truck for pulling crap and for me to take the kids places when I need to and he has the commuter car now. But we really don’t use the truck much when the hubby isn’t home. The kids and I would much rather ride our bikes or plan to go to the South Side of town on a day that we need to get all of our errands done at once. Saves on gas.

  • kalin (eating machine) June 6, 2010, 5:54 pm

    we’re a one car family, and it’s great. but before you give up the car, i’d commit to not driving one of your cars for a week or two (At the new place) and making sure it works for you guys… and make sure you have back up plans in place for if your only car were to break down (i’m in portland, so we have a zipcar membership as our just in case)

  • Beth June 6, 2010, 5:55 pm

    Do it!! We are a one-car family. We live in the suburbs of Chicago. I work in the loop and my fiance drives to work and he drops me off at the train into work on his way. You’ll find plenty of ways to get around in a city without a car. TOTALLY not necessary, especially if you work from home.

  • Kellie June 6, 2010, 5:55 pm

    I think it would work for you two. We are one car right now due to one being broken, and it is hard. Luckily my husband has a work truck, but in our area, two cars are needed. I would say as long as you think you can get by, why not? Just remember that your car is paid off, so if you decide it doesn’t work, you have to buy a new car again.

  • ari June 6, 2010, 5:55 pm

    i think that’s a great idea, as long as you have another form of transportation. definitely get a vespa or even just a bike.

  • Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit June 6, 2010, 5:55 pm

    We’re a two car family but it would be nice to just have the financial responsibility of just one. Unfortunately we don’t have good public transit so it wouldn’t work for us. It sounds like it would work for you two though!

  • Whitney June 6, 2010, 6:01 pm

    We are a one car family. It works well. I drive to work because for my job I am out at meetings, driving around, work late nights, etc. If there is a time I don’t have a meeting outside the office(which isn’t often, ha!), my guy takes the car. He takes public transit to work which is perfect for him. On the weekends/off time, we just share the car. It is technically “mine” though–your husband shouldn’t have to worry about snow in the south which is nice! Hopefully your community has good public transit.

  • heather June 6, 2010, 6:01 pm

    Your husband could totally bike to work! 1.5 miles is nothing plus he gets exercise.

  • marzipan June 6, 2010, 6:03 pm

    we share a car – which CAN be trying at times, but with patience and a little finagling, totally doable. good luck!

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life June 6, 2010, 6:05 pm

    We were a one car family for five years, but just recently bought a second car. I live a mile from my work, but I have to dress up so walking/biking got a bit annoying when it was really hot, really cold, snowy or rainy. (I live in the Midwest, so we get ALL kinds of weather!) The public transportation here is not very good, so when my fiance started working 24 hour shifts in another city (she’s a firefighter) I really felt trapped at home. It was hard to run errands or meet up with friends. I got sick of asking for rides all of the time. I also felt uneasy babysitting my nephews without having a car, in case a trip to the emergency room was needed.

    That being said, the money savings was great, and I loved feeling like my life choices were good for the environment. It also strengthened our relationship – we had to learn how to compromise and think about each other when making plans. We were able to save up some money and get our other car paid off. But getting that second car was like giving me my freedom back!

  • Lauren June 6, 2010, 6:05 pm

    Sharing a car DEFINITELY works in areas that are walkable/bike-able and have public transportation. I share a car with my fiance is Colorado where we have the Denver bus system and amazing greenways πŸ™‚

    I say do it! Save some mula!

  • Kylie June 6, 2010, 6:08 pm

    We are a one car family. Luckily we live near fantastic public transport, plus we both have our bikes and we each work less than 10kms from home so it is an easy ride in. It will save you SO much money and you will wonder why you ever needed 2 cars.

  • Steph June 6, 2010, 6:10 pm

    We live just outside DC in Arlington, VA. We only have on spot in the garage of our condo building, so I got rid of my car. The public transportation is really good around here, but I always bike everywhere when the weather is cooperating. My place of work is 4.5 miles away and I get there in under 30 minutes, quicker than metro. Only having one car says a ton of money (insurance, maintenance, parking….). He commutes to work most days, but in a pinch if I need a car and I use ZipCar.

  • Hangry Pants June 6, 2010, 6:13 pm

    Do it! When I worked in NYC, but lived in NJ we had one car. I would sell mine in a second if I knew where I would be working next year.

