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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Green Spot: Selling the Second Car

Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 3, 2009

Ok, I’ll be honest.  I have had two vehicles at various times in my life.  Usually one of them was work related, but anyway I do know how nice it is sometimes to have that second car. Yet for the last three years or so we have been running with only one vehicle.  Beyond saving those CO2 emissions from the second car, we have saved a LOT of money from not having to buy all that extra gas, insurance or maintenance.

So how do we get along with a busy family and just one car?  Well here’s what works for us.

  1. Plan ahead.  Even if you do nothing else you need to plan ahead to keep just one car.  On those days my wife needs the car I take the bus and she then tries to plan as many appointments and errands into one day that she can reasonable get done.
  2. Use public transit.  For a while I actually just took the bus to work all the time.  It wasn’t that bad except for those -30C or colder days.  Then yes, it wasn’t nice, but it is doable.
  3. Use a cab for those odd trips.  Ok, sometimes you need to get somewhere in a hurry, so take a cab.  Yes it is pricey, but cheap when you only do it once every few months compared to that second car.
  4. Walk or bike.  Now to really save some money skip the car entirely.  We often do this for short shopping trips or on a nice night as a family when we go to the library.
  5. Be flexible.  All in all the main thing is to be flexible with planning your trips and realize you can’t be in two places at once without some extra effort.  Once you get that the rest if fairly easy.

So overall I don’t mind only having one car.  After we got used to it I don’t even really notice it anymore for the most part.  Try to think of a second car as a luxury item at about $4000/year for all costs .  Yes it is nice, but wouldn’t rather be spending that money on something more enjoyable?  I know I am!

Comments

2 Responses to “Green Spot: Selling the Second Car”
  1. Related Info

    In Vancouver one can rent cars from
    Zip Car.

    Here’s a link for Zipcar.
    http://www.zipcar.com/how/

    My first impression is that it sounds like a good system for general car
    use. Watch the video. Car to unlock the car, card for gas at any station. A
    way to extend the time if you need to. It is a lot more convenient than going to a rental agency.

    I have not used them myself but my son has. At UBC there are a few cars located in parking lots. Handy if a student needs to go to a job interview across town.

    This concept could work in other communities and could help eliminate many second cars across Canada.

    CM

  2. I’ve often thought of going down to one car…I’d definitely try it if one of our cars died, but I’m having a hard time convincing myself to sell one! Sounds like I might need to check out our numbers/lifestyle in more detail.

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