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Letting go of car...convincing her?

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Letting go of car...convincing her?

Old 12-10-19, 07:07 AM
  #1  
Son_Rising
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Old 12-10-19, 09:51 AM
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Jim from Boston
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letting go of car...convincing her?
Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
Now that we've settled into our small town life our commute is less than 3 miles. In fact everything is within 3 miles. Even the dog and cat have a vet nearby.

Between the two of us we've got 8 bikes and 1 car. I'm interested to go car-free. She's into cycling and the idea, but not enough so to take the plunge.


Maybe I should declare myself car-free? I could just not ride in the car. Would I myself be car-free even if living with a car driving wife?

Putting an average of 45 miles per week on the car adds up to way less than 3000 miles a year, which is low, but it's not car-free. I could probably get us down to 30 miles per week on the car by running errands more by bike.

What's the term for minimal car usage bicycling lifestyle?
Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
Living Car Light ?
Apropos of your deliberations, see this thread:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
My household is "car-light" but I consider myself "car-free" as I do not have a car in my name. My name is not on the title of my wife's car and we have a separation of property agreement in a prenup.

I kept the car maintained for about 15 years but now my new job hours does not give me time, so my wife has to deal with the maintenance. It's her car in the end and her responsibility.
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Consider yourself anything you like, including "car free".

BTW, does your wife require you to get all transportation as well as your own groceries, shopping and emergency service without any access or use of "her" car? .
Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
If I WANT a car, I rent one. If I NEED a car in an emergency I gotta catch a taxi or if I am lucky I can use her car. Since it is not my car, I can not count on it and my wife has her own life and is not concerned about my transportation needs.

In fact, she, like you, makes fun of me if I use it. Unless of course I am doing something for her, which is the most likely scenario if you ever see me driving her car.
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I don't make fun of your, or anybody else's use of the family car but your peculiar semantic gyrations about ownership of the car that is a part of your household in order to maintain your so-called "car free" status is hilarious
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have posted that I consider myself (seriously) Car-Lite, with a condition similar to yours, @JoeyBike. Itís my wifeís car and I use it sparingly at her convenience, though Iím the major breadwinner.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-10-19 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 12-10-19, 10:04 AM
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wphamilton
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There is no minimum mileage to be car-light, and you have every right to call yourself "car-free" even if your wive drives, because there are no consensus definitions for these.

We either own a car or we don't, either drive it or not, and there's not much else to it.
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Old 12-10-19, 10:18 AM
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Why label it? You've reduced your impact. Ask her how long, how many months, she would need to let the car sit while you pretend you don't have it to see if she really thinks she can do it. That way, she has a fall back to give her the confidence to try to live without using it. If it goes well, then get rid of it, if it doesn't you can either come up with alternatives for those situations or just keep it.
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Old 12-10-19, 02:39 PM
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I.B.Roots
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Car-less is a romantic notion but I'd keep a car close by. Heck you might get bored with your new, small town and want to explore far off places someday...
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Old 12-11-19, 11:40 AM
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JoeyBike
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Originally Posted by I.B.Roots View Post
Car-less is a romantic notion but I'd keep a car close by. Heck you might get bored with your new, small town and want to explore far off places someday...
I kept my last car in storage for a year thinking there was NO WAY i could live without a car long term. That was 1989. And I had no intention of giving up my car (van actually). I had just returned from a 5-month self contained bike tour and wanted to refill my savings for a while, so I rented a super cheap apartment easy cycling distance from a new job, two minutes walking distance from a big mall, groceries, movie theaters, and with easy access to doctors by bike or taxi. Once I got all set up guess what? Little use for owning a car. There are rental companies all over the place. Let them deal with the dirty end of car ownership.

Anyway, got off on a tangent. MESSAGE: Put the car in storage somewhere so it's not right there in the driveway and see what happens. Good idea to have a suitable living situation setup first tho.
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Old 12-11-19, 12:04 PM
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JoeyBike
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I find it interesting how we define "Car-Free" in general. Some feel like we have to live on a distant island with no car on it to call ourselves car-free. Or another planet.

I live in a relatively small USA city, yet I still have easy access to mass transit (bus stop two blocks away), rental cars (10-minute bike ride away), Uber, taxis, friends, relatives, and wife who all own cars and theoretically could help me out in a jam if I absolutely needed to be driven somewhere.

A couple of years ago Enterprise was running a special all Winter for smaller rental cars at $9.99/day. So I rented one nearly every weekend (Fri-Mon) for about 4 months. Sometimes it just sat in front of the house but i did enjoy getting out of town on a whim or accomplishing errands in minutes that would take hours on two wheels.

So here is my questions: What is the difference between renting a car for 40 days a year or borrowing my wife's car 4 days a year? Or outings with friends in their cars with them driving? Or sitting in a taxi, which I could summon in single digit minutes on a whim? Or my sister leaves town and gives me her car for a week because she doesn't want it parked at her house for a week? If I had one glass of champagne at a friend's wedding last year, is it OK to tell my doctor I don't drink?

