One-Car Family

We are officially a one-car family. To many, that may not be a big deal, but if you’ve even been or lived in Arizona, you will know it is not an easy feat. The metropolitan area is widely spread out and public transportation is…well, for lack of a better word, shit. When the signs were in the air that it was time to really consider going down to one vehicle, we did not make the decision lightly. I suppose I should start at the beginning…

Almost three years ago, I talked Logan into buying a 2005 Toyota Prius. He was hesitant at first because it was, well, a Prius. Apparently extremely high gas mileage doesn’t really translate into swagger. Nonetheless, we found a nice used car with low mileage and jumped in. It wasn’t too long before my dear husband saw exactly what a genius I was for my great idea because his gas costs were a fraction of what they once were. I mean we could get to Vegas and back for about $80 when gas was at the highest. It was wonderful! Then four months ago, this happened:

My dear husband FLIPPED THE CAR IN THE DRIVEWAY! Ok, not really IN THE DRIVEWAY, but close enough. It was about 5:30 a.m. and I missed a call from him. I was just getting around to waking up, so I called him back within minutes. He told me he had been in an accident. I knew he had to have just left for work so I asked him where he was and “what the f^%# happened?” He told me I needed to come outside and that I would never believe it unless I saw it. Boy, was he right! I took less than 100 steps and saw my lovely, fuel-efficient Prius tipped on the driver’s side and my husband standing next to it. Thankfully, he was ok. His nose looked pretty banged up, but other than that he was alive and coherent. I won’t bore you all with the ridiculous story of how he got that car into that predicament (by bore you, I mean embarrass him) but, let’s just say it was a freak accident. He did hit another vehicle and left a minor cosmetic scratch. He jerked the wheel in hopes of avoiding a collision and BOOM… on its side it went. If he would have hit that car, it probably would have been a whole hell of a lot worse since he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The police showed up, issued a ticket, and towed the poor car away. It was almost another three weeks until we were told that the car was a total loss. Since we were still paying on the loan, we were extremely lucky enough that the gave us enough to pay the loan off, enough to cover the deductible, and an extra $1,000 was left over. We talked long and hard about what would be the right thing to do… buy a new car or just buy a cheapy, use the extra money to pay off my van quicker, and then buy a new car. We chose the latter, so the hunt was on.We found a really good deal on Craigslist for $500. It really was a giant P.O.S., but it ran and had air conditioning, so we were determined to make it work. We got it checked out and there were a few things that it could have used to make it run better and there was some transmission crap that needed done before emission’s tests in October, but hey we had time! Six weeks later, my husband lost his job quite unexpectedly. And the car lost the power steering and the air conditioning all within the same week. So, on one hand, I was kind of grateful that we no longer had the Prius payment to worry about, but on the other I was starting to view our sweet deal from Craigslist as looking more and more like a money pit. Than we got a strange gift, a sign, or whatever you want to call it. A man left a sign on the car while it was parked outside. The sign read, “If you are interested in selling this car, give me a call, I will pay cash.” We called. He offered $400 and we countered $500. He never called back, but the wheels in my head were already turning. I just knew we needed to get rid of this car. We called around to a few salvage yards and they were all only willing to go to $400 tops. We gave up and decided to think about it some more. Magically, there was another note,from another person. We called and Logan told him $600, he showed up with $500 in hand, and away he went with our Craigslist find. Leaving us with one car.

Right now, at this very moment, having one car really isn’t too bad. In a few days, Riley goes back to school and then it will get interesting. She goes to a school out of her district, so I have driven her to and from every single day since kindergarten. Her school does have a bus service that she will start riding this year. I am a little worried about being here all day long without any means of transportation, in case of an emergency.  I can take my husband to work and pick him up on the days I need or want the car, but it is a ton of driving and gas is not cheap. Plus, his shift and Riley’s school both start at 8:00 a.m., and his workplace is 30 minutes away.  He just started his new job and knows no one, so carpooling isn’t an option yet. There’s not a bus route near here–the closest one would take almost two hours just to get there (like I said earlier, our public transit system really sucks). As much as I would like to think what a great choice this was for my hippie agenda, I can’t say that is why we made the choice. I know we will make it work. I know everything will be great. I am hoping that soon we will be able to continue on with our plan to pay off the van and get another reliable car for him to commute in that is better on gas. I am hoping all the crap stuff will turn into truly awesome stuff soon. In the meantime, we are just going to hustle to make our crazy life make sense. The good news is that once summer is over and it starts cooling off, my husband can take this out of the garage and use it…

It may take him a wee bit longer to get there, but he will look like a BAMF rolling up on it!

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  1. Alyssa -  August 3, 2012 - 11:04 am

    We’ve been a one car family for 10 years. It got annoying at times….but it has saved us so much money. Now that we have 2 cars though…I do enjoy the freedom is brings us with not having to worry about the other person possibly needing the car. It wasnt easy, that’s for sure. But having lived it I know that a second car is a luxury not a necessity in almost all cases.

  2. kimberly -  August 3, 2012 - 11:16 am

    I so understand how you feel! we have 2 cars but one is broken down in the driveway and my husband takes my car (dodge journey) to work every day! I could take him to work but that equates me waking up 3 sleeping kids dragging them to the car driving 40 minutes there and back just to have use of the car for the afternoon. Chris my 6 year old starts school in a few weeks, and even though its only about 6 blocks in the heat its a pretty crappy walk with a 4 year old and 1 year old in tow. I lived in arizona for 22 years so I know what you mean about the public transportation sucking lol.

  3. Jessica Ann Beck -  August 3, 2012 - 11:32 am

    I defiantly applaud you, we were a single car family when our first was born she was in the NICU for 5 weeks and my husband couldn’t take that whole time off work so I would have to wake up early drive him to work, go to the hospital, then id go home, back to the hospital, pick DH up, go back to the hospital. I basically lived in my car and the hospital the whole time. STRESSFUL. Once our LO was out of the hospital but she still had monthly bloodwork done and saw her doctor every 2-4weeks, so I did that, and don’t forget just normal daily chores like grocery shop, run errands etc… all of this and a husband that worked on call , became impossible.

    So for us getting a second car almost became a MUST HAVE for us (as silly as it sounds) it would come to the point where I’d have to leave my shopping cart half full at the store because DH got called in, I really lacked the freedom to pack the baby up and just go somewhere, which doesn’t really mesh well for me. So we got our badass MV and I couldn’t be happier because me and our two girls can go and do whatever we want now and not mess up Steve’s work routine.

    (really my dream would be for DH to have a less stressful job, but I guess I shall just be satisfied for now with a second car!!)

  4. Charlee -  August 3, 2012 - 11:46 am

    I have gone from a 4 car family to almost 1. When we lived in NY we each had a car that was easy on gas for the summer and a truck/suv for 4 wheel drive in the winters. A must for where I lived. When we moved to IL we sold my car and his truck. So now we have his car (Chevy Malibu) and my SUV (jeep liberty) we are currently in the process of trying to sell my jeep. Bottom line we need the money. — well hubby just called he sold the jeep!! We are offically a one car family!

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