Sunday, October 6, 2013

Going Car-Free

Recently Joe and I made a big decision and we are so excited!
We decided to go car free and are selling our car.

Yes, this might sound crazy to most people, but hear me out!
Now that we live downtown, Joe and I have been using the car on average about 1-2 times per week. So, we decided to tally up what our car was really costing us to see if it is really worth having.

Once we added up the car payments, insurance, gas, repairs, maintenance, etc. we were floored. We split it up and figured out that if we use our car 2 times per week, it was costing us $110 per trip on average. What?!?! That is definitely too much money.

So, we talked about our options. Obviously, we can walk most places we go. We are also looking into buying a bike trailer for Henry. (We will probably go with the Chariot Chinook, but are still doing some research to finalize our decision). That way, if we want to go a little further than what is easily walkable, we can easily hop on a bike.

That left the problem of trips that require a car. Some of our family members and friends live out of town and we’d like to still be able to visit them without it being a big ordeal. Joe and I also like to go hiking on trails or on mini trips that are driving distance. We definitely still need to use a car sometimes. Luckily for us, in Kitchener there is something called Community Carshare. Basically, you pay a membership, and then you can book the Carshare cars when you need them. You pay an hourly or daily and per km rate, and it seems super simple. The best part is, there are a number of cars located within walking distance from our house. There are also different kinds of cars to suit your needs. If we ever need to, say, pick up a piece of furniture or move something big, there is a cargo van. If it is just one of us running a quick errand, there is a mini electric car. Perfect.

We had a community Fall Festival last weekend and the Community Carshare had a tent set up there, so we signed up! The cool thing was that one of my old students’ mom’s was there promoting it. She has been a Carshare (and otherwise car free!) member for a few years now, even with 2 kids and one who was 6 months old when she joined. That made us feel better about doing it with Henry in tow, and possibly with future children as well. 

This whole decision has felt very liberating for both Joe and I. I'll let you know how it all goes once the car is sold!

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