I took my car in this morning to finally get the repairs from a car accident back in March. (Long story, not my fault and I am so grateful police attended the scene because it verified my story.) This means I have no car this week.
To prepare I did my usual grocery shop, sorted out mail I need to post and just get organised. I have lived without a car various times in my life, but this time I am more nervous about it.
What do you need to live without a car?Time!
I know I need more time this week. Walking the kids to school takes 20 minutes longer than driving. Twice a day that is 40 minutes.
If I want to get anywhere else I will need to use public transport. With past experience, that is 20 - 60 minutes longer each way.
With a few errands to run I could easily spend 3 hours extra travelling.
It is easier to live without a car if you have good public transport or are close to everything you need. My location is good for my kids school and there is a bus that goes from their school to the big shopping centre near me. Taxi's cost more than I want to spend but are another option to use sparingly if pressed for time.
Walk or ride
Riding a bike bike or walking is cheaper than a car or public transport. A bike can get you there faster than walking and only costs about $300 a year to maintain well. If you have young kids you can get a bike trailer, otherwise get them to learn to ride bikes too.
Without a car, I find I need to be more organised to ensure I utilise my time and any trips I make more efficiently.
Pros of no car
- Cheaper. It is usually cheaper to use public transport, walk, ride or get lifts than it is to own a car. Take into account maintenance, repairs, petrol, insurance, registration and replacement when calculating the cost.
- Healthier. I walk a lot more without a car and that is better for my health.
- Use time wisely. Without a car I am at home and working more. With a car I am more likely to waste time at the shops, go visit someone if I don't feel like working and in general waste more time and money. Without a car I tend to focus on what needs to be done and stick to my schedule better.
Cons of no car
- Time. While I am more organised and focused without a car, I also spend a lot more time travelling when I do go out. More time is wasted this way.
- Last minute opportunities. No car makes it harder to take advantage of any last minute opportunities such as free tickets to an event, a sale, work or picking up freebies.
So how about you - can you/do you/have you lived without a car?