Having Only One Car
Berkeley Parents Network >
What/Where to Buy >
Having Only One Car
We have one toddler and one car that we happily don't use much,
but we are expecting another child later this year. For
environmental and other reasons, we don't want to purchase
another car. Two kids, one car - can it work? Any tips how how
to make a one car life (or even no car life) work with kids
would be great. Thanks!
Reluctant car user
We have two kids, two adults, one car, and have always been able to work out
transportation. It's extremely rare that both parents would need our car--and I
don't think the second child has changed that. As before, we have our own legs,
strollers, baby carriers (including Baby Bjorn and Ergo), a bike with child seat,
public transportation as alternatives to our car. (We haven't even needed a double
stroller!) Everyone's travel habits are different, and I know it also depends on
neighborhood, so I'm not sure I can give more specific advice. However, I'd
recommend you give your one car a try and buy another later if necessary.
one two-door car
We have one kid and NO car! We are heavy users of public transit
(kids love the bus), I commute to work by bicycle (I even have a
trailer for the munchkin for weekend rides in the park), and we
are members of City Carshare. I would highly recommend looking
into City Carshare if you are worried about needing a second car
just for occasional use running errands and such. their website
We have two kids and NO CAR! We did have one car til the kids
were 4 and 6 but it was stolen and we could not afford a new one
and now we bus, BART, walk, bike (with trailer) and joined City
CarShare www.citycarshare.org and occasionally rent a car for out
of town trips. (Rent a relic in Oakland is only $25 a day). We
do have the advantage of living near kids' school and and we did
not use the car to commute.
You can do it! We save at least $2000-3000 per year by not
having a car - even when we had a 10-year old car it was alot to
pay insurance, maintenance, gas, tickets - so I give myself
permission to use CCS and rent a car whenever I need to because
it really still is much cheaper over the year, just takes a bit
more planning. I am pleasantly surprised at the new habits and
seeing more of the local streets and slowing down to see gardens
and get more exercise ''Forget low-carb, go on the low-car diet.''
I've come to view cars as the root of much environmental evil in
modern life so I salute your desire to avoid two cars! I have
two kids (five and nine) and one car. Here's what makes it work:
1) we can easily walk to BART & kids school
2) we don't HAVE to have a car for work. My husband and I have
access to rental cars if needed for work (a pain to arrange but
you get use to it). Or I carpool with fellow meeting attendees --
B a great chance to get to know people.
There are times where having a second car would make life
easier. But I know if we had a second car we wouldn't take
public transit or walk or bike as much 'cuz it's easy to forget
about the costs (gas, insurance) or the impacts to the
environment (considerable and far beyond just air pollution and
gas consumption). I've found one car to work fine and we save a
ton of money but we do experience slightly more (but only
One car family
We just got a second car for the first time when my older child
started driving. My husband biked, bused, or walked to work for
17 years. In bad weather, or when shedule necessitated it, I
sometimes drove him, or he took a cab, or on occasion, we rented
a car, and he is delighted to be driving to work now (I'm the one
who was more environmentally concerned; we got a Prius). There
were some challenges (softball game and baseball game on opposite
sides of town at the exact same time), but it worked prettey well
for all those years. In fact, I always considered it a little
strange when families would leave places in two separate cars!
You don't give enough detail to explain what you think the
problem will be, so I have more questions than suggestions. How
will two kids require more cars than one child? You are both
managing to get where you need to go with one (and sometimes no)
car, so how will that change? Especially since it sounds like
you BOTH prefer - for various reasons - one car, I don't see why
you can't make it work. Does one of you need the car daily for
work? Are you concerned about getting two kids to different
day-care sites on time each day? Are you close to convenient
public transit that goes where you want to go? Do you/can you
ride a bike with a two-child trailer?
One car can be plenty.
It is possible to have two kids with one car. We have two boys
(4 1/2 and 2 1/2) and one car, and it's been great. That being
said, we unfortunately have to get another car soon - our kids
will be attending different schools in the fall and getting out
at two different times, so we will need another car. You really
can get by with one car; it will just depend on your work
schedules, and how often each of you need to drive, but with
some planning it can be done! Good luck!
I am puzzled by your post. Why on earth would having a second
child require a second car? Would you and your spouse/partner be
splitting up where you're going, one child per adult, all the
time? Otherwise, I can't see why you wouldn't be able to get two
children, one adult, or two children, two adults, in one car.
The children won't be driving themselves places, yet, right? (:
For the record, although it's not particularly comfortable, we
do fine with 2 kids and one Civic.
-Would prefer not to need a car at all
until i went to high school, my family only had one car. i have one sibling. it
worked perfectly fine for us as it has for so many families in this country and yes,
even in the bay area. two cars or more seem like a luxury, more than a necessity.
and we lived in the suburbs, not in a major city with easy mass transportation.
one car was fine
Sure, but it isn't always easy. We have two kids (8, 4) and
one car, and here's what happens: my husband rides his bike to
work; if I am responsible for drop-off and pick-up of kids, I
drive; otherwise I walk to BART and take it to work and leave
the car at home for him to get the kids. We also joined City
Car Share for those times (fairly rare) when we both have to
have a car; we have a CCS pod near our house. If you live
anywhere near a CCS pod, you can probably manage. But you have
to want to; the $5000 or so we save a year helps me want to.
this page was last updated: Oct 14, 2006
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network