Could you cope as a one car family?

There was a time when the thought of having one car between Dad Muddling Through and I just would have sent me running driving for the hills. In the days when we both worked, and lived a pretty active social life that covered a 50 mile distance across Kent.

However, at some point in time, whilst we were both still working, we made the decision to join forces and share a car.

I think the decision was made easier by a set of circumstances…we bought a house close to the station (no accident) which meant that Dad Muddling Through no longer needed to drive and park every day before training it up to London. Our two separate cars were both on their way out; my beloved VW Beetle (God rest her soul) who had a penchant for breaking down and had a perma-engine warning light situ and his less than manly pale blue fiesta inherited from his Mum, which was struggling to cut it as a family car once Tigs and her travel system arrived.

And so, we all agreed, that by losing both of these two cars, we could join forces and invest together in one vehicle more fit for purpose with our ever growing family. One sad visit to we buy any car later and we had waved goodbye to Bluebell the VW and part-exchanged the Fiesta, we were the proud owners of a family cliche is there ever was one – the NIssan Quashqai.

Now this isn’t a post about our Qashquai – (that’s been done before), it’s a reflection on how far we have come, and how much I have changed in my approach or having one family car.

Silhouette of Man and Child Near White Hyundai Tucson Suv during Golden Hour

It’s worked

Now obviously, no two families are the same; we each have a unique set of circumstances. But, I can honestly say in six years of reducing to one car, it has never stopped us from doing anything. No one has ever missed out on anything, no one has had to excessively use taxi’s or public transport (more than we would have anyway). Where there is a will, there is a way, and with a bit of planing and foresight, we have managed to live life to the full, well certainly to the equivalent level of full that having an extra car may bring!

Yes sometimes there has been a bit of jiggery pokery with drop offs and pick ups, a bit of walking and begging the odd lift, but I don’t see that as a bad thing at all. No we don’t live in a remote village, and we don’t live in a big city either, I guess we represent the suburbian town folk of the UK. We can pretty much cope okay without a car if necessary – there’s a tesco express on every corner, a bus route that is direct to Bluewater via the station, and we have a pretty good support network in case of an emergency.

In fact, I have been totally anti any suggestion of getting a second ‘runaround’ unless we ever absolutely HAD to.

It makes financial sense

Running a car is a huge financial tie. The car itself, the petrol, oil, insurance, service, MOT, Tax… A recent survey stated the average running cost to be £162 per month – not including any payments for the car itself. And that doesn’t include the random months where you had to fork out for a whole set of new tyres (whoops) or our recent MOT failure joy – complete new suspension. Ouch.

By combining forces we were able to get a better car, that we can use as a family. After all, most of our lives do revolve around each other – dropping kids to clubs and parties, and visiting friends and relatives together. We pretty much come as a set these days.

In fact the thought of having to finance a second car just ‘in case’ or for the ‘nice to have’ doesn’t make much financial savvy at all right now. Nope, that’s more cash in the pot for holidays, clothes, and to invest in renovating the house.

It’s more environmentally friendly

It’s not rocket science that cars contribute to pollution; fuel burning emits carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons which not only damage the ozone layer, but also cause cancers, trigger asthma attacks and even cause birth defects. Whilst we can all do our bit by walking more, car sharing and using public transport, forcing the situation by making a bold move like reducing your household vehicles is a huge step in reducing unnecessary car use.

group of people camping on grass field

It sets a good example to the kids too, who hopefully will grow up seeing having a car each isn’t a god given right, and may perhaps encourage them to use their initiative when it comes to getting from A to B. This taxi of Mum and Dad is a one car fleet.

We don’t need two cars

Ultimately, for us, when you strip back all the noise and chaos of family life, we don’t really need a second car. With one of us commuting via public transport, and one at home, it’s a non essential luxury that we can live without.

gray Mazda SUV

I don’t always give credit to Dad Muddling Through for getting it right, but when I had my reservations six years ago, he proved me wrong! I accept that our future situation may change logistically, financially, and perhaps this won’t always be the case, but for now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What do you think, could your family live with one car? Or even no car at all?

x MMT

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Could you cope as a one car family?

