What's it like to go carfree?
November 12, 2012 1:54 PM Subscribe
Have you voluntarily gone carfree? If so, tell me what it's like.
posted by crazycanuck to work & money (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Long time car owner living in Vancouver, BC. I have a six year old car with 120k km on it. I bought it new, it is paid for, and it runs just fine. Right now, it sits usually sits idle 5 days/week as I commute by bike. I drive it on weekends to do grocery shopping and for small trips, though when my husband was in hospital I did use it for mid-week trips after work. To give an idea of mileage, I have filled the gas tank 3 times since mid-July, and I have over half a tank of gas now.
I am considering going carfree. My husband has a truck for his business, so we could use that for family outings (though he doesn't want me to drive it). I am considering joining a car co-op for my own personal trips that I don't do by bicycle. I often see Modo car co-op cars parked in my neighbourhood. I figure that if my car costs me $3000/yr to insure, park, and operate, I might be able to halve my costs even figuring in car share, rental car, taxi, extra gas for truck, or transit costs for trips. The lump sum I would get from selling my car could easily send the family to Hawaii once or twice.
I am nervous about selling my car. I have owned my own car for 12 years. Going without makes me feel naked in a way, even though I dislike driving and parking in the city (I like highway driving on open roads, but I don't do that much these days). I like riding my bike, and could do multiple trips grocery shopping by bike, but in the Vancouver winter rain the prospect is less appealing. Hitching up trailers and getting kids/dogs/groceries up hill is also past my fitness levels for longer trips, such as up the hill to UBC.
My husband is opposed to selling the car. He thinks that the car is worth having in an emergency (though I am unclear in what kind of emergency all my other transport options would have been exhausted). He also thinks I will regret giving up my car for convenience. He also thinks I might regret it if my job moves or if I change my job and I need to start driving for work again. He's right that getting rid of my car would be inconvenient. I wonder if the cost savings will outweigh the inconvenience.
So, if you have sold your car in similar circumstances, please tell me what it was like. How is car sharing, is it inconvenient? Was it easy or hard to adjust to getting rid of your car? What was the best part, and what was the worst part? If you had it to do over, would you sell your car again?