HomeCarsWe decided to give being a one car family a shot

We decided to give being a one car family a shot

Cars are freaking expensive. Even though both of our cars were fully paid off (’07 Scion tC and ’06 Honda Pilot) they still ate up a considerable amount of our discretionary income. Gas ($300/mo), insurance ($120/mo), and maintenance (call it $600+/year)  aren’t cheap.

So even though our cars were paid off, they were still costing us about $500 a month.

That’s insane and I think I would have projectile vomited all over the place had we had another $400+/mo in car payments to add to that.

Now that Baby Ninja is a thing, we realized my Scion tC had become nothing more than a glorified driveway ornament. I loved my Scion dearly, but the car only had two doors, and let me tell you a little secret; coupes and car seats don’t mesh. 

I sat down with Girl Ninja and pitched the idea of selling the Scion and trying out the one car household thing.

She was down. 

I put my car up on Craigslist and within a few weeks I fetched $9,500 for it, which was right at its Blue Book value.

Now I should remind you that I have a company car so while I’m out working, Girl Ninja still has our Pilot. That said, I’m not allowed to use my work car for anything other than official business. No quick stops at the grocery store, no driving with passengers, nothing.

So maybe we are more like a 1.5 car household?

It’s been about 6 weeks now, and so far we haven’t once thought to ourselves “Man, it sure would be nice to have two cars.” 

Perhaps this will change as time wears on, but for now we’re enjoying the almost $10,000 boost to our savings account and reduced monthly vehicle expenses. I’m sure eventually we will end up buying a second car, one with four doors of course, but so far this one car household adventure has been pretty fun.

How many drivers are in your household? How many cars do you have?




  1. Cars ARE freaking expensive! I have 2 drivers (the husband and myself) and two vehicles, though one (our Prius) is our main ride and we use it a lot.

    I actually think we could get rid of our second car as it maybe gets driven a few times a month tops, but it comes in handy for hauling firewood and other big stuff, mucking through the woods, and for when I run errands. Is the convenience worth the cost? You can’t haul a face cord of firewood in a Prius… ~Brenda

    • Run a cost analysis of how much keeping the extra car costs you each year in maintenance and insurance. Then price that against how much it might cost to rent a truck the few times a year you might need it.

      I know Home Depot and the Truck Rental agencies here are only like $25 for a full-day rental.

  2. We have one vehicle for a bit over a year and you get use to it. Once you see how much you are saving you its worth it.

  3. We have 3 cars, a motorcycle, a boat, a camper, plus his company car which he uses for personal stuff all the time. Two drivers left in the house since daughter number one headed off to college. Don’t even get me started… 🙂

  4. We both work in different parts of town and our hours don’t mesh at all to go one car. If one of us was a stay at home parent and the other had a company car it might work, but we live in a city where public transportation is not an option.

    • What Brian said, minus the kiddies part; we’re DINKS. For fun, I checked out what my 22 minute highway/city commute would be if I took public transit; 4 bus transfers and approx 90 minute commute one way has us keeping both cars.

  5. Just two cars and two drivers. The van is what we use most of the time, but the 15 mpg difference between the vehicles means that we use the car whenever we can. Plus there are times when we have to be in two different locations.

    However for 85% of the time one vehicle works just fine.

  6. I think you’re a two car household with a moped. No wonder you don’t feel restricted.

    We have 2 drivers, 3 cars and a motorcycle. We work 20 to 30 minutes in different directions, so two cars can be justified. The others cannot from a financial standpoint.

  7. 3 drivers (myself, husband, and our daughter). We have 5 vehicles. One is my husband’s very first car that he got at 16 which he turned into a drag race car. It sits in the garage, doesn’t move, and costs us about $300 a year to insure. My daughter and I both have leased vehicles (and both were a huge mistake that we cant wait to get out of). My husband has his vehicle that is paid off, and then we have a truck that we use mostly on weekends. We have way too many…and eventually that will change, but for the moment it works.

  8. 2 drivers, one vehicle. We have been this way since we were married and we have no problems with it. We only drive it to run errands. I commute by train and he stays home with the kids.

  9. Two person, zero car household. We sold our one and only six months ago and rely fully on walking and public transportation. I don’t miss it at all — driving is the worst. We rent a car for rare trips out of town and can take the train straight to the airport for actual vacations 🙂

  10. Two drivers with a car, a truck, a trailblazer and a Harley.

    The trailblazer is my husbands run-around-town vehicle and he’ll be passing it along to our granddaughter when she turns 16.

  11. We have two cars and a scooter. I’m not a fan of the scooter and absolutely hate it when hubby rides it. He has mentioned riding it to work or riding his bike but I’m thinking safety first and I’m not sure I want him on either in peak hour traffic. We have thought about selling our second car, a 1998 Toyota Hilux but I’m not sure it would be worth it, personally I’d rather see the scooter go first. Plus once I return to work, we may need two cars.

  12. We are two adults with 1 car, which works just fine for us because we live in the city. Mr. Frugalwoods bikes to work everyday and we walk everywhere we can within the city. We were car-less for awhile, but it’s nice to have the car for getting out to hiking trails, etc outside of the city.

  13. Congrats! My husband and I (no kids) have been a 1-car household all 4 years of our marriage and hope to stay that way for as long as possible. It’s nice you have your work car, because the only annoyance is my having to be up at 4:30AM (I don’t work until 8AM) to drive my husband to work so that I can have the car for the day (I nanny and need it to drive my kiddies around). My husband usually gets off work about an hour before I do so quite often he just kind of hangs out and waits for me.

    BUT. I think the pros outweigh the cons for us. Would another car be more convenient? Yes. Do we feel like paying for the purchase, gas, insurance, and maintenance for another one? Hell no.

    • To each his own, but from what you said there are at least 15+ hours of wasted time between you and your husband per week with this arrangement, 60 per month. Maybe he could carpool. That would be around $2500 in lost time per month for me. I guess it depends on what your time is worth to you.

  14. Guess this is going to sound really bad, my wife and I both have 2 cars each, we both have SUV’s, hers is a 2013, and I have a 2005. I have 2013 Scion FR-S and she has a 2004 BMW Z4, yeah it cost a lot to maintain them, we have zero credit card debt, and we contribute to our 401k, and still save 10% of our take home pay. Not sure if this counts but I also have 2008 Honda 600RR motorcycle, mainly use it for commuting during the summer months, it gets 43 mpg.

  15. For those looking for something during ninjas long absences, check out mr money mustache. It is a pretty good read.

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