My husband and I have been doing something for months that shocks some of our friends and family – we’re sharing a car. Thanks to some engine repairs in the Mr.’s car that were far more expensive than the car itself, we’re now a “one-car family” so to speak. The verdict?
But, like many things it comes with its pros and cons. Let’s talk about what’s great and not-so-great about this setup, then I’ll give you a little tidbit about what’s next for my husband and I.
What’s great about having one car
Of course, there are the expected benefits: only one car to fill up and maintain and register and worry about parking tickets for. And only one car to fill up with random receipts and water bottles and shoes and – how did my toothbrush end up in here?
But really, the two best things about it are the exercise and communication. First, when one of us doesn’t have the car, it’s up to us to get from one place to another. We don’t live in the most walkable area of town, but there’s a Target, a Trader Joe’s and a couple of bars nearby. That’s all you need, right?
My husband also works two miles from home, so if he has a day shift, he’s comfortable walking there. And if he needs a ride? I work four miles from home, so I can easily pick him up on my lunch break. A few extra trips, but it’s working out so far.
And communication – we now operate like a well-oiled machine. We know each others’ work schedules, social schedules and have even started planning in advance. We don’t operate separately because, well, we just can’t. It’s nice to coordinate these details together.
What’s not so great about having one car
Surprised? There are definitely some drawbacks here. Like I said earlier, the extra running isn’t so much of a big deal since we’re a stone’s throw from each other and from home.
But the biggest drawback is if one of us heads two hours north to see our families – since our work schedules are so different, we rarely get to see them when we’re together. That requires the carless spouse to walk or bum rides – not a huge hassle, but it can get agitating.
Why it works for us
The only reason we’re doing well with one vehicle right now, though, is that we both live so close to where we work. I hear friends and colleagues talking about their nearly hour-long commutes, and I cringe about the wasted time and money that goes into those drives. We really are fortunate to be so close, and now whenever we move next that proximity will be one of my top priorities.
Which leads me to my semi-announcement. We’re planning a move (and a downsize!) at the very beginning of next year, and I can’t wait! As part of our transition, we are going to be getting another, larger vehicle to help us get from point A to point B. We’ll then sell our smaller car and return to being a one-car couple. We’ve both enjoyed the collaboration and the walking, so why stop now?
How about you – have you fared well with a single car, or thought about becoming a single car family?