Day 9 // a one car family.

For about the last year we've been a one car family. On purpose. It's one of the ways we've tried to 'live with less'. Justin and I wanted to experiment and see if we could survive with one car between the two of us. It worked for the most part because I am a stay-at-home mom and up until a couple of weeks ago, Justin worked mostly from home during the day. We did our best to communicate who needed the car when and work around any conflicts. There were a few times where we ran into problems and had to find a solution like renting a car or borrowing one from a friend but for the most part it worked pretty well.

This is Dominick, our mini-van. Well, this isn't OUR mini van, it's just a picture I pulled off the internet but this is what our van looks like. We purchased Dominick in March of this year and I really like him. Dom has been our only vehicle for the last seven months.

There are great benefits to being a one car family...

  • Less money spent on gasoline.
  • Less money spent on car insurance.
  • Less money spent on vehicle maintenance.
  • Less pollution being added to our already deteriorating environment. 
Yes, sometimes it can be a hassle to have to 'share' a vehicle but I really think the positives outweigh the negatives. 

Ironically, this week we are officially going back to two cars. Justin is now working outside our home and needs a car to get to and from work. 

The simplicity in this area was nice while it lasted. Maybe we'll return to being a one car family again someday. 

Has anyone else out there tried being a one-car family? I'd love to hear how you pulled it off. 


  1. We are a one car family and I think it works for a few different reasons. 1) We live exactly one mile (sixish blocks) from my work. So, I bike quite often or my sister (who lives 3 blocks from us) gives me a ride to and from work. 2) We don't have kids that need to be dropped off/picked up, etc. We're going to be a 2 car family again soon too, but I'm looking for something $1,000 or less to get me through the winter because my sister's hours are changing and there are going to be days when biking just isn't going to happen.
    -Michelle (Ekstrum) Anderson

  2. We're technically a one car family (my husband currently drives his father's SUV to work, but we don't own or insure it). More often than not, though, my husband rides his bike to work or he takes my car if he's running late. This works for us, because I stay at home and only need it one day a week for Bible study. My kids and I also ride the train often. We're about to grow our family and will likely sell my car (not enough seats) and either exclusively use his dad's or try to find a used van. Transportation has just never been an area we want to use our money.

  3. We where till a 6months ago a NO car family, i did everything by bike or bus, but i have to admit, that's much easier in Europe, than it is in the States, and also we live in the city and the groceries store was 10 min on the bike from my house, we also have more sidewalks so you can walk places,i also took the train to work, but since the birth of our third child i realized, i could not transport, so much groceries at once, diapers, baby food, cereal, drinks ect, and get my middle one to daycare, son to school, all with public transportation..we have a small car at the moment where i can bring the kids places, they need to go, and i use to go to work,maybe one day will go back to No car at all, it is fun to read how other families manage that, even on different continents...we still believe car is a luxury good,but the way our family runs right now, their is simply no way around it..( for the moment)

  4. For the first 10 years of our marriage we had NO car. At first we lived close enough to dh's university and my work to walk or cycle. When we moved we used public transit.

    We deliberately picked our home in a neighbourhood that was close to ammenities including church, schools, shopping mall with grocery, pharmacy and hardware store. When baby L came, we put many miles on a stroller. We didn't get a car till baby S came along and dh switched jobs. We have managed quite nicely for over 15 years with only 1 car. (and saved a TON of $$)