Ever consider being a One-Car Family?

Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
649
Location
Detroit
Does anyone here live as a one-car family? I know it was more popular decades ago when mothers didn't work outside the home. What sort of compromises need to be made to make it acceptable for husband and wife? I can only recall one couple in my experience that accomplished it. They worked together at my workplace, so they commuted together and left together. My own parents did not abide by a one-car lifestyle, even though my mother was a stay at home mom until I went to school.

The one-car family model appeals to me because of the significant cost savings. Michigan auto-insurance rates are factually the highest in the nation. Even if I had two beater cars, the minimum liability for those cars could amount to nearly 40% the net worth of the cars every year. Ask me how I know...

A fleet of one would save about $2,000 per year on insurance, tires, and fluids. Is this really only practical if one spouse stays at home? Do you know anyone who is a family of 2+ that only has one car?
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
134
Location
ct
Ever since the pandemic started, Ive been working from home 100%. Wife still has to go into her job at least 4 days per week.

If we did not have kids, we could get away with 1 car. Wife would drive it to work and I would be working from home. Worst case if I had to go into work for some reason, the office is a bike ride away (3 miles).

But that's a big "if" regarding kids. Yesterday both kids literally needed to be in 2 places at once (sports, dentist, etc). Absolutely would not have worked with just 1 vehicle.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
20,912
Location
NH
I don't think I know of anyone... who isn't single. Growing up in the 80's we were not single car, dad had a company car for a while. I think the 90's we were--but dad worked at home.

In college I hated going car-less but it made sense. But it was only 3 miles to the grocery store, 4 to campus, so it was actually very freeing. No parking issues.

If I worked from home for the rest of my life... maybe we could cut back, but if life goes back to "normal" then nope.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
427
Location
Toronto
With a family you will ultimately need more than one car, it's inevitable. If both husband and wife work at an office you will need a car to get to work or park up at the subway/train station to catch the train. If you have kids they will grow up, get a license and another car will end up on your drive way like it or not.

Even working from home, if your spouse drives to work you're stuck at home with no car and what if there is an emergency? Two cars is the norm and a safe bet to cover for any emergencies etc. What if one car does not start in the morning and you don't have AAA/CAA? I like to reduce risks as much as possible if I can.

Besides I'd get bored driving the same machine everyday. It's like going to a buffet and only eating one item. I have a 04 corolla which is a blast to drive believe it or not. . . No ABS and ESP and the steering feels so alive. If I get bored then I hop into my Z, another totally different world right there on its own. Bored of that? Then I hop into the ML and enjoy the increase in height/view and the smooth drive over bumps and all. Choices for some things in life are good.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
3,917
Location
Richmond, VA
4 cars, 3 drivers...soon to be 5 cars for 4 drivers. I have no interest in having to negotiate with a teenager or wife to use my car.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Messages
6,679
Location
Texas Hill Country
Nope, wife has been back to work for months (School), I am going back to work in a week (IT)

When we sold her car she borrowed mine for a week. It was somewhat expensive to take Uber to get some errands ran, its actually cheaper to own a car and just drive it there yourself.

I took an uber about 5 miles into a shopping area to get some items, and to get my hair cut. It was about $15 each way including tip.
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
16,635
Location
Virginia Beach
No way. Wife works in Norfolk, totally different schedule than me. I technically work in Newark, NJ. But park in at Norfolk airport. Often at 04:30. No way she is taking me to work on a routine basis.

Son lives in Vermont and has a car. Daughter lives in Utah and has a car.

Four drivers, four different jobs in 4 states = 4 cars. Absolute minimum. Truck counts as car in this context.

One hobby car (Packard)
One fun car (Mercedes)

So, six cars.

One is not possible.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
6,903
Location
NJ
My in-laws have been a one car household for a long, long time. My MIL used to drive my FIL to work and pick him up. Then when his job moved, she'd drive him to the train station and pick him up from there.
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
641
Location
Rochester, NY
Nope. I take one kid here, she takes the other kid there... And even when the kids don't go anywhere, she goes to her places and I go to mine. And I frequently load up the Boy Scouts and leave for the weekend, she would be stuck in the house.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
1,338
Location
Alberta
I like having a bit of variety. Even though my small fleet is pretty (actually very) boring, each car is unique and drives quite different from the other. There are different things I appreciate about each car. I would quickly get bored with one car, and be shopping for something different every couple of years. As it is, I keep my cars for a long time (10 - 20 years).
 
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
134
Location
Arizona
My wife and I are a 1 car family. It's doable. Change of mindset and planning. And the occasional Lyft ride.
We used to work at the same place, so that was much easier. Since we moved, 2 different jobs, it was harder. I bought a second car, but 8 months later sold it and we are again a 1 car family. We carpooled for a while. Now she works from home so I take the vehicle to work.
When she needs to go somewhere she hires Lyft, but that is seldom.
Lots of foresight and planning.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2019
Messages
1,058
Location
New Jersey
No. I could, but I can’t. On the rare occasions I drive the Sentra the readjusting of everything is too aggravating. Can I have 90 cubic inches to myself in this crazy world? I wouldn’t sell my second car (2012 Versa) even if it didn’t run.
 
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