The day I gave up my car

My car

The day I gave up my car

I’ve been driving since I could, I passed my driving test at the age of 17 and have been driving now for 30 years. It was the most important thing for me to do when I was 17. It was also the only thing I ever really knew I wanted to do. Driving I’ve always loved, loved being behind the wheel heading off somewhere. Each year I’ve driven between 20,000 and 35,000 miles, doing 30,000 was the norm for me. Just getting in my car and going off somewhere was me.

To be able to drive

I’m not sure about anywhere else in the world, but here in the UK to be able to drive first you need a driving licence and second a car. A car which is road worthy, cars has to pass an annual test each year to make sure they are. The only acceptations are new cars, 3 years before they need to have their first test and then it’s every year after that. Then your car needs to be insured for you to drive it and last and by no means last your car needs to be taxed, it’s a road tax which everyone as to pay. This tax goes towards maintaining the roads, repairs and building of new roads. After all that, you are ready to go. Just add fuel.

Today's fuel price in pence per litre

Test

My car was due its annual test ( it’s called a M.O.T), but it failed, failed big time, well it was for me, it needed about £600 ($900)worth of work doing. It could be more if a part needed replacing completely and the man at the garage said it was possible but wouldn’t know until the work was being done. I had the money at the time for the repairs, but also I needed that money for other things, I sat long and hard thinking what should I do. How could I get my car back on the road and still have money for other things I needed. It was simple there wasn’t going to be a car in my life for a time. I simply couldn’t afford it. The price of everything has gone up and up and what spare money I once had I no longer have.

From the pervious test to this test I had driven 27,000 miles and with the cost of fuel and then servicing, insurance and road tax my car had taken almost £6,500 ($10,000) of my wages, I was staggered when I sat down and did the sums, if only fuel was cheaper and my car insurance too, I’ve not had an accident for 20 years but each year my insurance as gone up.

Public transport

I decided I was going to use public transport for a time until I had the money to get my car sorted and back on the road. Public transport I’d always hated, never knowing what times they ran, what buses to catch to get from A to B. But I needed to accept it and start using it I had no chose in the matter.

First I used the bus to travel into work, they were ok, but the times were wrong for me, making my working day much longer. Then I decided to use the train, that way I could also use my bike to cycle to the station and then travel by train and then cycle to work once I got into Nottingham where I work. Sometimes I have cycled home from work a distance of 18 miles. My children live in Plymouth some 270 miles from where I live, now if I book the train in advance I could half the cost of what it would cost me to drive in the car. And the best bit about it you just sit and relax, maybe read, maybe watch a movie on my laptop or something.

Since giving up my car I have find it can be easy to travel around, if you plan ahead and is often cheaper than using the car. The only drawback I see is you can’t just get up and go, you have to wait for public transport to turn up. My car still sits there waiting to be repaired I’m not sure if it will be repaired, I may give up driving all together, but I don’t think I could do that, than again I have for the last 6 months

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Comments 27 comments

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 4 years ago from Sunny Spain

I know what you mean Kevin on our way to church tonight we passed the petrol station and yet again the price of diesel had gone up 1 euro 41 centimos per litre,

We haven't given up our car but we have moved down into the town so now everywhere is accessible via public transport.

The car now goes out once or maybe twice a week now and even then we could go by train/tram or bus for 2 euros return but when there are three of us travelling to church it takes less in diesel than in fares for the tram.

There may be a time coming soon when we can let go of the car after all if we needed a car to go somewhere special then we could always hire one and we don't need to tax, MOT and insure them do we just pay the car hire :D

It sounds to me like it is a healthy option in your case with the old cycle doing its part.


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Maggs, I've also been looking into hire car too and it seems a good idea :)


Lizam1 profile image

Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

We are also recently "car less" and i'm adapting pretty well. The drawback, as you say, is the need to plan and that it's more expensive if all of us need to go somewhere on the bus for that one journey. Thought of the local car share co-op as an alternative but they are quite expensive too.


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Lizam1 glad that you have adapted well being car less :)


Laura in Denver profile image

Laura in Denver 4 years ago from Aurora

Busses can be terribly confusing. In Denver, as politicians try to save money, many routes are cut scaled back and otherwise disturbed each 6 months.

Obviously, generally poorer people are expected to foot the bill for the fat cats in government seats with substantiall lobbiests!

But a stable system which included the loading of bikes is great! Denver approached this problem far too late.


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Laura :)


stugod profile image

stugod 4 years ago from Bradford

Not much of a car person myself. A good friend of mine who drove a Rolls Royce used to routinely fill the boot with Non ferrous metals off demolition jobs. You could get a fair bit of gear in a Rolls Royce boot.


MobyWho profile image

MobyWho 4 years ago from Burlington VT

My husband just had his license renewed. It's good until his 98th birthday! He has voluntarily turned the driving over to me, but kept his license for emergencies. For the elderly, losing a license is more a sign of defeat to old age. Acceptable, but depressing.


