Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Living Car Free
Reload this Page >

Push Factors from Driving

Notices
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.

Push Factors from Driving

Old 04-28-24, 11:13 AM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
SB1501's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: UK
Posts: 26

Bikes: SOLD: Giant Escape 3 (2021), Raleigh Edale (2016)

Liked 14 Times in 8 Posts
Push Factors from Driving

Feeling really discontent about driving currently. I'm someone that has enjoyed owning a car, maintaining it and keeping it in great shape. I've even happily paid over the cheapest prices for quality parts, been OTT about servicing and taken a lot of great pride in the couple of cars I've owned in the last decade.

In recent years though, it's been a repetitive cycle of things... all combing to make me think "screw this, I want out".

Warranty work needed... disputes to get it taken on, and done, then done to a poor standard, then a long time without the car I put so much time and effort in to. I've ended up selling / trading them as even on the second attempts, most of the local car trade can't get it right.

Parking. A constant hassle. At my street, most households have multiple cars now, a few elderly folks have moved out or passed on (RIP) who didn't have cars, homes re-filled with new tenants who have a car, maybe two. It's a constant battle now. At my partners house, same thing, her neighbours kid moved back in, with his car, takes the spot outside (nobody has claims to them) and her new downstairs neighbour now also has a car. Constant luck needed to get a spot. Even at work!! They downsized the office floor space lease (post covid, new working from home) and as such, 90 car spaces now 30, and introduced a booking system, which inevitably leaves most people out of luck. when challenged, they said "we want people to cycle to work etc" , essentially using a good initiative, as an excuse for the predicament they've put a lot of us in. To top it off, a local shopping centre where I decided to park my car (at cost) for peace of mind over scratches or theft etc, has now increased prices going from £1 up to an hour / £2.50 up to 3 hours which covered me, up to £2.50 for up to an hour, and £4 for up to 3... Which just makes that unsustainable financially.

Then, around Easter, after spending an entire day (a nice day) polishing it, waxing it, really getting it in beautiful shape on a day off... Took it up to a resort town on my last day off work for a while only for an arrogant motorcyclist to cut in, stop, meaning I had to move around slowly. He then drove right into the back of me (crash for cash or sheer stupidity?!). Insurance agreed that it wasn't my fault (grateful for my front and rear dash cams). Now my car is in getting repairs, who knows how many weeks? They gave me a god awful courtesy car. Not enjoyable at all, and severely thirsty on gasoline. No estimated return date for my car, weeks potentially.

It seems to be one thing after another. There is no peace of mind. Enjoyment of car ownership and investment seems to be very, VERY short lived. So much to the point where I think, I'd rather cut my losses. Pay the £5,700 of negative equity off with a loan and take my company up for its offer of a £3,000 limit cycle to work scheme.

I've been on here many times over the years, giving it some serious thought and getting some stellar advice but never doing it. Clothing can apparently solve the weather issue. Cycle lights with car headlight lumens can hopefully solve visibility, even on a dark road. Hiring a car should cover a weekend or two per month of 'road trips' with my girlfriend. Surely I'd come out financially better off. No more petrol. No more insurance. No more repairs. No more servicing.

I live around 7 miles from work / 5 from the city. Right now, in winter at least, cycling in and out seems to be a no go. I could spend more time at my girlfriend's home in the city making cycle commuting to work in winter very easy and 20 mins max. A commitment I should probably already be making anyway... There are showers at work too. Unfortunately WFH isn't an option due to a recent change meaning I must be in for security purposes. I'm 28 and in the next two years should be moving out into the city anyway. Perhaps no £20,000 car loan / monthly payments on my credit record would free up so much more cash to get a nicer home in the city further cementing car free living into my life as a practical lifestyle.

I'm (as ever) seriously considering this. I don't hate cars, I hate the reality of owning one.

