Downsizing to One Car

TeleTex82

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 4, 2010
Posts
4,551
Location
Out there
So my wife is transitioning into a new career after 15 years in education. Her new job is a remote position Which means she'll be working from home, which is where I work. As a result, we have started to talk about going down to one vehicle.

Right now I drive a Passat and she drives a CRV, both are paid off. The plan is to sell both cars and buy one larger Hybrid or Electric family vehicle that we can take on long road trips with the kids, as well as have more room for lugging them around to school and their various activities. I think this makes good sense for us, aside from school pick-up and drop-off, band practice, and the park with our two-year-old I don't really go that many places, and everything we need is within a 3 mile radius. I think I've put maybe 5 thousand thousand miles on my car over the last 2 years.

Has anyone else gone down to one family vehicle? How's the adjustment? Any advice on possible vehicles to look at?
 
Last edited:

BigDaddyLH

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Posts
61,813
Location
Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
I don't think we could swing one car. We both work, and while I'm usually working from home, my employer is gearing up for a partial return to the office.

Cars: Hybrid RAV4 and a Hyundai Kona Electric.

Suggestion: RAV4 Prime (prime == plug-in hybrid, with a stated range of 42 miles just on the battery and 94 mpg).
 

Toto'sDad

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2011
Posts
56,643
Location
Bakersfield
My wife drove us down to the recycling center to cash in her bottles and cans in her Impala LTZ yesterday. It's sixteen years old, but only has around 61,000 miles on it. It only cost about fifty bucks a month to have full coverage insurance on it. I used to think the same thing, sell both, and buy something new again. For us with our limited driving, it just doesn't weigh out. I always buy the best battery I can get for my wife's car, and it will start just fine if it sets a month or more. It's worth it to have it around for when she takes a notion to go somewhere.
 

0SubSeanik0

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 8, 2021
Posts
376
Location
San Francisco
We have 1 car plus an electric cargo bike (that is used for about 95% of all trips outside the house). If your situation works for that setup, I highly recommend it.

Edit: Sorry, I forgot to mention that our car is a RAV4 (very utilitarian, but very reliable).
 
Last edited:

Chester P Squier

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Posts
2,287
Age
73
Location
Covington, LA
When I retired we traded in our two Honda Accords (both paid off) for a CRV. There are a few occasions when we could have used two vehicles, but we're doing okay.
 

hdvades

Tele-Afflicted
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Posts
1,141
Age
62
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
I'm not bashing EV/Hybrids...but I don't think they are the best thing for "long trips with the kids". Maybe keep the CRV and trade the Passat for something like a 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid. Good luck.
 

imwjl

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Posts
11,998
Location
My mom's basement.
We're figuring out our move from 4 to 2. One would not work just because of our jobs. It might be that we can follow @0SubSeanik0 solution in a year.

@TeleTex82 I think your biggest challenge is getting a new car. Most that are desirable are almost a year or more out. Ford has closed orders for some. VW just sold out for the year. Some desirable gasoline powered VWs are hard to get with what my wife likes (Golf R) more than a year out.


More along the @Toto'sDad post and logic I was happy to just put $3000 of tires, brake job, tuneup, and suspension fix into our almost 10 year old car with 77,000 miles.
 

gkterry

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Posts
1,328
Location
the Telecaster Forest
My wife and I have had only one car for over 15 years. About 17 years ago we moved to a small town 25 miles from our workplaces. We found the second car to sit idle much of the time. Until I retired in June of this year, we worked 1-2 blocks from each other and also worked the same days/ hours as each other. Sure there are times when it is less convenient. Each of us have had to wait on the other a few times when extra work hours were required. No big deal. It is super easy to occupy oneself for a period of time with cell phones, books, computers, etc. If the car needed repair we have borrowed a car from the dealer. Since retirement I have utilized our local community ride service which is no cost to those of us in riper years. The inconvenience is very small. The financial savings are very large. The simplification is priceless. My aunt always said, "Simple is in the dictionary between sh%# and stuff."
 

imwjl

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Posts
11,998
Location
My mom's basement.
I'm not bashing EV/Hybrids...but I don't think they are the best thing for "long trips with the kids". Maybe keep the CRV and trade the Passat for something like a 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe Plug-In Hybrid. Good luck.
How so? I'm really attracted to not going to gas stations anymore. I've watched the use and travel for lots of hybrids and EVs not seeing problems. Our recent car shopping yielded classic modern road trip vehicles such as a Sienna are only hybrid. An associate with one works between Lake Superior, Arkansas and Colorado feeling it's fantastic for her long road stretches and the chasing short distances when she's on projects. In our work fleet we have two Ford hybrids approaching 300,000 miles on them.
 