  • Heather June 6, 2010, 6:13 pm

    Well, I am not married nor am I in a relationship anymore, but I used to live in Chicago with my boyfriend. When we moved, I had a car but he didn’t. We lived within walking distance of the grocery store and shopping centers, so that was never a problem unless we had to go shopping for a huge haul or super heavy things (laundry detergent, lots of canned/jarred items, etc.) and I think when you live within walking distance to places like that, you tend to stroll every few days to pick up a few items. If you are taking your bike with you, you can always bike on the Greenway to certain places if he’s using the car, or vice versa. I think living in a commuter-friendly city is definitely beneficial on that front. And if there are moments when you both need a car, one can always rent one which would still be cheaper than gas, insurance, etc. Plus, it’s a little more eco-friendly, if you care about that sort of thing. To me, it seems as if the benefits far outweigh the cons. Good luck with whatever y’all decide!

  • Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) June 6, 2010, 6:18 pm

    We have 2 cars, but really only drive one and we live in the middle of nowhere. So I think in an area where work and shops are close, a one car family makes a lot of sense! πŸ™‚

    Jenn

  • Sana June 6, 2010, 6:28 pm

    We are actually a 1 car family all 5 of us. So anything is possible πŸ™‚

  • Amanda (modernation) June 6, 2010, 6:33 pm

    We are a 1.5 car household. 95% of the time we share my car, but have Aaron truck in case our schedules don’t work out and he needs to take the truck. Before we moved to Northern California we were a true one car household since Aaron could walk or bike to work. Now he can’t do that. I would totally recommend it!

  • devon June 6, 2010, 6:33 pm

    Considering Brandon and I drive in completely opposite directions for work (me – 30 miles north, him 70 miles south), there’s no way we could be a 1 car family. When we lived in Melbourne though, we could’ve done it since we worked a mile from each other.

  • Katheryn June 6, 2010, 6:34 pm

    Sounds like a great idea to me. At one time we went without any car. Public transportation was so great where we lived that we were able to go without a car for 2 years. After that we bought a car and stayed a one car family for three years, and that was with a child. Hubby lived walking distance to work, so it was great! We were able to save loads of money.

  • Liz June 6, 2010, 6:39 pm

    I am a one car family. I ride my bike most places and 99% of the time it works great for us. There are a few cases when both of us need the car, but we can usually figure out a way around it. I have the metro as a back up option – but we can’t bring our dog on it is the only problem! I definitely think it could work for you guys. Until you have kids probably πŸ™‚

  • Camille June 6, 2010, 6:53 pm

    That actually sounds like it will work out well for you!
    Unfortunately we can’t be a one car family. With my going to school full time and my boyfriend working full time, it just doesn’t make sense for us!

  • Kristen June 6, 2010, 6:54 pm

    My husband and I had one car for about a year. Overall, it was great to save some money, but definitely got frustrating at times…Especially when that one car breaks down. It takes quite a bit of planning as well, and there are times when I found myself stuck at home and kind of annoyed. Despite all this, I think we’d do it again!

  • Danielle June 6, 2010, 6:56 pm

    We are a one car with vespa family. It has worked well for us for years. It takes a little coordination, but given how close you are to his office, you should be fine. We save tons of money this way, and after a little while, I bet you don’t even miss the second car!

  • Kelly June 6, 2010, 7:06 pm

    I live in the suburbs, so we probably couldn’t do it- but in your situation I definitely think I’d be up for it. Would your husband consider biking to work?

    Also, why not sell the car that has a loan on it? Then you get rid of that…right? That will save you the car payment every month!

  • Nicole Y. @ An Adventurous life June 6, 2010, 7:08 pm

    Right now we’re a 2 car family, but about to go down to a 1 car or no car when we move in a few months. We’re planning on moving to a major city and actually very excited about the idea of getting rid of our car/cars.

    As long as your community and commute time & distance make it possible to be a 1 car family, and your situation sounds like it does, it’s a great option. You save money, get more exercise, do something great for the planet.. the list goes on.