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Stugod and MobyWho :)


LisaKoski profile image

LisaKoski 4 years ago from WA

Great hub! I don't know if I could give up my car. I drive over an hour to get to work and I know when my boyfriend used to work where I'm at it took hours to get there using the bus. It's something to consider when gas prices keep rising though.


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Liza, my drive too was or could be an hour or more depending on traffic. After driving for so long I guess it was hard to give up my car. But with ever thing continuing to go up in price and my wage hasn't something had to go and it was my car.


Larry Okeke profile image

Larry Okeke 4 years ago from Enugu, Nigeria

Mmm... Excellent hub! Am yet to ride my first car but you all make it sound it would be fun to do so. I guess i should start saving for one! Voted up and useful. Can't wait to see ur next hub


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Larry, hoping you get your first car soon :)


SERAPHINE 4 years ago

Splendid .I think i like the fact that u are adapting pretty well, my car is recently on repair and i am doing fine. you can just start saving in a bank for ur car and make sure u dont spend the money


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 4 years ago from The City of Generals

Awesome hub. My brother gave up his modern day car for something vintage - a beetle. Since it was his passion "removing this and adding this" to the car taking time to sort things out, he used to end up taking public transport. I think that was a great thing he began to appreciate taking long walks as he lives in the downtown area.

You're very right, if you find it can be easy to travel around, my brother too finds it easier to go around without the hassle of getting stuck in the middle of traffic. I wish you soon will have your car back. Thanks for this educational hub Aaren. You have not only shared something valuable than just the comforts of life, you also have shared how to value patience and money.

Thank you and voted up!


TimArends profile image

TimArends 4 years ago from Chicago Region

Giving up your car is possible in the UK but not so much in the US. Except in certain metropolitan areas such as NYC, a car is essential. We're too spread out. Plus, our whole economy is built around the automobile.


zootsuit7 profile image

zootsuit7 4 years ago

I wish we had accessible public transportation here in Kentucky. Driving a car is such a racket these days. I enjoyed reading your hub!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Public transport works in the UK but many places are dangerous to walk or cycle in the USA.


Hui (蕙) profile image

Hui (蕙) 4 years ago

What about "car whorship" in present days? After all, this is a human society.


HowToLoveOne profile image

HowToLoveOne 4 years ago from San Francisco

Wow. I live in San Francisco and gas has been creeping up to $4-5 (USD). I average about $50/week ($200-300/month) and that doesn't include insurance. I have since taken up a lot of biking and I'm trying to make it more of a transportation tool instead of just recreation. Is biking feasible in your part of the UK?


ladysonoma profile image

ladysonoma 4 years ago

I hate public transport, too. Plus, you're surrounded by people, some with not-so-good hygiene, and when winter comes around you're bound to get sick. But, yeah, I did get to the point of thinking about sucking it up because, in la la land, you're not just looking at higher insurance rates (due to high accident areas and ratios), but more time on the roads, more gas, better budget in parking, too. Parking is so darn expensive... It used to take me 45 minutes to drive 15 miles to work, every day! Lol... Oh I hated it.


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Seraphine, Tonipet, TimArends, Dilo3xp, zootsuit7, Gypsy Willow, Hui, How to Love and Ladysonoma for all your comments, over here in the UK the price of fuel is over $10/11 a gallon and continues to rise, I see more and more people giving up the car and replacing it with public transport. I know public transport isn't always the best but with almost everything continue to go up in price something as to go. People’s wages hasn't gone up and in most case some have seen a wage freeze or wage cut and then there is jobs loses too. The price of fuel needs to come down, people and business can’t carry on with today’s prices, and it affects everyone. I’ve never understood why the price of fuel is so much more over here in the UK than it is in the USA.


Ramkitten/Deb 4 years ago

Good for you! Giving up a personal vehicle is very difficult and, as you say, public transportation isn't always very convenient. But sounds like you've gotten used to it. And biking is such great exercise. Kudos to you for making it work.


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Deb's yeah it seemed easy for me to give up my car and not looked back. Other people around that as seem to be more bothered by it than me, which I find really strange.


boutiqueshops profile image

boutiqueshops 4 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

Great hub! Thanks for sharing your journey. After I retired, hubby and I gave up one of our cars to save on all the expenses. As gasoline keeps rising, I've thought many times about giving up the 2nd car. Texas has no high speed rail and public transport is barely usable (stops are too far apart). I'd sure love to give up that car though. Thanks again for the inspiration.


Arren123 profile image

Arren123 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Boutiqueshops for you comments, I wish the price of fuel here in the UK would come down it's way to expensive. Thanks once again :)


cleroy61 3 years ago

I hope you can buy a car with your earnings on hubpages, redgage, bubblews, redbubble, zazzle ... etc !

The best for you !

cleroy61

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