Despite our proximity to town, we were very dependent on our car, a little Mitsubishi Colt. My wife dreaded taking the train as it cost significantly more and added around an hour to her daily commute, when compared to driving. We also saw it as essential for our weekly groceries, trips to the gym and weekend trips out of town. I eventually started cycling to work, cutting my commute time in half. I bought a bike for my wife but she only used it on the rarest of occasions. Two full years in this obscure part of Leeds had been without incident so we attributed the cautioning we received to paranoia. And then earlier this year, this happened….
A random act of vandalism. At the time, we were both shocked and dismayed as anyone would be. It was my wife’s first car that we had picked it out together, shared many memories in and could not imagine our lives without it. It did not help our emotional state that we, just a few months prior to the incident, spent a couple of grand fixing the car up. We had no clue how to live without a car.
- No car related costs like insurance, MOT, maintenance, fuel. If my wife bought her tickets in advance, her commute was no more expensive than driving.
- She could also sleep or read on her commute instead of concentrating on the road.
- We started cycling into town, to the gym and to get groceries. This meant only buying things we needed and therefore reducing our waste.
- Weekend trips were done by train or bus, which meant less stress on the road and no need for a designated driver.
I was so engrossed into buying a replacement, I had not stopped to consider whether we needed to own a car at all. Turns out, we don’t. It’s been 6 months now and apart from having to occasionally justify not having a car to our parents we definitely enjoy living car(e) free.