    I do agree that any savings is a positive, but to me I agree with some of the other comments – it does appear that selling the car with payments would be the better option. Now we don’t know the specifics of the other car, as far as how much is still owed vs. value of the car now, but if that’s doable it will definitely save much more money than selling the car that you actually own. πŸ™‚

    Good luck, can’t wait to find out what you guys choose!

  • Katherine June 6, 2010, 7:13 pm

    I grew up with our family having three cars (two parents then eventually my brother, sister and I rotated sharing a car) and now we have five total (my two parents and my sister and I all drive these; my brother bought his own across the globe).

    I walk to all my classes and would rather not have a car anyway! I HATE driving

  • Kristina June 6, 2010, 7:31 pm

    We’re a one car family and I *love* it! I live 2 blocks from where I work and, at the moment, my partner works from home. If that were to change, we would have to really discuss if we could continue being a one-car family. It’s great though – I’m not the most eco-friendly person, but we do all right, and limiting ourselves to one car is really great!

  • Wei-Wei June 6, 2010, 7:52 pm

    My family has only one car, but we hardly ever use our car unless on weekends for outings and stuff. We’re a public transport kinda family (I don’t even know why we bought the car in the first place, besides to satisfy my dad’s lifelong car cravings).

    πŸ™‚ Good luck with your decision! I think you should sell it, especially if you’re working from home and the Husband’s clinic is so close! (The Vespa/electric scooter would be nice, though.)

    Wei-Wei

  • Joanne June 6, 2010, 7:53 pm

    We could never work with one car. My husband works from home and my office is 15 minutes away. We are somewhat extravagent in that we have 3 cars. Each car serves a different purpose. We could make do with two but would be at each others throats if we had to share a car.

    Congrats on the new duplex. It sounds absolutely perfect.

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) June 6, 2010, 8:00 pm

    Andy and I are a two car family but I will most likely sell my car when I get a job closer to home. It’s better for the environment, plus I would start walking a lot more. I think I’d look into getting a bike as well. I’m interested in seeing what you decide.

  • Taysan (The Irritable Eater) June 6, 2010, 8:02 pm

    We’re a zero car family and I couldn’t be happier. I think cars are complete money pits. It’s all about what you want to make a priority in your life. We live in a big city with lots of public transportation, but we primarily ride our bikes. We also have a Zipcar membership for when we want to go to out of the city for a day, or are expecting a big grocery haul. It sounds like you could totally live without the second car — go for it!

  • Jen June 6, 2010, 8:03 pm

    We’re a one car family, but I don’t even have a driver’s license so that’s a no brainer πŸ™‚ I am a 5 minute bus ride/20 minute walk from work, and we have plenty of options as far as grocery stores, etc, within a few minutes walk from home. It would be so costly just for me to get my license, and then to insure me as a driver on our current car – nevermind that I’d probably never get to drive it as my husband works longer & more hours than I do. I grew up in a one car family and have never really seen the need for two cars for two adults…I can understand it if both have to commute to work, but it sounds like you’re moving to a city that will make having one car very convenient.

  • Samantha June 6, 2010, 8:10 pm

    We aren’t right now but have been. The husband is deployed so often that it isn’t too difficult to do. He often cycles the few miles to the pier when home if we’re only 1 car. I think it’s great, especially given all the flexibility of your new setting. The money saved and green-ness is awesome!

  • Gwen June 6, 2010, 8:10 pm

    My man asked if I thought we could be a one car family and it totally freaked me out. It sounds like your new digs would be easy to make it work. I would suggest maybe move up and park one car for a while and see if you are able to survive without it. If so then sell it!

  • Rachel June 6, 2010, 8:12 pm

    I grew up in a one car family for a long, long time. Mum worked close so could walk/bike. Dad took it to work. I still made all my soccer and dance practices and time to play with friends πŸ˜‰ I definitely think that as a society we’re so reliant on our cars, if you think about it and plan ahead – a one car family is actually a very smart choice!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) June 6, 2010, 8:18 pm

    we’re not in a place where we can walk everywhere, but my hubby and i do just about everything together, including work. it would be inconvenient at times, but we could totally do the one-car thing. i would say go for, especially since you guys will likely be walking everywhere anyway!

