Trent at the Simple Dollar wrote a post about going from a two-car to a one-car household. After considering his family’s needs, he decided it would be best if they stuck with two cars for now.
Shane and I are a one-car household, and it’s working really well.
Our car gets pretty good gas mileage and only has 19,500 miles on it. The backseat is a little cramped, but I tend not to sit there :). It’ll be just the right size for toting a kid or two back there. Plus, the trunk is surprisingly roomy. Plenty of space for baby gear.
We used to have a second car: A ’91 Mazda Miata. I couldn’t successfully drive it, since I never did get the hang of the manual transmission. I never felt safe in that tiny car. In February, Shane drove it to the Park and Ride down the street, hit some ice, and slid into a cement wall. He was fine, but the car was pretty dinged up.
It needs a bit of work, and we aren’t sure if reparing it is worth it.
The car is registered and insured in his parent’s name, so we’re leaving it up to them to figure out what to do with it. It might get sent on a flatbed truck back to Bloomington. Dunno.
So, we’ve been using one car for the past four months.
Shane takes the bus to work every morning. There’s a bus stop less than a quarter of a mile from our front door, but he’d have to walk up an insanely long, steep hill and be out the door a bit earlier to reach it. There’s also a stop at the bottom of the hill (easier to get to without getting out of breath), but he’d have to head out the door earlier.
If I don’t need the car during the day, he’ll drive it to the Park and Ride lot that’s about a mile or so away. If I do want the car, I drop him off at the bus stop and pick him up in the evening.
I can just walk to it and pick it up if I ever needed to, but that hasn’t happened yet.
About a quarter mile from our apartment is a Giant Eagle grocery, two dollar stores, my doctor’s office (not OB, just regular doc), the post office, my dentist, and a bunch of fast-food chains. Pretty convenient.
Our “Walk Score” is 63, and I’m not surprised.
If something happens to our car that would require it to be in the shop for a few days, we’d tap our emergency fund and rent one. Or, we’d tough it out.
We haven’t decided what we’ll do this winter when the baby comes. It would be an incredible pain to bundle up the baby twice per day to take an otherwise 2-minute car ride to drop him off and pick him up. And, I don’t know that I’d want to be without our car, in case we really did need to make a trip somewhere.
Perhaps we’ll get Shane’s Miata fixed up so it can take him to the Park n Ride. Or maybe I can convince him to get out the door a little earlier and catch the bus at the bottom of the hill instead.
When I mentioned I was thinking about doing the cloth-diapering thing (and I still am! Even though some of you have said I’m nuts. Be nice to me.), some of you suggested moving to a different apartment with a washer/dryer in the unit.
Not only would that be more expensive per month (higher rent, higher electric bill), but we’d have to pay $770 to break our lease. There’s a chance we’d be off the bus line, making a second car more necessary (and with that comes gas, maintenance, and insurance). Moving to another apartment in this city is out of the question right now.
Even though it can be really convenient for a family to have two cars, it isn’t always necessary. I’m really glad we can make our one car work for us. Cuz $366 for six months of car insurance ain’t bad!