Most here know how I define "Car-Free":

If there is no car registered in your name, and you do not have ANY car at your immediate disposal i.e., 100% YOURS TO USE at any given moment, then you are car-free in that moment. If you rent a car for a week, you are certainly not car-free in those moments. That car is in your name so to speak. If you do not have a car sitting in your driveway, and you have to beg, ask, wait, or call for a car/bus to take you somewhere RIGHT NOW, then you are car-free IMO.
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Old 12-11-19, 12:20 PM
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I just don't see getting hung up on the labels - it's the intent that matters. I just think if YOU are not creating the use of an auto (you can be a passenger in a car where people would be going if you were not along) then you are car free. So, for me, I'm car free except if there is an emergency in which case I rent a Gig car or borrow a friend's car. Some folks are car free even if there is an emergency. Some folks are car free on weekdays and rent a car for trips on the weekend. I think it's more important to encourage degrees of car-free which could lead to even less auto use than it is to get pedantic about labels. So kudos to anyone who reduces their use of a car, kudos to anyone who no longer owns a car, and kudos to those anywhere in between. Labeling it just seems like an opportunity to brag....just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-12-19, 04:08 PM
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JoeyBike
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I just don't see getting hung up on the labels - it's the intent that matters. I just think if YOU are not creating the use of an auto (you can be a passenger in a car where people would be going if you were not along) then you are car free. So, for me, I'm car free except if there is an emergency in which case I rent a Gig car or borrow a friend's car. Some folks are car free even if there is an emergency. Some folks are car free on weekdays and rent a car for trips on the weekend. I think it's more important to encourage degrees of car-free which could lead to even less auto use than it is to get pedantic about labels. So kudos to anyone who reduces their use of a car, kudos to anyone who no longer owns a car, and kudos to those anywhere in between. Labeling it just seems like an opportunity to brag....just my 2 cents.
My only beef is that this forum is called "Living Car Free" and often certain "purists" (and trolls) chastise people who come here who don't fit the purist's idea of Car-Free. I believe this should be a place to interact with ANYONE who even dreams of reducing their dependence on a motor vehicle. Everyone should be welcomed. Sadly, this is not the case.
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Old 12-12-19, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
My only beef is that this forum is called "Living Car Free" and often certain "purists" (and trolls) chastise people who come here who don't fit the purist's idea of Car-Free. I believe this should be a place to interact with ANYONE who even dreams of reducing their dependence on a motor vehicle. Everyone should be welcomed. Sadly, this is not the case.
Yup, I agree. Every single time someone uses alternative transportation (wouldn't it be nice if cars were the alternative instead of the norm?) that's a good thing. String a few times together, get on a roll and see what happens. But no one should hassled because they are not 100% non-auto, we don't want to make it daunting to make the transition. I don't care if you ride an e-bike, use a rowboat, walk, or roller skate - each trip without a car is a contribution to the well-being of all of us. Applying strict labels just makes it harder for people to muster up the will to try.
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Old 12-12-19, 08:32 PM
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I don’t know about labels car free, car light, how important is it really except to achieve status on this forum. I have been married over 50 years and my experience tells me that if you wife isn’t comfortable going without a car, it might be wise to listen to her. This may seem harsh but sometimes it pays to step back from a situation and get a grasp of the bigger picture.

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Old 12-23-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
Everything is nearby, obtainable by mail etc.
Everything material thing you may want is. Other places are not.

My vehicle will soon turn 3.5 years old. Just went over 9,400 miles, which is about average for my lifetime. At least 500 of those miles were logged during long weekend camping trips to places nowhere near me. Sometimes it's nice to be able to get away and explore.
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Old 12-23-19, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Everything material thing you may want is. Other places are not.

My vehicle will soon turn 3.5 years old. Just went over 9,400 miles, which is about average for my lifetime. At least 500 of those miles were logged during long weekend camping trips to places nowhere near me. Sometimes it's nice to be able to get away and explore.
Depends on where you live and what options you have. Bike camping is possible, some places have amazing rails to trails to make it easy to get out into nature....
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Old 01-09-20, 11:33 AM
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Don’t. So my wife and I have 3 cars. 1 i won’t let go, 1 just an old one to haul bikes around and what not, 1 is my wife’s daily. I ride daily, to get groceries movies, get kids whatever the case may be i ride. A lot of times she drives to go out to eat and i say I’ll meet you there. I try to get miles in where i can how i can. Now she can’t really ride all that great due to her health issues. Plus, she shuttles kids around more than i do and her job requires her to drive a lot to manage the different facilities she does.

My cars sit, i have to try and go out every so often to start them, i keep the bats out of them and inside so they don’t die so frequently. Every three weeks I’ll fire one up and drive around the block and park to keep the tires from flat spotting. But i hang on to them so if i need to do a 130 mile run after work to another town, i have a car. Or if i need to take wife or kids to the hospital it’s there. All paid off so don’t have any monthly thing other than $60 a month for insurance.

You don’t have to be car free, you can be. But don’t push the subject to her. Just minimize how much you use the car
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Old 03-15-20, 03:12 AM
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True
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Old 03-17-20, 11:20 AM
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This thread is a perfect example of why I visit LCF as infrequently as possible. "You don't have to be car free. You can be ...", when the untruth of this widespread opinion bakes in, then 'maybe' a forum called living car free really will promote exactly that. As long as it remains a 'debate'. A lifestyle 'choice'. An 'optional' mode of lifestyle. As long as people don't FEEL why it is necessary to REMOVE. COMPLETELY. The internal combustion engine automobiles from our lives, all these posts in this forum is just time wasting twaddle. Too many of us cannot discern the difference between a plug in electric personal transportation vehicle and an ICE vehicle. They are not even remotely the same thing.
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