  • Colleen June 6, 2010, 8:33 pm

    I can totally understand not wanting to sell the car with the car payment – it’s probably a nicer car with more room and one that you can see yourself driving babies around in. I would say that the days your husband wanted to drive would probably be the same days you wouldn’t want to get out in the nasty weather, so you really wouldn’t be inconveniencing each other. In the case that you needed the car, you could always drive him to work and then run whatever errands you needed to. πŸ™‚

  • Emily June 6, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Hey! Not a one car family, but we do have more people than we do cars and it works out okay. You will fall into a routine and it will seem like no biggie. Sure, there will be random days when you wish you had your own car, but that’s inevitable!

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats June 6, 2010, 8:56 pm

    definitely sounds doable, esp if his work is so close! each person in my fam has a car and I just took on a job last month as a traveling Sales Rep so I definitely need one. Make a pros and cons list!

  • Jess June 6, 2010, 9:00 pm

    A Vespa or Honda is a great way to save money, look cool (especially since Charlotte has great weather!), and still have space to store things and bring things along to work or errands.

    Moreover, you’ll be supporting a healthier environment and a better lifestyle for yourselves! One car will still allow you to pick up groceries, make trips, and see friends and family without a problem.

  • Sarah June 6, 2010, 9:00 pm

    We’re a one-car family. My husband works three blocks away, and my job is a 5-10 minute drive from home. He usually drops me off at work and then goes about his day, or I will take the car if he doesn’t need it. (He will often walk or ride his bike.) It works for us. When our second car died, we just decided to stick with one, and I’m glad we did- we save money, we work as a team to make the car situation run smoothly, and 2 cars just isn’t necessary for us.

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething June 6, 2010, 9:11 pm

    You are speaking to me girl! Infact I wrote a post about this not too long ago. We just got rid of hubbys car and we love it! I walk or ride every where and never miss the car. Pn the contrary I dread getting and having to drive. You will love it!

  • bee June 6, 2010, 9:12 pm

    Go for the single car – and never look back! We decided to try living with just one car when we got married – 4 years later and we’ve never looked back! So much money saved on insurance, gas, and car payments – it just makes sense. Carpool when needed and walk as much as possible – consider it the green choice!! Good luck with the move and the car decision! πŸ˜‰

  • Sara June 6, 2010, 9:17 pm

    We’ve always been a one car family – when we lived in the and now living in the subarbs. We chose our house b/c my hubbie can walk to the train to commute into the city and I use the car to drive to work. I guess b/c we’ve always had 1 car we don’t even think twice about it. Even with it we walk and bike most places even in the Winter – which I guess you wouldn’t need to worry about! Good Luck!

  • Ashley June 6, 2010, 9:59 pm

    We’re about to go down to 1 car in a few days. The lease is up on my car and we’re still both jobless, so we’re not about to go leasing another car! We live in Denver, so getting around hasn’t been too big of a problem. Chris uses his bike a lot and once we finally get jobs we’ll bike and use public transportation as much as possible. Good luck!! =)

  • Sharon June 6, 2010, 10:03 pm

    I think you should consider selling the Honda. Chances are you might be taking more road trips to visit old friends in Florida and will need a more reliable car. Also at 10 years old you will likely be looking at more repair costs or having to replace the Honda alot sooner than you will the Pacifica. I wish this was an issue we had to deal with here in Houston. Good luck on your decision making!

  • Cyndi June 6, 2010, 10:26 pm

    I think you should definitely go for it. I’m jealous; I wish we could be a one-car family. Sadly, with our current jobs, we must have two because we work in completely opposite directions. I work 20 miles away traveling east and north from our home while my fiance works 30 miles away traveling west and south from our home πŸ™

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) June 6, 2010, 11:07 pm

    The hubby and I were a 1 car family for the first 5 years of our marriage. We only bought a second car last year when I got a job across the city from his job, and because our other car was paid off. We didn’t have any problems with being a 1 car family … it was great!! I still miss our drive together in the morning when he would drive me to work, or I would drive him πŸ™‚

  • Allie June 7, 2010, 1:23 am

    We’re a one-car family! We live in Los Angeles, and everyone thought we were crazy to only have one car here, but it’s actually really easy! I drive to work, but my husband either rides his bike for his 3.7 mile commute, or takes the bus if he wants to read. The bus stop is only a 5 minute walk away, but in the mornings I’ll drop him off at the bus stop on my way to work, so it’s even easier. On the weekends we pretty much hang out together anyway.

