Four Years as a One-Car Family

| 3/11/2015 3:11:00 PM

Tags: Carfree, Urban Homesteading, Public Transit, Erin Sheehan,

Erin SheehanFour years ago I lost nearly 2,000 pounds. That is to say, I sold my car. It’s been so long it finally feels “normal” just to have one car.

In August 2010, the university where I work started providing free access on local bus routes to all employees. I wasn’t very familiar with the bus schedule so I spent some time figuring out how I could get to work and back without driving. After about a month of thinking it over, I took my inaugural bus trip. It went just fine, and I quickly started making a habit of riding the bus.

For the first few months I still drove in once or twice a week, relying on my car to run errands or make special trips before or after work. In December 2010, I drove my car to work for the last time and have relied on the bus ever since.

After three months of seeing my car sit in the garage day after day, I finally gave it a deep cleaning and put it up on Craigslist. In a few short weeks it sold and suddenly we were a one-car family.


I can’t deny that I missed the car at first. There were times when Jim and I had to go in opposite directions and both wanted to drive. Once I took seven bus rides in a single day. Another day I walked nearly the entire 3 1/2 miles home from work in pouring cold rain. But we have gradually worked out most of the kinks, and along the way I think Jim and I have gotten a lot better at sharing.

3/19/2015 11:27:33 AM

Thank you for the comments, Amy and Ann. Not having the car has been a big money-saver for us. I way upped what I was putting in my retirement fund. Ann - I love the idea of a small electric car to get around town. Biking isn't safe here and as you point out, it's hard to transport groceries without the car.

3/12/2015 9:46:54 AM

Congraulations! Great article! I am not ready to sell my auto but I am restoring an electric 1979 Citi-car for short trips. The 5 mile bike trip to town is okay on nice weather but it is difficult to bring items home. We do what we can.

3/11/2015 8:47:27 PM

I love this post - it really makes me think about / wish we could do the same thing. Although we are not in an area where buses are readily available, I have often thought it would be freeing - as well as save serious money - to have only one car. Thanks for sharing your experience!!

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