I’ve mentioned a few times that I was experimenting with living car free. I held on to my car because I needed a way to visit my son every other month who lives out-of-town. I finally found a way to have access to a car for those trips and be free of my car every other day of the year.
I had fallen in the trap of believing a car was a necessary part of life. I also drooled over the classic cars, especially those early Mustangs. But my experiment has shown me a whole new way of living I never considered before.
I first decided to try living car-free in March when the warmer weather arrived extra early this year. It’s been wonderful. I love the people I have met, the fresh air as I wander around town. The change of pace from rushing all over in a car and dealing with crazy drivers and traffic has been a treat for me.
Having a car isn’t the solution for everyone, and it’s not for me. I never thought I would ever picture myself without one, but times change and so have I.
The only other times I’ve used the car was to drive my DIL when her husband needed theirs for work. So I have signed the car over to them. My car gets much better mileage than their SUV (which is needed for him to get to work in the winter months as the roads he uses aren’t cleared well) so this is a better option for local errands for them. The agreement is that I can borrow the car when I need to go out-of-town. I offered to rent the car for say $10 per day plus gas, but they wouldn’t hear of it.
I am saving the following:
- $25. per month of insurance (to let it sit most of the time)
- $36 per year in registration fees
- $$ for state inspections and emissions tests yearly. This amount varies yearly (this year I would have needed tires and a repair to the exhaust) at least $200.
- $25 for oil changes,
- then there is the wiper blades that crack from sitting in the sun. $15 per pair to install them myself
The savings for one year is: $576 not counting the cost of gas to drive it. That means one oil change, and one pair of wipers — and no surprises along the way.
My car has been a dependable machine, and that’s what it is a machine. We lived without machines before and can do it again. But as a machine, letting it sit all but 12 days out of the year hasn’t been good for it. If I continued to hold on to it, it would have eventually fell apart from sitting outside in the elements.
Today was the Farmer’s Market. My DIL brought the grand-kids over to meet me and we left together, WALKING. The kids will be 4 next month yet look forward to the walk and the time at the market. The walk is 2.5 miles from my home (one way), yet the kids can easily walk both directions and run around playing in the gardens while we are there. I feel as if I am setting an example for the children that they can get around on their own two feet. It’s definitely healthier for them to walk and get in the habit at a young age.
We found a treasure at the market that both adults and children enjoy equally. A tree was shaped to make a canopy over a seating area. I hope you can see what I mean by this in the picture.
There is a comfortable bench for adults and a table and chairs for the children. Getting the kids out of there and back into the sun can take a while, but the peaceful atmosphere makes it easy to give in to the children and stay a bit longer.
Have you ever thought about how you would live if you didn’t have a car or how much it costs yearly to own one? Would you ever consider giving up your car?