Nightclub Dwight

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Posts
2,630
Location
Pittsburgh
We get by just fine with one car, a 2018 Honda Fit with low mileage. My partner works from home, but before that, she took the bus downtown to work, so we've been a one car household for about 12 or 13 years now.

We are both adults with no children. @dented makes a good point that families with kids might need two cars from time to time.

It also depends on where you live. In a city with public transportation cars aren't always necessary. Rural areas and suburbs can be different.
 

Mr. St. Paul

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Posts
750
Location
Saint Paul, MN
We're a one-car family. My wife works retail; thus, non-standard hours. So she mainly uses the car. It helps that we live right on the border of downtown St. Paul and a light-rail station is 5 blocks from our house. I take the train to downtown Minneapolis when I go into the office, which is still only 2 days a week at this point. It's a 30-minute, and a round trip costs $5. No dealing with the crazy drivers on Interstate 94, no parking fees, and I can kick back and listen to podcasts while I'm riding. It works well for us. We also don't have any kids...just our dog!

Our Honda Civic is 10 years old and still doing well (and paid off for the last five + years). When it starts hitting the law of diminishing returns, we'll trade it in on a hybrid--we'd love to go electric, but there just aren't enough charging stations around yet for us to be comfortable with that.
 

Cpb2020

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Posts
584
Age
49
Location
New York
You mention kids (plural). That makes it tougher as there will likely be instances where their activities will overlap. We have 3 kids and that is the case.

Spend a month restricting yourselves to one car and see how it works before pulling the trigger.
 

Festofish

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Posts
2,747
Age
49
Location
Fremont, MI
My ex and I went with one car for most of our 15 years.

My partner and I have one vehicle. Depends on the family.
 

oregomike

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Posts
1,294
Age
51
Location
Hood River, OR
So my wife is transitioning into a new career after 15 years in education. Her new job is a remote position Which means she'll be working from home, which is where I work. As a result, we have started to talk about going down to one vehicle.

Right now I drive a Passat and she drives a CRV, both are paid off. The plan is to sell both cars and buy one larger Hybrid or Electric family vehicle that we can take on long road trips with the kids, as well as have more room for lugging them around to school and their various activities. I think this makes good sense for us, aside from school pick-up and drop-off, band practice, and the park with our two-year-old I don't really go that many places, and everything we need is within a 3 mile radius. I think I've put maybe 5 thousand thousand miles on my car over the last 2 years.

Has anyone else gone down to one family vehicle? How's the adjustment? Any advice on possible vehicles to look at?
We have before and might again soon. My criteria was that 1. it needs to be 4x4 due to the winter here. 2. Needs to be a larger vehicle (gas cost be damned) for longer distance trips (which I hate doing in tiny cars). 3. I need to be able to move drums, amps, etc without piling them up to the ceiling and all over each other. Ideally, I'd have a large van or dual cab pickup.
 

Andy B

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
2,656
Location
Castle Rock, Colorado
We’re both retired for 4 years at this point. Still have three vehicles here. My wife‘s 2018 MKC, my 2012 Xterra and my 1971 Jeep CJ6. The Jeep we have kept because having owned it since 1976, it is part of the family. Whenever the topic of cutting back to one car comes up, something invariably happens that tells us we still need the second one.
 

stxrus

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 25, 2007
Posts
9,832
Age
70
Location
St. Croix, USVI
You mention kids (plural). That makes it tougher as there will likely be instances where their activities will overlap. We have 3 kids and that is the case.

Spend a month restricting yourselves to one car and see how it works before pulling the trigger.
This makes great sense in the current vehicle market. If you can get bypass with one vehicle then you can decide (with hopefully better inventory out there) to sell one or both or buy new.
 

boris bubbanov

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Posts
56,119
Location
New Orleans, LA + in the
IF someone were to offer absolute top money for one or the other of the existing cars, I'd say go for it and otherwise, just keep it on hand because chances are, such an offer may come. Or, something could go haywire with one or the other (costly repairs, wreck) and it would be nice to have a backup. Because right now, if you went to one car and then that car got taken out some way, you'd be worked over big time trying to buy a replacement.

But I'm way "over-car" right now. 6 runners and a 7th needing a new fuel pump. In different locations, of course. But none are newer than 2006 and I feel insulated from the fear of investing $ 40,000 or more in a new Internal Combustion Vehicle and then finding I can't find or afford fuel.
 
Last edited:




Top