One Car Family

We’re not car people. For us a car is a practical tool. But we’ve always had two cars — at least until a few days ago when the wheel fell off.
The wheel didn’t literally fall off, but , a strut on our 1990 Mazda 626 holding the shocks, turning mechanism and who knows what else on the right front wheel broke. $1000 to replace it and its partner on the left seems reasonable, but on a 20-year-old car is it worth it?
And now the experiment begins . . . can we live with one car?
The data:
  • I live about 5 miles from the office, but there is no direct public transportation. Biking is possible, but the roads are not the most bike friendly.
  • Jennifer already takes the bus and light rail to work.
  • The Mazda was only driven for errands and was my leave at the airport car.
  • I can work from home 1-2 days a week
  • We live 3 miles from downtown and bicycling to downtown and bus routes are both doable.
  • Unsure if my company will pay for taxi rides to the airport (I usually have to get their too early for public transportation).
  • There is no zip-car or flex car in our neighborhood.

Our 1990 Mazda 626 last winter.

Expected Results: 

I’m going to be honest. I think we can survive on one car. I think we’ll thrive on one car for a while. We’ll get more exercise, I’ll be smarter about how I use my time at the office and we’ll do a better job of planing and consolidating errands. 

And I think that will hold true until mid-October. As the weather turns, the days become short, we’ll probably fall back into our old habits.  So if anyone knows of a small commuter car coming on the market in November, let me know.


  1. Any suggestions for a new car? We’re thinking something small and fun.

  2. Jetta!

  3. jennifer · · Reply

    You CAN use public transportation – the 38 will pick you up across the street and will drop you off on Kruse Way in a half hour. If you can work from home 1-2 times a week, why don’t you? We live in a city where it rains consistently 8 months out of the year, where it’s dark before 5pm for months at a time – biking and walking will only work during the summer and you can’t bike home with 3 bags of groceries. We can make do with one car for awhile, but the reality is, unless we can both work from home, we’re going to need two.

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