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giving up the car....

(11 Posts)
cooper44 Wed 01-May-13 18:17:43

Has anyone done this and what was it like? I live in a city and close to shops. Have two small children. I can't think what I would ever really need it for that was absolutely essential - it would just mean using the bus more and walking to do all shopping. But would be great to hear if anyone has done it and if it was ok? thanks!

Thatsinteresting Wed 01-May-13 19:06:50

We have a car but I don't use it as dh has it 5 days a week for work. I have 2 dc under the age of 5. I do a massively monthly shop for tins, cereal, washing powder etc that I do use the car for then weekly top ups for midland fruit using the buggy. If you did this you could treat t yourself to a taxi or online delivery. My parents live over 200 miles away so I visit them by train. I actually prefer it as I can give the dc my full attention, when they were very small I would bf them on the train. We have lunch, do some colouring, look out the window and read stories. Much less stressful than both stuck in car seats for 3 hours. At the moment it's actually cheaper to as I use a family railcard and buy 1 child ticket but I need to book a long way in advance and when dh comes too the car is around £15 cheaper and setting off time is more flexible.
Why don't you try not using it for a month or 2? If you can't afford to do that then put the bus fare for each trip aside and take petrol out of that so you can get an idea how much more/less it will cost.
Could you may be hire a car every 4/6 weeks for big jobs/journeys?

Thatsinteresting Wed 01-May-13 19:08:11

Milk and fruit not midland fruit!

SchnitzelVonKrumm Wed 01-May-13 19:09:47

Get your shopping delivered for a start!

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 00:31:11

I gave up my car when I moved to the city and it's really quite do-able.

Online shopping is a must - I wangle mine on free delivery and find I actually save money as well by buying more precisely. (And have less shopping stress.) Milk and other fresh things can be obtained from local shops in between big deliveries.

Most journeys can be catered for by using taxis or public transport which being a city is quite good. The saving, even using the odd taxi or van hire, is quite large.

One tactic I would suggest, though, is working out how much you're currently spending on the car and setting aside, say, half of that each week in a 'taxi fund'. The problem is that car bills are so large that, surprisingly, you tend not to notice them (put on CCs etc) as much as handing over £10 cash for a taxi. A healthy 'taxi fund' which you can dip into without conscience for taxis, car hires, man with a van etc sorts that one out.

I'd also be very clear about lifts from family or friends. There will, inevitably, be the odd journeys which need a car these days and if you're offered or ask for a lift, I'd pay the friend or relative a very generous petrol allowance. I do that - and these days it's not refused. (10 years ago the offer might have been waved off but petrol is much more expensive now.) It's fair and it stops in their tracks any niggles that you might have 'given up the car just to use theirs'.

One of the great things to note is the removal of all the stress related to cars, parking, damage etc. You don't have to scout around for parking spaces and you can look with equanimity at parking issues outside in the street.

Worth a try I would have thought?

cooper44 Thu 02-May-13 13:14:34

thanks so much for replies - I feel far more positive about it. and yes cozie no more bloody parking tickets, costly bumps (although they are usually my fault), parking nightmares etc.

juicychops Thu 02-May-13 17:28:26

Hi i gave up my car 2 years ago. i live alone with 1 ds (was 6 at the time). I had to move home to a place that was higher rent which i couldn't afford as well as a car.

i live in town so am close to shops and bus stops. we are 20 minute walk from school which me and ds do every day, and i walk the extra 2 miles from school to work 3 days per week, then pick him back up from school on the way home.

It took some getting used to but not too long. The money i save is huge all for the sake of a bit of walking. we are fitter and healthier, and ds doesn't complain about walking anywhere as he's used to it.

There are negatives such as having to ask for lifts when ds is playing away games for football, and we can't easily just say 'lets go to the seaside today' etc like i could when i had a car, or having to walk to work when its pissing down!

Its a perfect time of the year to give up a car - its lovely walking in the sun, and me and ds also have bikes. Its a great way to keep fit without too much effort, and you soon forget how you ever came to rely on a car so much

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 19:26:32

That's true - you are a lot fitter when you give up a car. I'm quite embarrassed now to think of the piddling little journeys I used to make without thinking.

cooper44 Thu 02-May-13 20:25:18

yes an added bonus - I can lose several stone of "baby" weight!

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 02-May-13 20:54:18

I think it would teach your dc how to get about by public transport too, I was chauffeured everywhere by my dad when I was younger. Buses where a culture shock.

Plus, remember there is no bad weather only bad clothes. A few uniqlo heat tech tops and trousers and a north face puffa and you are set up. Maybe some thermal socks.

cozietoesie Thu 02-May-13 22:11:35

I rather suspect that there are youngsters in our extended family that have never actually taken a public service bus by themselves.


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