A One Vehicle Family

Three months ago we sold our second vehicle. We just couldn't see the sense (cents) in keeping it when it was under a loan and we were trying to eliminate debt. I stay home with Evan and I really wasn't going a lot of places because we are trying to save money and eliminate debt. It seemed like the right thing to do.

It's not really a "normal" thing to do these days, but lawdy, no one has ever accused us of being "normal." I mean really....we do things like build a house in a tractor shed, move ten hours away from friends and family, and we homeschool. Gasp. We just like to be different. It's our inner rebellion, I think.

So you're probably wondering about the pros and cons of having a single vehicle. Well it's your lucky day because I am more than happy to share them with you.


1. Obviously not having a monthly payment was the biggest pro. 

2. We cut our gas and vehicle maintenance budget by more than half. The truck was a gas guzzler.

3. There are no trips to town because I am bored and no spending money I don't have on things I don't need.

4. The little guy and I have started to do all kinds of baking, sewing projects, and reading because we have a lot of free time on our hands.

5. I started a blog.

6. I automatically have an excuse to not get over-involved in things which is my tendency. "Sorry I can't do that I don't have a vehicle."

7. It's a miracle but I have managed to get our homeschooling done everyday. I have also managed to keep up on all my responsibilities around the house. When you stay home all day you really have no excuses to not get things done. Huh, who knew?


1. We have to really plan and communicate a lot better (that could be a pro too.)

2. If we have trouble with our one vehicle, like we did last week, we don't have a way to go get parts for it and fix it ourselves. We had to take it into the shop and it cost us more money. Although not as much money as a second car payment over the course of year would cost.

3. If I am out with the car on the weekends and Glen needs something from town, he just has to do without or wait until I am home.

4. Scheduling appointments for dentist and doctor appointments has proven to be difficult. I have to do it on the Friday Glen has off or take him to work and pick him up so I can have the vehicle during the day.

5. The little guy and I get bored and want to go play with friends but we can't..

6. If the little guy and I were to have an emergency at home we have no way to get to the hospital and we would have to call an ambulance.

Overall, having one vehicle has been more beneficial than not. I know some people would find it punishing and impossible. Maybe it should be punishing.... Maybe we shouldn't have gotten ourselves into so much debt we had to make a choice like that. Maybe growing up is a hard thing to do. You know there was a time when a one-vehicle family was the norm.

Last year was a good wake up call for us and we had to make some tough choices. We learned that people do lose their jobs unexpectedly, even when they have worked for company for twenty-two years. We learned that the borrower is slave to the lender. It's been a good thing. After all, we have been talking about simplifying for years now. Sometimes you are forced to do something drastic instead of just talking about it.


UPDATE: We eventually did buy a second vehicle. It was used and it is paid for. I actually miss the freedom (yes, I said freedom) of one vehicle. Decisions about going places and doing things were easy to make when you didn't have a choice....and stuff actually got done around here. ;)


  1. We are currently (and have been for about a year) a one car family.
    It's not so bad, but I miss meeting up for playdates with the local homeschool group (in the next county), or making it to church every Sunday and Wednesday (Dh works shiftwork 40 miles one way away). Dr appts are a pain, but I have a great MIL that helps out.

    Still, I can't wait to get another vehicle (used, and hopefully paid in full) soon.

    1. It's not so bad, but I was happy to get a second vehicle again. Ironically after reposting this the other day, our one car is having problems and we have to take it into the shop. She is old and tired, and I am afraid we may be looking at a new car payment or being a one vehicle family again. Either situation isn't great.

  2. We went to being a one vehicle family 10 years ago, and I don't mind it at all. Of course, my situation is different in that my hubby works from home 4 days a week, and the 5th day he works I usually don't need the vehicle anyway. No car payments is also a plus!