  • Wendy June 7, 2010, 1:24 am

    We have one car and a Vespa. My husband works about 5 miles from home so he rides the Vespa and I take the car. It works out really well and we don’t miss having a second car at all. We save so much on gas and insurance too and the Vespa actually comes in handy for local events where the car parking is super crowded (like a street fair).

  • Caz June 7, 2010, 2:53 am

    We’re a one car family and love it! No need for a second car with public transit everywhere. I either tram or bike to work because it’s faster and cheaper for me, and the boyf drives because it’s faster and cheaper for him. We coordinate our evening and weekend plans if required but it’s VERY rare that we both need the car to go separate directions. If so we’ll carpool with a friend which is better anyway.

  • Marieke June 7, 2010, 6:19 am

    We simply don’t have money to have 2 cars. The UK is very expensive for gas, and the extra insurance and road tax would be too much. Me and my husband have scooters (Vespas) as well, which works out ok for commuting to work and it’s much cheaper. But if I would work nearby I would hardly ever use any transport, I used to walk to work and it was about 25 mins away, it was great!

  • Nicki June 7, 2010, 6:45 am

    How I missed this is beyond me! We are a multi-car family but all the vehicles belong to my children. I could easily live without a vehicle 90% of the time. That other 10% I borrow one of theirs.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday June 7, 2010, 8:31 am

    I think it’s great that you decided on being a one-car house. I would have liked to be able to do the same but the public transit in my town is horrible and my husband is a supply teacher so he never knows where he will be each day.

  • Erika June 7, 2010, 9:09 am

    You can definitely manage on one car. I say go for it! We are a ZERO car family right now. My husband bikes to work and I walk about 1.5 miles. The money we save on insurance, gas, parking (we live in Boston), plus the effort of taking care of a car makes it worth it to us. And we get exercise as we commute!

  • Shannon June 7, 2010, 9:25 am

    Sorry I’m late to the discussion, but I wanted to tell you that we are a one-care family, and if we can do it with two small children and differing preschool/kindergarten schedules, anyone can! My husband bikes to work (2 miles each way)–even in winter (and we live in Minnesota. yes, he bikes in ice, snow, and below zero temps). That means I usually have the car, which I need, because I have to drive my youngest to preschool and pick my oldest up from kindergarten also on two of the days of the week. However, if it is pouring rain, a snowstorm, etc., or my husband NEEDS our car to get to an off-site meeting or another reason, I go without (if it’s not a school day) or the girls and I drive him to the office and pick him up (if I need the car for school runs, a pediatrician appointment, etc.). This can get hectic and crazy, but since I am a full-time stay-at-home mom, we really cannot afford two car payments, insurance premiums, etc.

    It can get really time consuming at times, because, for example, if he takes the girls to the park on Saturday, I cannot go grocery shopping or run errands until they get home. We cannot split up and run multiple errands with the kids at the same time. It makes our lives very different from most families, but we have never had more than one car (previously we lived in 2 large cities, so used public transportation on a regular basis), so we never got used to having two, and now cannot afford to upgrade.

    But I am actually glad, despite the many inconveniences. I am proud of us for being so environmentally responsible; showing our daughters our values about the earth, money, and consumption; and saving our family money. We live in an affluent college town and it is unheard of to only own one vehicle, but we have made it work and are very happy!

    • caitlin June 7, 2010, 9:36 am

      i love this comment πŸ™‚

  • Nicci@NiftyEats June 7, 2010, 9:33 am

    Sounds like down sizing to one car would work for yall. I’d love to downsize to one car and save money on gas, insurance and repairs when they pop up. Sounds like a good plan.

  • RhodeyGirl June 7, 2010, 10:09 am

    We are a one car family right now (my dad uses my car in RI). It is perfectly fine and easy as long as you:

    1. have other options for transportation besides walking and
    2. find stores/gym/market etc that don’t require a car to visit

    I have a bike so when I need to go into Center City (1 mile away) I don’t have to spend 15 minutes walking. PB takes a shuttle into work (1.5 miles) and walks home unless it is pouring or snowing hard.

