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One car or two?
Old 07-27-2017, 07:49 AM   #1
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One car or two?

DH and I have 2 cars. They are both 11 years old. Both still run well and don't cost much to maintain, but still, I wonder if/when we could cut down to one. We live in a beach community that has decent public transit and easy access to Uber. Plus we can walk or bike to many places. Still, the idea of one of us being "trapped" at home while the other is out for several hours has thus far deterred us from cutting down to one car.

I'm interested in hearing from couples who have gone from owning 2 cars to one. How has it worked out for you? Did you wait until one car needed a major repair, or what was the catalyst for you to make the change?
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:58 AM   #2
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Just the one. We had two for a brief period in 2003 but it sat in the driveway. While the Unindicted Co-Conspirator has her license and is perfectly capable of driving, I do almost all of it. I'm the Pilot, she's the Nagivator.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:00 AM   #3
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We went from two cars to one a couple of years years ago. We had moved from the suburbs to downtown, and walking (as well as using public transportation) became way more convenient than driving. So our two cars were sitting in the garage a lot and we decided to sell one and keep the other for weekend getaways. It got us used to sharing a single vehicle.

We are now back in the suburbs and we have so far not felt the need to go back to 2 cars. Our neighborhood is not considered walkable (the "walk score" is a pathetic 4/100), so I did wonder if the person staying home while the other ran errands would feel "trapped". It has not been the case so far. Despite our neighborhood's poor "walk score", there are plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options for people who can manage to walk just 1.5 miles on flat grade (which is an easy walk for me). Sometimes, when DW has to run an errand, I ask her to drop me off somewhere on the way so I don't have to be stuck at home either.

But I don't exclude going back to 2 vehicles in the future. While I do not currently have a need for it, I am still attracted to the idea of having my own ride. But since purchasing a second car would be a want rather than a need, it has to be weighted against other wants. And right now I prefer to spend money on things that bring more value to my life than a second car would.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:04 AM   #4
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We have three; my Nissan pickup, my newly purchased Soob WRX and my wife's Mini Countryman. Until last summer we also had an old Volvo at our lake home so we wouldn't be at only one car when we drove there. Until one of us is physically unable to drive I don't see reducing the number in the fleet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba View Post
... the idea of one of us being "trapped" at home while the other is out for several hours has thus far deterred us from cutting down to one car. ...
+1 There is also the issue of what to drive if the one car needs work. If you can afford two cars, why would you not have two?
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:08 AM   #5
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We went from 2 to 1 vehicles the same month DW retired, which was a month before I retired in 2010. It has worked out just fine, and we have since moved to a place in England where the 1 car often never leaves the driveway for days at a time.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:17 AM   #6
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3 older vehicles: a minivan, a large Nissan SUV, and a smaller Honda CR-V.

Tried to give the minivan away to an immigrant family that a family member knew, but they were afraid to drive it and bought a small sedan. So, I have been keeping it to haul stuff that would not fit in the other cars. With the rear seat moved forward, you won't believe how many bags of manure it can haul.

The 2003 Nissan SUV is practically new with 30K miles on it, so cannot sell that one.

The CR-V was bought to tow behind our MH, but it proved so practical for driving for errands, hence the other 2 larger vehicles became underused.

My 3 older vehicles cost so little to keep compared to 1 new one, so I will keep the status quo for a while.

PS. With the MH, that becomes 4. And I am not talking about the dirt bikes I keep at the high-country boondocks home.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:21 AM   #7
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I have a Honda civic, and my truck. The truck I use for my rentals as a business expense.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:58 AM   #8
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Two years ago we went from 2 cars to 1 as an experiment with an agreement that we would have a conversation after a year to compare thoughts. We also live in a neighborhood that is not terribly walker friendly. During that year we determined that there were about 4-6 days where a 2nd car would have been very convenient, but we definitely did not miss having it around. Since then, DW's eyesight has deteriorated to the point that she doesn't feel capable of driving so that sort of sealed the deal on the one car front.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:12 AM   #9
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We have 2 older cars. we both have enough separate activities that we need both of them. My late wife's cousin's husband, who I believe was put on earth to be a bad example.
He would take the one car all day, stranding his wife in their mobile home park far from everything.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:13 AM   #10
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WE have 2 cars but also have days that neither leave the driveway. Although old both cars do not have that many miles on them. When one dies I think we will try having just one. Now with companies like Uber it is pretty reasonable to go somewhere even without a car.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:48 AM   #11
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I'm considering the same thing. We really like my wife's '13 Nissan Rogue. We are thinking of trading in both cars (mine is '09 Nissan Altima) and getting a newer Nissan Rogue - maybe with a few more luxury features.

