We are considering becoming a 1-car family. I say “family” even though it is just S and I now. We expect kids to come along in the not too distant future so we have to take little ones into consideration when discussing a decision like this.
Our “better” car is 13 years old – a 1997 Honda Accord with 185k miles. Our other car is a 1996 Toyota Camry with 135k miles. I am somewhat attached to the Accord since it was mine before marriage. Lately though, S has pointed out to me some signs that it is just getting old. S had the Camry and overall it is a good car, just needs a little TLC – like installing the replacement door handles that have sat on my shelf for over a year.
I had thought lately about what life would look like with only one car between the two of us. Now, the main reason that I was thinking this could work for us is because I work from home, and S only works three days/week. I rarely go anywhere during the day unless I am meeting friends for coffee/breakfast. All that to say, there are very few times where we are both out of the house separately.
For example, a friend in Waco works from home and his wife stays at home with their 4 kids. They only use one car because typically one of them has to stay at home with the kids. I’m sure there are times when she could take the kids and he would need to leave the house also, but I think this is rare and it can be planned for.
So I mentioned the idea to S on the way home one afternoon. To be honest, I tried to make it sound like a loose thought that was more of a passing one, than one I had actually put some valuable thought into. She took to the idea more than I expected. We have since been throwing around the idea and need to get some things in order so that we may list our cars on Craigslist – like tracking down titles and getting cars washed.
Here is the financial breakdown of what we’re thinking:
$3,500 – Accord
$2,500 – Camry
$1,000 – money sitting aside from stuff we sold
$3,000-ish – money we have saved up that we’d purposed for a car, just haven’t been sure how to take action
Approx $10,000 total. Now, since our lifestyle permits this flexibility of only having one car, we both believe that we could be happier with one solid car than 2 slightly solid cards. I feel quite confident that we could get a really good card that meets our needs for between $9k and 10k – like maybe a Prius 🙂 Oh, and we do not plan to go into debt for an updated car, or even for a 2nd car. It is not an option, if you were wondering.
In the event that I were to get a different job where I had to drive to an office, we would definitely need a 2nd car, but we have time to save for that. I don’t know what that savings plan would look like at this point, but I feel confident that it wouldn’t be anytime soon.
A few other hurdles that come to mind:
- Less flexibility
- Plan ahead when we are scheduled to be somewhere at conflicting times
- Save on car insurance – put the money towards 2nd car
- Save on (some) gas
- Opportunity to strengthen marriage through communication and selflessness
What are your thoughts on being a 1-car family? Would your lifestyle allow it?