We are a single car family and have been so for five years. This is seen as a sacrifice by some, especially my own father who has four vehicles of his own and just married a woman with two more. To me, living with one car is a convenience. I work from home and we live in a small town where almost everyone can walk to work, school, and the beach. Weeks go by when I don’t even get behind the wheel. This is all about to change as we move across Canada to eastern suburbia.
Though we’re excited about the change and the opportunity to be closer to family, my husband insists that we’re going to need two cars. I think “need” is too strong of a word, though I’m close to admitting that it will be difficult living with one car when the kids get older. Still, I want to try, and this is one eco-battle/financial scrap I’m determined to win. Here are our arguments. What do you think my chances are?
My arguments for staying a one car family
- I’m no longer too cool to take public transit in my old hometown and this is a more eco-friendly choice.
- I’d have to work twice as much to pay for a car payment and insurance, which would mean getting daycare.
- We’re moving to a street that is half a block from the elementary school and a few parks.
- The kids will hopefully be able to make friends in our neighbourhood.
- We feel better when we walk. The grocery store, mall and post office are all within a half hour’s hike.
- If we have an extra car we’ll use it too much and spend more money.
His arguments for buying a second car
- There will be times when you want to visit your family and I want to golf.
- The kids will take classes or be on teams on opposite sides of the city.
- I’ll have the car all day at work and you’ll feel isolated.
- We’ll always be bugging people to let us borrow their car.
- We can just keep one good car and get one beater.
- If we have an extra car we won’t fight about who needs to go where.
- Just face it, we’ll need two cars.
Just looking at this list reminds me of arguing with my teenage brother about who should get the car on a Friday night. The house we are moving into is only a temporary solution until we decide exactly where we want to live. At the least, I hope that staying a single car family will factor into our decision when we choose a more permanent location.
Do you have any tips on how to be a one car family in the suburbs? Please share!
Related Posts on Transportation and Families
- Encouraging Your Child’s Activity Level
- Eco-Friendly Family Vehicles: Urban Legend?
- Low Impact Living: Back to School Green Style
- Eight Ways to Green Your Road Trip
[This post was written by Tara Benwell.]