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Should we downsize to one car
Old 02-22-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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Should we downsize to one car

Here's the situation...

My wife and I each have our own cars used primarily for commuting. My commute is only ~3 miles one way while my wife travels nearly 50 miles one way.

We have talked about dropping one car with the hope of pocketing the money from the sale of the car (car is paid off) as well as taking advantage of the lower insurance and fuel costs.

The car we would get rid of is the one I drive but I do have access to a work truck that I could drive home during the week. This truck would only be used for travel to and from work without any use for "personal" situations.

BTW, we should be able to get 11K - 12K for my car. Would anyone seriously consider doing this?
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kfindley79 View Post
Here's the situation...

My wife and I each have our own cars used primarily for commuting. My commute is only ~3 miles one way while my wife travels nearly 50 miles one way.

We have talked about dropping one car with the hope of pocketing the money from the sale of the car (car is paid off) as well as taking advantage of the lower insurance and fuel costs.

The car we would get rid of is the one I drive but I do have access to a work truck that I could drive home during the week. This truck would only be used for travel to and from work without any use for "personal" situations.

BTW, we should be able to get 11K - 12K for my car. Would anyone seriously consider doing this?
Sounds like a good quick way to reduce expenses, especially now since gas seems to be going north of $4.

DW and I (both now retired) tried the one car approach for about 6 months and decided to buy a new Corolla last summer. We got tired of asking each other "Are you using the car on..." in order to make simple appointments and local runs.

Why not give it a try (going/using one-car) before selling car #2 (2-3 months) to see if it works? If not, go to plan B and not sell?
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good quick way to reduce expenses, especially now since gas seems to be going north of $4.

DW and I (both now retired) tried the one car approach for about 6 months and decided to buy a new Corolla last summer. We got tired of asking each other "Are you using the car on..." in order to make simple appointments and local runs.

Why not give it a try (going/using one-car) before selling car #2 (2-3 months) to see if it works? If not, go to plan B and not sell?
That's what we have discussed doing. The scheduling part would be one downside...the profit from the sale of the car sure is tempting though.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #4
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We have managed with one car during several periods and while it gave scheduling issues at times, we needed the money more. We did have an 18 month spell while living in Scotland where car pooling was not an option so I would cycle 5.5 miles to/from work, rain or shine. On icy road days DW would drive me to work and pick me up, but those days were few as we lived in SW Scotland and had a very mild winter. (but WET!)

After coming to the USA we always had 2 cars while we both worked. As soon as we ER'ed we dropped to one car and have rarely missed the use of a 2nd as we live in a small town. Even while I was volunteering 2 days a week last year I would ride my cycle the 3 miles to and from the place. On bad weather days DW would drop me in the morning and I would either walk home if the weather had cleared, or more often, someone would drop me off rather than DW coming to collect me.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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What would you do if DW's car needed to be in for maintenance or unavailable for a host of reasons? I'm sure your employer won't let her use your "work truck".

Rent a replacement? That's OK if it is part of your vehicle insurance coverage, but it would not work for simple/major maintenance issues.

While I'm retired (DW will be so next month), we would not consider giving up our indivudial cars. We live in the surburbs, with no public transportation.

Our cars are fairly old (7 & 10 years) and driven less than 5K a year. Insurance and maintenance is only a few hundred a year for each and there is no reason to have more than minimum insurance for vehicle loss.

Just my $.02.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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What would you do if DW's car needed to be in for maintenance or unavailable for a host of reasons?

Rent?
No, we live in the same town as both of our parents. There is always access to alternate transportation, if needed.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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No, we live in the same town as both of our parents. There is always access to alternate transportation, if needed.
In that case, the major impact would be removed (assuming your parent's agree to your plan).
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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Why not give it a try (going/using one-car) before selling car #2 (2-3 months) to see if it works? If not, go to plan B and not sell?
I agree...

In regards to what happens if your car breaks down, it sounds like you have things covered. Besides...what would a single person do if their car breaks down....?

If you do decide to sell and later find you need another vehicle, you can purchase another one.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:18 PM   #9
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I agree...

In regards to what happens if your car breaks down, it sounds like you have things covered. Besides...what would a single person do if their car breaks down....?

If you do decide to sell and later find you need another vehicle, you can purchase another one.
+1

Our son is single and doesn't have a 2nd car as a backup.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:21 PM   #10
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Would anyone seriously consider doing this?
We did this exact same thing last year. A friend approached us to buy our 1998 Camry for $2900, so we sold it off even though we didn't have it for sale.

