Tips for Living as a One-Car Family

  • Chrystal Johnson is the voice behind the popular lifestyle blog, Happy Mothering. While she has a passion for green living, she adores her modern world conveniences and loves sharing all the ways she brings those two interests together. Chrystal lives in Big Bear Lake, CA with her husband and two daughters where she enjoys being surrounded by nature. When she’s not in front of her computer writing, you’ll find her relaxing by the lake or spending time with her family.

can be reached at chrystal@happymothering.com
  • Chrystal Johnson is the voice behind the popular lifestyle blog, Happy Mothering. While she has a passion for green living, she adores her modern world conveniences and loves sharing all the ways she brings those two interests together. Chrystal lives in Big Bear Lake, CA with her husband and two daughters where she enjoys being surrounded by nature. When she’s not in front of her computer writing, you’ll find her relaxing by the lake or spending time with her family.

can be reached at chrystal@happymothering.com
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Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Chrystal Johnson, the voice behind the popular lifestyle blog, Happy Mothering. While she has a passion for green living, she adores her modern world conveniences and loves sharing all the ways she brings those two interests together. Chrystal lives in Big Bear Lake, CA with her husband and two daughters where she enjoys being surrounded by nature. When she’s not in front of her computer writing, you’ll find her relaxing by the lake or spending time with her family.

My family and I lived with only one car for several years. I admit, it sounds tough to do, but isn’t impossible. And, it actually provides some nice advantages in terms of environmental impact as well as impact on your wallet.

For those concerned with the environment, there are steps we can take to reduce pollution and make a difference. Getting rid of a car can save the earth from 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Also, while you’re doing the environment a good turn, you can also save money.

A car is a big expense, even if it’s paid off. You still have hard costs like insurance payments, gas and maintenance. Cut out those expenses and you will find yourself with a nice chunk of extra cash to pay down a credit card or treat yourself to a weekend getaway. When we sold our car, I found Kelley Blue Booka great place to list it for sale.

A one-car family lifestyle is easier than you think. All you have to do is get a little creative. Here are some strategies that I found helpful.

rideshare
Ridesharing can be a great way to get the kids to school. Photo (c) Uber

 

Find New Ways to Get the Kids to School

If you have kids, you’re probably worried about if you can really get by without an extra car. I’m here to tell you that you can! Start by asking around school to see if you can join or start a carpool. If you can’t, Zum offers a ridesharing service just for kids. The drivers are heavily screened so you can feel safer allowing your child to ride without you.

Order a Ride from Your Phone

When we lived as a one-car family, there weren’t any ride sharing apps. We were still reliant on old-school taxi services. These days, rides are available at the press of a button. Most services allow you to order your own ride or share one for a lower fee. Whether you’re Team Uber or Team Lyft, ride sharing services can be your savior when you’re living as a one-car family and need to get somewhere in a pinch. If you’re worried about car seat accessibility, check if Kidmoto services your area.

Sharing is Caring When it Comes to Cars

If you prefer to drive yourself or avoid the germs found in ride sharing cars, then a car sharing service like Zipcar and Maven may be a better choice for you. Some membership plans start as low as $7 per month with hourly fees charged only when you use a vehicle.

Sign Up for a Car Subscription Service for Short Term Needs

When we had one car, we often rented a car for a week here or there when we both needed to be in different places. That isn’t necessary anymore with the introduction of car subscription services. Now you can rent a car for whatever length of time you may need it. There are both pros and cons to using a car subscription service. For the convenience and not getting locked into a long-term commitment, you do pay a premium, however. While plans for older used cars can come in under $200 per month, upmarket brands like Porsche can run upwards of $5,000 per month.

Lime
E-scooters offer great micromobility. Photo (c) Lime

 

Have Fun With Micromobility

Electric scooters and one wheels fall under the heading of micromobility. They provide a fun and affordable way to get around town for shorter trips — and often make more sense time and hassle-wise during traffic hours. Many states have started to regulatemicromobility transport options, so be sure to check your local laws before buying one or driving in the wrong area and getting a ticket!

Break Out the Bikes

If all else fails, human power rules. Living with one car can be a great excuse to break out the bikes and spend time as a family. It’s wonderful exercise too! Many cities now have bikes you can rent for short rides or bike sharing services like Zagster. If pedaling isn’t your thing, motorized bikes are an alternative.

With so many mobility options, living as a one-car family is easier than ever. And, with technology advancing, there promises to come a day when we won’t have to rely on a personal car at all if we don’t want to and live car free!

What other tips do you have for people interested in living the one car lifestyle?


About the Author

  • Chrystal Johnson is the voice behind the popular lifestyle blog, Happy Mothering. While she has a passion for green living, she adores her modern world conveniences and loves sharing all the ways she brings those two interests together. Chrystal lives in Big Bear Lake, CA with her husband and two daughters where she enjoys being surrounded by nature. When she’s not in front of her computer writing, you’ll find her relaxing by the lake or spending time with her family.

can be reached at chrystal@happymothering.com
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