Any of you been where I am? Any advice or words of wisdom? Perhaps I'm taking the circumstances too personally / emotionally..
SB1501 is offline  
Old 04-29-24, 08:37 AM
  #2  
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 30,035

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Liked 1,598 Times in 1,079 Posts
Originally Posted by SB1501
Feeling really discontent about driving currently.
...
Perhaps I'm taking the circumstances too personally / emotionally..
This.
Advice: relax.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 05-06-24, 08:59 AM
  #3  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
SB1501's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: UK
Posts: 26

Bikes: SOLD: Giant Escape 3 (2021), Raleigh Edale (2016)

Liked 14 Times in 8 Posts
Thank you. I have since had my car back, repaired. Enjoyed the weekend going out to stay at a remote AirBnB with it. Just in from washing it now, bank holiday here in the UK.

Still, when I think of the few-hundred a month I'm paying for it, I think I could advance my life a little further if that few hundred went towards a house or property. As it stands, it'll be tight to manage both per month whilst having money to live (well).
SB1501 is offline  
Old 05-08-24, 11:30 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
50PlusCycling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,189
Liked 892 Times in 443 Posts
I work from home, and most of what I need is within 10 minutes walk from where I live. If you think driving and parking is tough where you are, try living here in central Tokyo. But I do have a car, a nice BMW 750i, which spends most of its time nestled comfortably in the garage. I got a nice car because I hate driving in Tokyo. On those occasions I get stuck in traffic, at least I am comfortably stuck. Maintenance and repairs are few and far between, I drive so little that a tank of gas can last 6 or more months. I continue to own a car because it remains a ticket to freedom, once you get out of the cities, Japan is a beautiful place to see by car. I also have kids in school, and I find it easier to go to school events, go camping, and take them other places by car.

There are different options when it comes to determining what you can afford. You can adjust your spending to live within your means, or you can increase your means so as to be able to afford more. The latter option is not as hard as many people like to think.
50PlusCycling is offline  
Old 05-24-24, 12:56 PM
  #5  
Yep
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 71

Bikes: Gianni Motta road bike, old Diamondback MTB converted to a touring bike, and a GT MTB converted to an e-bike

Liked 32 Times in 18 Posts
Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
I work from home, and most of what I need is within 10 minutes walk from where I live. If you think driving and parking is tough where you are, try living here in central Tokyo. But I do have a car, a nice BMW 750i, which spends most of its time nestled comfortably in the garage. I got a nice car because I hate driving in Tokyo. On those occasions I get stuck in traffic, at least I am comfortably stuck. Maintenance and repairs are few and far between, I drive so little that a tank of gas can last 6 or more months. I continue to own a car because it remains a ticket to freedom, once you get out of the cities, Japan is a beautiful place to see by car. I also have kids in school, and I find it easier to go to school events, go camping, and take them other places by car.

There are different options when it comes to determining what you can afford. You can adjust your spending to live within your means, or you can increase your means so as to be able to afford more. The latter option is not as hard as many people like to think.
It's reported to cost a fortune to buy, keep, and maintain a car in Tokyo. I wonder what your per kilometer cost is? How much do you use public transportation vs the car? Is it worth it?
axelwik is offline  
Old 05-25-24, 12:55 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,053
Liked 771 Times in 539 Posts
Originally Posted by SB1501
Still, when I think of the few-hundred a month I'm paying for it, I think I could advance my life a little further if that few hundred went towards a house or property.
You probably could, but, I don't know ... you've been circling around this for so long. Aren't you ready to accept that you can't do it? I love my car free life. Yurp, we do stuff you can't even consider, like HVAC (heating/cooling) without 5 years of interest payments. Both you and I know the other poster is wrong: you cannot just dial up the monthly income you want. I'll take them seriously when they repatriate themselves and continue in the manner to which. This forum has always been a bit of a joke. I'm about the only real car free person regularly posting.
Leisesturm is offline  
Old 05-25-24, 08:15 AM
  #7  
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 30,035