My Altima just sits in the garage most days. The car has been paid off but eats about $1000/yr for insurance and minor maintenance.

Math and practicality indicate we should make the move... but so far we haven't. Still thinking about it.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:51 AM   #12
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I sold my toy when I retired, so we have been sharing one car for the past month. I'll also ride my bike to the the local shopping center about three miles away. Uber is our back stop 2 or 3 times a month. So far, working rather nicely.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:57 AM   #13
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(3) cars, 2013 Ford F150 to pull the travel trailer, 2015 Ford Focus for all our other driving errands etc., and a 2000 Toyota Spyder convertible for those fun summer days.

We are thinking of getting rid of the Focus and the Spyder and getting a mid size suv with all the bells and whistles. No way would we go down to one car unless we couldn't afford anymore. Since we pay cash for all our cars, think we should be ok.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:32 AM   #14
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I've cut down by ~30%. Does that count? I'm down to 9 now. But only two daily drivers.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:19 PM   #15
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Have two cars...Honda CRV and Mazda Miata. We could go to one car, but the convertible is our toy and it's fun so we keep it.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:15 PM   #16
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We have lived with one car now for 9+ years - ever since ER. Occasionally, we run into a conflict, but have always been able to work it out. In the worst case, one of us would just rent a car for the day. This has happened exactly once so far. Uber/Lyft/taxi are also options for us, but we haven't used them yet. One of us will sometimes use our bicycle or public transport - usually me

Log your car usage with time, duration and purpose. It should let you know just how often you'll have a conflict.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:38 PM   #17
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We avoid arguments with two.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
My late wife's cousin's husband, who I believe was put on earth to be a bad example.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:09 PM   #19
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The impetus that drove us to trial going from 2 cars to 1 when the timing belt on my car broke and the repairs to get it running again were going to cost a few thousand. But we kept my car in the garage in the unlikely event we decided to fix it. The trial went well, so we decided to sell my car [I has upgraded various parts and was able to sell it to an enthusiast that was going to fix it and boot it around again] and go solo with my wife's car.

The reason we were able to make it work is as follows:
  • My company is really big on working from home and telecommuting. It has a really good infrastructure for securely logging in to access resources remotely and sharing desktops remotely. The days that I go in, the missus is able to drop me off and pick me up as we don't live far from both our workplaces and the route is kind of on the way.
  • We subscribe to car sharing services. This is really handy when both of us need to use the car where public transit isn't as convenient. However, while the coverage is great in the core of the city, it's not as great in the burbs.
  • Public transit is fairly good in Vancouver with relatively frequent service and broad coverage. We'll use it when convenient.
  • We spend a lot of recreational time with each other. When we are apart and spend time with friends and family, they are usually close enough to pick us up and drive. Just to be fair, we do more than our fair share of driving others as well!

When I retire, we'll have to see how that impact our car usage. The missus will still want to drive to work while I'll likely need wheels to run errands. Need to decide if I can drop her off and pick her up on a somewhat regular basis or if the car sharing service will suffice. Otherwise, I can see us picking up a cheap small car to run errands. I'd like to avoid that as the cost of the car isn't my main concern but rather the yearly insurance coverage. We save so much more with 1 car.

Edit: We also don't have Uber/Lyft ride sharing service (though we do have some Chinese language knock-off services apparently!) in our area yet. However, I think that would make it even more convenient and viable with one car.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:09 PM   #20
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We have 2 cars. The bride got her license and we celebrated it with a new car in 2014 . Yeah , that whole compound interest phenomenon works. Anyhow, we really need zero cars. We had no car for 8 years. Weddings and funerals required rentals, they were cheaper than owning at twice the price. Seems to be a lot of threads about cars lately.
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