Remaining a Two Car Family

Are you a long time reader here atĀ Adventures with Poopsie?

Do you remember when we became a one car family? What about when we returned to being a two car family?

For those who haven’t been reading for long and who can’t be bothered clicking on those links to read the posts, I’ll give you some brief background. Like most couples, Poopsie and I both entered our relationship with a car. We decided to become a one car family when we lived in Brisbane and were working in the same location, therefore sharing our commute. Neither of our cars were suitable for what we wanted/needed, so we sold both and purchased a 2012 Volkswagen Polo.

We love this car and wax lyrically to anyone who will listen about how fantastic it is on fuel. Over the most recent Christmas break, we filled her up in Sydney and made it all the way to my parent’s house on the Gold Coast with fuel left in the tank. It wasn’t until a day or two later that we refuelled. That is our kind of fuel efficiency!

We love our little red car!

When we moved to Sydney at the start of 2018, Poopsie and I worked 30 minutes away from each other. No matter where we decided to live, we would need two cars. Fortunately, my dad happened to be getting rid of his 2010 Hyundai i30 at the time and we snapped it up for $5000. It is not very fuel efficient, but it did the job in Sydney for my small commute.

When I moved down to Canberra mid-year, I only looked for homes in walking distance of my new office. We had every intention of selling the i30 once Poopsie had moved to Canberra full time, which he did in January of this year.

However, we have now decided to keep the i30.

When I work in my office, I walk to work. I am a consultant, however, which means I spend large chunks of time at client site. This could be anywhere in Canberra and thus, in the last couple of months we have found ourselves needing two cars on a regular basis.

This will definitely cost us more in the long term, with additional registration and insurance costs. Fuel is a fairly minor factor as everything in Canberra is only a short drive and so we only fill up about once a month. It’s definitely a convenience thing, but when trying to do well at both of our jobs, not being able to get there is not something either of us wants to deal with.

We will likely be a one car family in retirement, but for now, we are keeping both cars. We try and keep our costs as low as possible but know that the convenience factor is important to us at this point in our working careers.

How many cars does your family have? Tell us your car story in the comments below!

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5 Responses to Remaining a Two Car Family

  1. We’re a two adult two kid family but so far we’re managing to get by with just one car. The majority of the time my wife has the car to ferry the kids around and I get to and from work with a mix of public transport and walking, then a couple of times a week I’ll borrow my parents car overnight to ferry kids around. So far it has worked fine, and although it involves a bit of time sacrifice it’s saving us enough money that it’s worth it.

  2. Jane says:

    We live in Sydney and have one car. There are 2 adults and 2 kids in our family. I work from home and our apartment is within walking distance to supermarkets, parks and my son’s school, so my husband takes the car to work. We can claim some of our car usage, as we own a restaurant and need to buy produce from different places on a weekly basis.
    We have been considering moving to Canberra to be closer to family and to be able to buy something bigger than a shoebox, but it could be tricky to get by with only one car there, and I think I would miss the freedom of being able to walk or catch public transport to get everywhere I need to go.

    • Thanks for stopping by Jane and well done for getting by with one car! Some parts of Canberra are definitely walkable, including where we live. The problem is not the area but the unpredictability of me needing to go to client site. Canberra also recently got the light rail, so people living North can now more easily get to the city (for work, as an example). So I think Canberra is improving but you’re right, you’ll probably need a car here for at least the foreseeable future.

  3. Ashley says:

    When my husband and I were two weeks from closing on our home (for which we took our a mortgage– though we’re paying that down as quickly as possible!), my car died. It was so very dead “it needs a new engine” kind of dead. So, I had two weeks to figure out what to do while we waited to close on the property. My husband offered to take me to work; it was a generous offer considering I am not on his way and the traffic in our city is horrendous. Instead, I figured out how to take public transportation. After the two weeks passed and we were settling into our new place, I challenged myself to last a month without a car of my own. And then six months. And then a year. One and a half years later: we are still a one car family.
    In reality, it works thanks to teamwork and an incredible amount of flexibility on my husband’s part. Now, I greatly enjoy my morning commute– catching up on instagram posts, or finishing a lesson or two on Duolingo is so much more enjoyable than traffic.
    It’s quite a bizarre “situation” for a couple living in Texas, but I’m so very proud of us for pulling it off! Since we don’t anticipate it lasting forever, we do have a “new car fund” for the day that it no longer works for us. As you talk about, it’s really all about what works best for you at any given moment. But even considering a 1-car household when so many wouldn’t is (I think) quite progressive.
    As always, thank you for the entertaining and thoughtful post!

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