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Liked 1,598 Times in 1,079 Posts
Originally Posted by Leisesturm
You probably could, but, I don't know ... you've been circling around this for so long. Aren't you ready to accept that you can't do it? I love my car free life. Yurp, we do stuff you can't even consider, like HVAC (heating/cooling) without 5 years of interest payments. Both you and I know the other poster is wrong: you cannot just dial up the monthly income you want. I'll take them seriously when they repatriate themselves and continue in the manner to which. This forum has always been a bit of a joke. I'm about the only real car free person regularly posting.
Does a self-anointed "Real Car Free Person" earn a special merit badge or get a gold star sticker applied to his forehead?
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 05-25-24, 11:32 AM
  #8  
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Greenville. SC USA
Posts: 7,534

Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

Liked 339 Times in 224 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Does a self-anointed "Real Car Free Person" earn a special merit badge or get a gold star sticker applied to his forehead?
I never did in 30 years of not OWNING a car. I rented plenty of them, took taxi cabs and other motorized means of getting around fairly often. A self-imposed "user tax" if you will. If I didn't feel like spending the money on auto rentals I just opted out and biked or walked for a while. I enjoyed the option.

The Moon and even now Mars isn't totally "car-free" these days so not sure what the true definition of CF would be anymore.

If I lived right next door to a rental car company and had the money to rent one but never did, am I still "car-free"? If a tree falls in the forest....
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 05-25-24, 11:40 AM
  #9  
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Greenville. SC USA
Posts: 7,534

Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

Liked 339 Times in 224 Posts
Originally Posted by SB1501
Thank you. I have since had my car back, repaired. Enjoyed the weekend going out to stay at a remote AirBnB with it. Just in from washing it now, bank holiday here in the UK.

Still, when I think of the few-hundred a month I'm paying for it, I think I could advance my life a little further if that few hundred went towards a house or property. As it stands, it'll be tight to manage both per month whilst having money to live (well).
You really have to "insert yourself" into a situation that allows you to ditch the car. Close proximity to all of your services and retail needs, medical care, friends (if you have those), and most of all a safety net for if/when you get sick i.e., taxi services. If your dream was to own a sheep farm in the country your chances of being car-free get close to zero. Live in a nice city center and your odds get much better of pulling off that lifestyle.

Cheers!
JoeyBike is offline  
Likes For JoeyBike:
Old 05-25-24, 11:43 AM
  #10  
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 30,035

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Liked 1,598 Times in 1,079 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeyBike
The Moon and even now Mars isn't totally "car-free" these days so not sure what the true definition of CF would be anymore.
The Real definition of "car-free" is whatever a BF brand Real Car Free Person™ says it is.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 05-25-24, 11:48 AM
  #11  
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Greenville. SC USA
Posts: 7,534

Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

Liked 339 Times in 224 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
The Real definition of "car-free" is whatever a BF brand Real Car Free Person™ says it is.
It might be fun to start a thread asking all five of us what our own personal definition of car-free is.
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 05-26-24, 02:40 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,053
Liked 771 Times in 539 Posts
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Does a self-anointed "Real Car Free Person" earn a special merit badge or get a gold star sticker applied to his forehead?
Triggered much? To post such absolute rubbish to try and what I don't know, you have to feel pretty indicted by what I said. Why? I'm car free. You're not. It is what it is ...
Leisesturm is offline  
Old 05-26-24, 02:50 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,053
Liked 771 Times in 539 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeyBike
If I lived right next door to a rental car company and had the money to rent one but never did, am I still "car-free"? If a tree falls in the forest....
Yes, you would be car free if you don't use rental cars. 'Car lite', if you do occasionally. Is that so hard? Why the silliness? The definitions are not up to you or me. The definitions of most things are not subject to an individuals whim.
Leisesturm is offline  
Old 05-26-24, 12:07 PM
  #14  
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Greenville. SC USA
Posts: 7,534

Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

Liked 339 Times in 224 Posts
Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Yes, you would be car free if you don't use rental cars. 'Car lite', if you do occasionally. Is that so hard? Why the silliness? The definitions are not up to you or me. The definitions of most things are not subject to an individuals whim.
If I get injured and take a $5,000 ambulance ride. Still car free?
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 06-09-24, 02:11 PM
  #15  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
SB1501's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: UK
Posts: 26

Bikes: SOLD: Giant Escape 3 (2021), Raleigh Edale (2016)

Liked 14 Times in 8 Posts
Well the last few weeks, I have truly been split between keeping the car and embracing the idea of owning one to the fullest - and then, absolutely feeling like crap over my mentality and how much of a toll it takes on me. Parking, insurance hikes, fuel prices. It's not that I can't afford them or find parking etc, it's that I don't want to put up with this anymore. I don't feel it's worth it. Right now I've got the full set up to take advantage of car ownership, that being a car I'm happy with and a big investment in the form of a concept2 rowing machine to counteract the no-other-exercise aspect. However, I was a bit disappointed in the rowing machine as I thought because it engages so much muscle groups, it would help me feel more active and flexible outside of my 9-5 office job and driving pastime but it doesn't really. I'm sure it's a still a net positive, but it's not 'stretching me out' how I had hoped.

I'm considering buying a £200-£400 bike, 12 months 0% finance so it doesn't upset my savings or already tight cash flow so much. Parking my car up in the work multi-storey for 4 weeks, giving the key to family. And truly experiencing having no car on the street outside, having to ride it to work every morning, 5 days a week, and home. No comfortable, warm, cosy car on the wet (and cold) mornings. This last week I've been living at my partners house (dodging my parents home due to a Covid outbreak, successfully actually as everyone else there ended up getting it!). Because of that, the usual 7 mile commute and 1.5 mile dodgy road bit is non existent. It's all cycle path / shared paths and fairly level ground. It seems like a good trial to do for 4 weeks or so?

Is 4 weeks enough to know if I'll truly not regret ditching the car?

If I could sum it up in two main benefits: peace of mind/mental health, and financial freedom too

I worked out the costs:


I'd be taking about a £5,000 loss on my car due to finance interest... However.. in less than 12 months, I'd have paid off a loan to cover that. Leaving me with a big fat 0 of debt to my name. And sure, finance is temporary, but the car is already 7 years old, in another 4.5 years, it'll be an old enough car that at any point, it could quickly become time to go finance another.. right?
SB1501 is offline  
Old 06-09-24, 03:37 PM
  #16  
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 30,035

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Liked 1,598 Times in 1,079 Posts
What is the question that anybody but the OP can provide an answer?
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 06-10-24, 10:57 AM
  #17  
20+mph Commuter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Greenville. SC USA
Posts: 7,534

Bikes: Surly LHT, Surly Lowside, a folding bike, and a beater.

Liked 339 Times in 224 Posts
Originally Posted by SB1501
If I could sum it up in two main benefits: peace of mind/mental health, and financial freedom too
The root of the problem is that much of this world has been altered to the detriment of those who prefer not owning a motor vehicle. For most industrialized nations a car has become a necessity and we have all been groomed to accept this.
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 06-10-24, 11:45 AM
  #18  
I am potato.
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 3,205

Bikes: Only precision built, custom high performance elitist machines of the highest caliber. 🍆

Liked 1,728 Times in 985 Posts
There is a phrase that comes to mind: Drive 'till you qualify.
What that means is that housing cost is inversely proportional to Personally Owned Vehicle cost.

If you have everything you need nearby you don't need a car. If you have nothing near by housing cost is going to be cheaper because that area sucks to live in. The money saved simply turns to transportation expense, which is a different and often more porous money bucket.

Give this a read and see if it tips the scales one way or the other for you.

Last edited by base2; 06-10-24 at 10:10 PM.
base2 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.