How to cope with life without the car

How to cope w/out a car



Our car needed to go to the hospital. A nasty big lorry reversed into it claiming it didn’t see it! The diary was consulted and we found a couple of days when we could cope without it. I was attending a conference in London and we were going up by train so the garage could have it then.

BUT – the conference was cancelled and we didn’t go!

We have had a few days without our car and have learnt a lot and  realised that these times need planning for.


We use a large supermarket that is a drive away so we did think about what we were going to need when we did our big shop on Monday. Menus were planned and although this is not unusual, we have discovered how much we forget that needs us to ‘pop out’ during the week. We are lucky that we do have local shops that we can walk to but it was just the realization that we are not as organised as we thought.


Linked with above, we discovered that one area we hadn’t planned for was our banking for the week. It doesn’t come under ‘shopping’ so we missed it! Now we do have a local  bank but it is a fair stride away and will need a ‘special visit’ which will take out more time than jumping in the car.


Being faced without our own transport, we have found ourselves suddenly wanting to go to places. It must be that thing of when you haven’t got something you want it! I’ve been amazed at the places we have mentioned visiting, given that we have this space in our diary. It has made us look at our jobs list. You know those jobs that don’t need to be done every week and get lost off the list.


We have made a conscious effort to get out of the house and walk. It was not as if we didn’t do this before but somehow it means more to us at the moment. We haven’t had to make the decision of shall we walk or get in the car. I think once the car is back, we may be leaving it more often.

Public Transport

When you are a car owner you have no idea about public transport. We use the bus rarely and have to say it is quite expensive for the relatively short journeys we have used the local service for. When we have visited other towns and cities, we always look for the ‘Park & Ride’ which allows us to park on the outskirts and gives us  good access to the motorway when we leave.

To drive or not to drive

Our few enforced days without our trusty steed have been illuminating. I take my hat off to those of you who have dispensed with a vehicle. I’m sure your lives are very organised! The time will come when we won’t be able to maintain ownership either because of cost or fitness to drive. Before that time, we will need to think carefully before we say goodbye to our wheels.

Do you rely on a car? 

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  • I love my little car, but I like train journeys as well. I’m lucky that I can walk to town in 15 minutes, but if I have lots to carry and have trudged around for hours, I sometimes catch the bus back.

  • I live in Utah in the United States. In Utah having a car is almost mandatory. Everything is so far away, not convenient for walking to (we’re talking miles, not a few blocks or even a couple of miles)…and the public transport in my own small town is not convenient. I think the bus runs once an hour if that. I live out of town by about five miles (I think) and twice now I’ve had to rely on my own ingenuity to get someplace without my car. I’ve felt quite stranded! Neighbors are kind and will offer rides, but one can only impose so often. So your post was poignant and very close to home! 🙂

  • I’d be lost without my car. We live in the suburbs. I could walk to some stores in the area but it would take a long time. Buses here are few and far between. 🙁

    • It is so interesting to hear about the different approaches to transport around the world. If we lived in Scandinavia we would be expected to take to our bicycles!

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