Down the Lane - Frugal Living - Carless Living

Life without a Car

How can we get by without a Car, the alternatives

Other pages; Cycling | Mopeds and Scooters | Walking and Public Transport

To be perfectly honest, if I was well off, I'd probably buy a car again. But for frugal reasons onset by some hard times, in the last four years I have been without a car for a total of 20 month's. The last 'stretch' being 12 months.

Neither do I say that I have children who need to get to school, so I do not limit these pages to 'no car whatsoever', but if you've got two cars, do you really need them - and if you have one car, finding things a bit hard going and don't do some extortionate amount of necessary miles a week - do you need one?

There are options for the majority of people, these meaning one or some of the following; two wheels with no engine, two wheels with engine, a pair of feet and / or public transport.

I've tried all of them now, so thought I'd put to paper some advantages, disadvantages and the main thing- Has it done me any good!!

We've travelled a long way since my Grandfather's day (see photo right), but there were hardly any cars about then I guess. My parents didn't own a car til I was in my teens and if the place we had to go to was less than about 3 miles, you walked and if it was less than 5, you'd cycle. It's like the TV, 'when I was a lad' we got a TV when I was 5, but it was 5 hours a day and about 15 minutes of that was applicable to people under the age of about 35! Now we expect. We expect to have a car, 200 channels etc.

Outlay(new) £8,000 from £500
Running Costs per month
Petrol £50 £18
Insurance £20 £10
Road Tax £10 £1.25
Totals £80 £29.25
(This of course excludes maintenance, repairs, spares, decreciation and any credit payments)

Above - start by having a quick look at some costings between a car and moped. We all probably know our approximate expenditure, but putting it down on paper can be a bit scary! The figures on the right are for a car based on a mileage of 150 miles per week, a sallon car such as a 'Polo', so it's shopping, small commuting, school runs or of the like. So, over the year this could amount to a savings of over £600. Put that with all the extras of new tyres and general depreciation and it speaks for itself.

I'm not saying this has to be your only car, it could be savings on 'the other one'. Do we really need one? But, what could we do with the extra money!

Other pages; Cycling | Mopeds and Scooters | Walking and Public Transport

car less ways to get about
Some alternatives to driving

old car
How Grandpa did it

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The automobile has not merely taken over the street, it has dissolved the living tissue of the city. Its appetite for space is absolutely insatiable; moving and parked, it devours urban land, leaving the buildings as mere islands of habitable space in a sea of dangerous and ugly traffic. ~James Marston Fitch, New York Times, 1 May 1960