  1. Lionesse Reply

    Ha! For the last 4 years, we have been a one car family. It worked well, because our children were so young and we mainly stayed home during the week. Now that big brother has an activity away from home daily, we are struggling with the scheduling and will have to get a second car soon.

  2. Home and Horizon Reply

    We got rid of our 2nd car a couple of years ago – it has helped financially for sure, but sometimes we become a little unstuck! However, I’d love to get a new car – always had my eye on the Quashqai too! Popping over from #coolmumsclub

  3. arosetintedworld Reply

    I don’t think I could ever consider losing one car! Eeek. But I must admit, it does seem a bit of a luxury sometimes, and we don’t use the 2nd car anything like as much since I gave up work a year ago! #CoolMumClub

  4. JakiJellz Reply

    We are really lucky in that my husband’s car is a company car and actually saves us money. We couldn’t cope with just one car because he works long hours and I need my car to get me and the little fella about. It’s great if others can make it work though #coolmumclub

  5. Helen - Cooking with my kids Reply

    We considered getting a second car when we moved out of London, but I’m glad we didn’t as I don’t think we could justify it (financially or otherwise.) We walk a lot which I much prefer – I think it’s good for me/the kids etc to get some exercise and fresh air. #coolmumclub

  6. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Well actually…we are a one car family…and we do cope! I walk/bus/train it a lot! Maybe start a new #coolmumclub trend here? x

  7. mummyswaisted Reply

    This is definitely something I’ve been thinking about…hubby is not so keen though….think I’ll have to work on him 🙂 #coolmumclub

  8. Rosie Doal Reply

    There are so many good reasons for having one car but it just wouldn’t work for us as we work different times of the day sometimes, I do a lot of the kids club runs and need a car when hubby is at work x #CoolMumClub

  9. anywaytostayathome Reply

    Oh I wish we could have just the one car, but living rurally like we do with a rubbish bus service it would just never work, especially as it looks like husb will be working away sooner rather than later. If the buses were better and ran more than three times a day we’d be fine, it’s frustrating. #coolmumclub

  10. Tracey Carr Reply

    I have made this suggestion to my husband many times and he always shoots me down. I have put it to him that we live within walking distance of everything so really I could manage on a day to day basis but he won’t hear of it. He is so doubtful but I know in my heart we could manage – there are days when I don’t use it at all. I think he likes the safety of knowing that it is there in case there is an emergency and we need it quickly when he is away at work. Well done for accomplishing it though – maybe someday I can talk my hub around! #coolmumclub

  11. Charlotte Stein Reply

    I agree that there are ways to make having just one car work. We have just one car and hubby always cycles and uses public transport when needed. We really want to stick to having just the one #coolmumclub

  12. Emma T Reply

    We live in the middle of nowhere with the nearest bus stop (only 2 morning and afternoon buses) so a car is essential. I have a car. The OH doesn’t have a specific car, although he’s got access to his parent’s car, plus 2 farm vehicles if needed. But he rarely goes anywhere – not without either me, or his brother etc when he’s not working. #coolmumclub

  13. nightwisprav3n Reply

    When I was married there was maybe only about a year or two in that 10 years that my ex and I had two vehicles. We’ve only really ever shared a car for the same reasons you give here. The situation didn’t really call for two cars so we got lucky that way. It does depend on the family and their situation but having only one car can work out if absolutely necessary. #CoolMumClub

  14. The Queen of Collage Reply

    We have made it work with just one car. I recall someone saying you’ll never be rich if you own a car. #coolmumclub

  15. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... Reply

    I’m not sure we could cope with just one car as Chris works a 40 minute drive away and I need the car for my job. We bought a big car for family trips and Chris has a smaller one #coolmumclub

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