We have good bus and train public transportation available to us, also hourly car rentals (i-go and zip car) are really close to us now. Haven't had any big situations to consider in all this time. I had a dentist appt when DW couldn't pick me up, it was 3 miles away so I walked home. We have bikes to use in better weather too. Nothing has occurred yet to warrant any regrets in selling off the 2nd car.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:27 PM   #11
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+1

Our son is single and doesn't have a 2nd car as a backup.
I am single and only have one car in a rural area. Sure I have friends who could help me in a tight spot, but that has never happened as my car is 12 years old and has not once refused to answer the call to go to work. So the answer is simple, get one that wont ever break down I would have never thought a chevy would be so reliable based on my past experiences.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:11 PM   #12
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DD lives and works in the Seattle area and her husband will be joining her sometime within the next few weeks/months. They are planning on selling the 10 yr old car he is using rather than drive it up from Texas, and they are going to try managing with 1 car since DD is in easy reach of work via public transport.

It'll be interesting to see how that works out.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:12 PM   #13
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Or a compromise might be to sell the car and get a used, small motorcycle or scooter for your work, nearby trips, etc. though you would probably need to get a motorcycle endorsement if you don't already have one.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:19 PM   #14
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I like the idea of giving the one car a try to see if you really miss that or not?

As to the question of what does a single person do with only one car if there is car trouble? The answer is to be prepared. Preparation such as having AAA or other type of roadside assistance. Bring a working credit card, cell phone in pocket or purse. Travel with an emergency kit (snacks, water, blanket, etc.) in car.

My car is about 17 years old. Overall, it's been pretty good about starting and going from point A to point B. (I have taken it in the shop for plenty of repairs in the past).

As for roadside assistance, even if you don't belong to AAA. I think Visa (I'd expect Master Card too) and Discover have one time roadside assistance for a flat rate.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:27 PM   #15
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In a heartbeat!! we have one car and try not to use it. We BIKE - to the store, clients, gym, restaurants, etc. A 3 mile commute is a pleasurable ride. You will not get sweaty and you can ride ALL YEAR. I do not know where you live but I am in Wisconsin. If you have winter riding questions, I will be happy to answer them for you. You'll feel better and you'll be doing good things for the environment. Get some saddle bags and you can carry your work stuff, shop on the way home, etc. Your local bicycle non-profit group or bike shop can give you advice, too.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:35 PM   #16
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Give it a shot for a month or two. Three miles each way isn't bad, nice walk or bike ride. You might enjoy the exercise and quit the gym membership (if you have one)!

I rode 10 miles each way to my college job 5 times a week... back in the days.

You can always buy an older used car if you really feel like you need it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:38 PM   #17
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In a heartbeat!! we have one car and try not to use it. We BIKE - to the store, clients, gym, restaurants, etc. A 3 mile commute is a pleasurable ride. You will not get sweaty and you can ride ALL YEAR. I do not know where you live but I am in Wisconsin. If you have winter riding questions, I will be happy to answer them for you. You'll feel better and you'll be doing good things for the environment. Get some saddle bags and you can carry your work stuff, shop on the way home, etc. Your local bicycle non-profit group or bike shop can give you advice, too.
+1 I started to bike to the market almost every day and that's 3 miles one way. I also find it an easy ride and i do tend to feel better since i don't get much other exercise at the moment.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #18
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It's always worth a try. We tried it seven years ago and it just didn't work out. DW and I just had too many irons in the fire. After two months of trying one car, we went out and got a beater just to run around town. Now our lifestyles have changed and we moved to a community where you can have a golf cart to get around town. Got rid of the beater a few months back. Tomorrow, DW is off on a trip with her friends and she's driving. I'll be out doing my thing on the golf cart.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:34 PM   #19
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What you happen if that one cars need repair? I own four vehicles. I have two sitting in my shop that I do not use unless I really need it. I do not keep insurance on those and only would buy it if I had to use them. That way I would not have to borrow a vehicle. I can also repair most any vehicle if I needed to and having this many works for me where I can take my time repairing it. None of the cars or trucks I own are newer vehicles, I only take out liability insurance on them so that saves me a ton. oldtrig
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:00 PM   #20
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I suggest you contact your insurance company to see what the savings would be. I sold off our backup utility van awhile back and I was surprised that my insurance only went down a few bucks due to multi-car discount, etc. In my case I would have kept the car as it was paid for and did not cost me anything sitting in the driveway.
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