    One mistake- we belong to a gym that is far away. This doesn’t work very well since the days I would want to go to the gym for a class etc are the same days and times that PB needs the car to travel for work or other things. Weekends apart are a pain in the butt for this reason, but most people are willing to pick one of us up, or the other one drops the person off. Saturday I brought PB to his friend’s house and then continued on to the gym. It requires a bit of extra planning, but nothing that can’t be handled for people like us. Also, when my membership is up in July I will be joining a gym I can bike to.

    Our gas bills have gone down tremendously since moving to the city and sharing a car, and we feel like we are helping the environment too.

    Side note: I used to go to the market one time a week for a BIG market shop, but now since I walk or ride my bike there I go 2 or 3 times. When I ride my bike I have a nice big backpack and when I walk I have a rolling cart thing. It is actually really nice to go to the market a few times and enjoy the fresh weather- even when it is raining.

    Good luck, and feel free to email me with any specific questions or concerns. We have it all figured out now!

  • Daisy June 7, 2010, 11:11 am

    This post is right up my alley. I think it is a great idea to become a one car family. If you can believe it, my live ni bf and I are a NO CAR family. that’s right. we live in the city and rely 100% on public transportation and friends and family to drive us to events outside of the city. it works well. Plus, it does feel like we are doing our part to be green! Good luck with your descision!!

  • JavaChick June 7, 2010, 11:36 am

    My husband and I work the same hours in the same part of town, so for the most part sharing a car is not a problem. Every now and then a situation will come up where it would be nice to have a second car, but honestly it doesn’t happen often enough to make it worth it.

  • Laura June 7, 2010, 1:12 pm

    My husband and I share 1 car. We live in a town right outside of a city, so there is still public transportation when we need it. However, it’s hardly ever an issue!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) June 7, 2010, 1:52 pm

    We are a one car family. We work in the same office and just let each other know of appointments we have and meetings. Only a few times in the last 2 years has it been a problem and then we just get a cab or take the bus. It saves tons of money.

  • amber June 7, 2010, 3:22 pm

    My boyfriend and I are a one car family and we have never had a problem! He works across the street and I work 15 minutes(drive) away. We live a block from downtown so we walk everywhere except the grocery store and weekend outings. He actually got rid of his car after his lease was up figuring he would go get one the next weekend or so – one week turned into a year and we haven’t needed two cars once!

    • amber June 7, 2010, 3:28 pm

      I have been reading through the comments and I totally forgot about the weather. I live in Santa Barbara and the only extreme weather we get is rain about 3 times a year…Maybe see how you do the first winter there with two cars and decide if you can swing it. Walking in the snow is no bueno unless you’re 5!

  • Natalie (The Sweets Life) June 7, 2010, 3:51 pm

    I’m way behind on blog reading but I wanted to answer this. My husband and I got married one and a half years ago and have only had 1 car the entire time. We live in St. Louis which isn’t necessarily the most walkable city (we’re actually about 10 min outside the city), but we’ve managed just fine. It helps that we work for the same company (though our buildings are 10 min apart) so we can carpool to work. That’s not to say it’s not without frustration at times. He goes to class 2 nights a week so I’m often left carless. However, with a little bit of planning and flexibility (and bike riding!) we’ve made it work just fine. Some people think we’re crazy but we love saving the money. Our car is paid off so we only have to pay for car and insurance for 1 car. Would hate to add a car payment to that just to have a second car. We’ll hold off as long as we can!

  • Caroline June 10, 2010, 9:59 am

    Forgive the late input…
    My hubs and I have only one car which works fine for us. We live in a college town so bicycling or public transit are easy options. He recently got a motorcycle, mostly for fun, but I can’t ride public transit to work (have to be there before it starts running) so he’d get stuck waiting on the bus or biking while I have the car on campus.
    It works except for when it rains! If you’re working from home that might not be an issue though….

  • the veg meg December 7, 2010, 9:49 am

    we are a one-car family. hub’s office is about 20 minutes (more with traffic) away from my school (i also work on campus), so it can be really tricky and annoying sometimes because there are days when he needs to be able to drive around during the work day. sometimes i get dropped off on campus at 8am and picked up at 6pm or later. some days i am able to get friends to give me rides, and somedays his brother lets him borrow his car. it’s tricky, but i’m not sure we’d change it if we could right now! we get almost an hour more of “together” time most days because of this!

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