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living without a car

(19 Posts)
steinermum Sat 17-Feb-07 11:38:34

We live in an area of London with good public transport and have never owned a car. We have two children. I am frequently surprised at how much driving my otherwise green friends do, particularly as they often seem stressed by parking fines, aggressive drivers, being used a s a taxi service by their own and others' children, having to cut things short because the meter's about to run out etc etc. My life feels so much simpler, yet they regard me as odd and feel sorry for me. I therefore never go out of my way to tell people we don't own a car but if any green-leaning mumsnetters are curious about how it's done - please ask. Also I'd love to share experiences with other non-driving families as I know very few.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 17-Feb-07 21:27:57

We are moderately non-driving. I don't drive at all. DH has a license. We have use of a car belonging to a neighbour.

We probably use it once every weekend, on average? Just for hauling things around etc.

If we didn't have use of this neighbour's car, we would probably join a car share scheme, or sometimes rent a car, for trips out of town (a couple of times a year).

Muminfife Thu 22-Feb-07 19:26:42

Message withdrawn

Molesworth Thu 22-Feb-07 19:28:05

I got rid of my car when I moved into London: no need for one here. But outside major cities it's expensive and difficult to manage without one in my experience

JanH Thu 22-Feb-07 19:28:38

We need two cars

ScottishThistle Thu 22-Feb-07 19:33:51

People always look at me strangely when I say I'm a non-driver!..."How can you be a Nanny & not drive?"

"Quite easily actually, my legs work just fine!"

Califrau Thu 22-Feb-07 19:35:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BodkinVanHorn Thu 22-Feb-07 19:35:22

We've only had a car for five years. It's shocking how quickly you start to feel you couldn't do without one.

When I think of the things we did, car-less...carried bags of cement home from B&Q on the buggy; did a relay with packs of laminate flooring also from B&Q with one of their trolleys (took about 6 journeys...); five hour train journeys with a 12 month old; going to Cornwall with my parents - with me wedged in the middle between dh and ds1's car seat. But we managed.

We don't use ours excessively - dh walks to work every day - but I am glad we have one, particularly now we have two children. We can go camping now, go on holiday and to visit family under our own steam - and I always hated cadging lifts.

BodkinVanHorn Thu 22-Feb-07 19:36:00

The buggy collapsed not long after that, btw

edam Thu 22-Feb-07 19:45:09

We didn't have a car when we lived in inner London as we didn't really need one and would have been more hassle than it was worth. Had the use of dh's dad's when we really needed one. Now in the 'burbs we do have a car, although tend to use it once maybe at weekends (I don't drive although am learning). Public transport is just much more difficult here if you want to do anything other than commute to London. Less frequent, less reliable and expensive.

Still walk everywhere locally in the week though and hope I will still once I can drive.

suzycreamcheese Thu 22-Feb-07 19:58:19

dont have car either since about more than a year.. and its more than ok..had but we are near to everything we need and public transport..
my friend drives like 200yds down the road..drcreamchees used to drive to corner shop
dont miss fines, tax, road insurance, worry my beautiful car will have key marks / missing wing mirrors in morning and that ilk..

doable if in urban area
all folks we know in country have more than one! and there is not even pavements there..where would you walk???

nikkie Thu 22-Feb-07 19:58:26

I only bought a car in Oct, after 5 years without.Did used to use my MAms 3 days(+O/T) a week though to get to work (or cadge lifts) and Mam was needing the car more.I went for the smallest car we could all fit in to holiday etc and got a Toyota Yaris and smallest engine we could.Don't use alot of petrol £40 max month.2nd week we had it went away for a week and fitted clothes for 3 people bedding for all of us (lots of extra for dd2 ) and toys/books etc and still only used the boot.Don't see why majority of people need bigger cars.

suzycreamcheese Thu 22-Feb-07 20:01:45

califrau..that is exactly the amount dh cycles too!! ...and looking good on it too...

steinermum Tue 27-Feb-07 10:25:18

Back from a fab week in Centerparcs with the kids; dh 'working' in Australia, so we treated ourselves. It was so great to let the boys out on their own, on bikes - they never get freedom like that in London. It's amazing how many mums in central London still insist on driving everywhere. I pick kids up from our local school and they stand at the gate saying 'where's the car?', then are gobsmacked when the boys say we don't have one.

wannaBeWhateverIWannaBe Tue 27-Feb-07 10:32:12

don't have a car. they won't let me have a licence

expatinscotland Tue 27-Feb-07 10:34:21

I can't imagine why not, wannabe.

ernest Tue 27-Feb-07 10:48:59

when we lived in london we didn't have a car. i think, in such areas, it's easy to live without one, but to have one and then give it up is much harder. now where we live we need one. But I don't have parking/speeding fines/probles, and no stress frm it.

expatinscotland Tue 27-Feb-07 10:54:33

I don't have stress from using/having a car, either.

On the contrary, in fact.

majorstress Tue 27-Feb-07 14:15:46

The dogs all start barking in the (US) neighborhood I grew up, if someone WALKS down the street. No sidewalk either so you're taking your life in your hands.

It's not California either.

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