Should you go down to one car?

Over the last couple of weeks, my wife and I have been talking about going down to one vehicle.

Her car is paid off and I’m currently leasing mine. I’m leasing because I couldn’t decide on what I wanted to drive when I was shopping and thought this was the easiest way to “delay” my decision.

That said, leasing is expensive. You have your monthly lease payment, as well as full insurance coverage.

With an owned vehicle, you have more freedom on the coverage you choose because you are only protecting yourself, not yourself and the leasing company.

Anyway…we are thinking about going to one car and I wanted to share what kinds of things are impacting our decision.

It’ll save us a ton!

If we got rid of my car, it would save us nearly $400 per month

  • $240 lease payment
  • $80-$90 car insurance
  • $50 gas
  • $20-$30 registration and taxes

Talk about savings! With that extra cash flow, we could pay down debt faster and/or ramp up our retirement savings.

Commute

I have a 15-minute drive to work, one way. If I were to ride my bike, it would take 30 minutes, up a hill. If I were to take the bus, the closest drop off to my office is still a 40-minute walk.

A scooter would probably cost less, but I’d be dealing with the same hassles (gas, insurance, registration, maintenance) as if I had a car.

Besides…what about inclement weather?!

Repairs

What if we go with one car and it ends up needing repairs. We could be stuck without a vehicle. There are a few things we could do.

  • Uber for the next couple days, or however long it takes to fix the car, or
  • We could rent a car
  • Ask friends and family for a little help

Emergencies

My wife stays home with our son, what if I took the car to work, and there was an emergency and she had to leave ASAP?

If we were to go to one car, the plan, tentatively, is for me to get dropped off at work and she keeps the car just in case.

Quality Time

The one downside to this is, I try to go home every day for lunch. This gives me a chance to spend a little extra quality time with my wife and son during the day. If she were to drop me off, I would miss out on this.

On the other hand, I would get to spend more time with them in the car on our commute to and from work. It doesn’t quite make up for the missed lunch period, but would give us more time together.

My Lease

The one thing that stinks is I have a lease. I checked with the dealership to see if I could end it early and I can’t.

The only two ways around it would be to buy the car, or turn in the vehicle and continue paying the lease, which goes until June of 2019.

The one positive from that is I am way under on my mileage, so if I continue the lease until next June and buy the car, it should be worth more than I’ve paid into it. Should I buy it next year and sell it right away for a profit?

Read more about the buy/lease debate, here.

Trial Run

Even though we won’t be able to do anything until next year, we are going to try the one-car arrangement next week. I will park my current vehicle for seven days, and we will see how a week of carpooling works.

Conclusion

If you are deciding whether or not to reduce to one car, it’ll depend on your personal situation. Do you both work? Does one of you work from home? Do you have kids?

These are only a few big factors to consider when debating this decision.

So readers, if you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Published by

Financial Health and Wealth

I am a Financial Consultant and Blogger. I live in the Greater Milwaukee area. I am married with a six-month-old son. My goal with this blog is to educate people to better understand basic finances and to help save them money along the way

8 thoughts on “Should you go down to one car?”

  1. Hi Jake!
    Tough call! My wife and I are most likely going down to one car later this year, and I’ll ride my bike as often as I can. We work at the same school and so our extra car is mostly for convenience if we need to be at separate places.
    If you decide to go with one car, you’ll learn to get really creative with transportation and probably improve your communication with your wife. So you could be looking at more positives than just he financial gain.
    I’m curious to see how your week experiment goes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the input Jamie!

      I was looking forward to the extra time spent with her in the car, but didn’t think about the improved communication aspect. Good thinking!

      I wish I could ride my bike to work. I would most definitely need a shower after each trip lol

      I’ll do a little update after the week is over.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I started keeping extra deodorant at my desk. I get pretty sweaty but I work with middle schoolers so it’s not terrible if I’m a little sweaty at work. And the ride home is all downhill so it takes me half the time and I don’t sweat at all.

        Liked by 2 people

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