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Anyone Ditched their Car for a Bike?

itaaitaa Posts: 61
edited March 2017 in Commuting chat
I live near a semi-large city so everything I need is roughly 3-4miles away, with plenty of bike paths as well.
My current car isn't the freshest or anything special and I just use it as an appliance - for getting to places and transporting stuff, so no hard feelings about it and it's not worth anything. However... with all the Insurance/upkeep/servicing/fuel/tax/tyres/occasional part /depreciation etc.. costs me roughly £3000/year. And that's for a super reliable/economic car that needs almost nothing and has no real deprecation etc.. Mainly due to expensive insurance.

I'm sure I could do my grocery shopping with a bike+few racks as the shop which I visit the most is just a mile away anyway. For rest of the stuff I'm sure I could just pay for the shipping costs or when I need something larger transported could ask someone for a favor. Combined with the fact there aren't much parking spaces where I live makes it even more attractive choice.

+ I hate the damn traffic, and to get to my work it takes roughly the same time with bike than with a car and I can cycle through woods instead of sitting in traffic feeling miserable.

Has anyone done something like this? How did it went?

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  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    itaa wrote:
    I live near a semi-large city so everything I need is roughly 3-4miles away, with plenty of bike paths as well.
    My current car isn't the freshest or anything special and I just use it as an appliance - for getting to places and transporting stuff, so no hard feelings about it and it's not worth anything. However... with all the Insurance/upkeep/servicing/fuel/tax/tyres/occasional part /depreciation etc.. costs me roughly £3000/year. And that's for a super reliable/economic car that needs almost nothing and has no real deprecation etc.. Mainly due to expensive insurance.

    I'm sure I could do my grocery shopping with a bike+few racks as the shop which I visit the most is just a mile away anyway. For rest of the stuff I'm sure I could just pay for the shipping costs or when I need something larger transported could ask someone for a favor. Combined with the fact there aren't much parking spaces where I live makes it even more attractive choice.

    + I hate the damn traffic, and to get to my work it takes roughly the same time with bike than with a car and I can cycle through woods instead of sitting in traffic feeling miserable.

    Has anyone done something like this? How did it went?

    I had no car use for 6+ months since I'd had a serious head injury a few years back.

    I live on the edge of London, getting to work is fine, mildly slower than car/bike by bus/train.
    shopping and such either getting the odd bits and bobs as we'd pass. or get shopping delivered.

    in short it was fine bar inter city journeys. which by train quite apart from the cost, is hours slower.

    My car use is generally longer trips and thus I do fairly low annual milage, i.e. even having a car it generally doesn't get used for a few days since we have bikes/buses/trains locally.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,683
    yep got rid of mine about 5 years ago, i live in the middle of no where, nearest shops are 7 miles away and seriously steep hills so carting bags of shopping is out, like pretty much everyone else in my village we use home delivery.

    i dont miss the car or the associated costs (BMW 740) and it now forces me to use the bike everyday to commute and whenever I need something, which is not often
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  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,764 Lives Here
    You could join a car club for the occasional times you do need a car.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    veronese68 wrote:
    You could join a car club for the occasional times you do need a car.

    At this time of year you can hire a car for as little as £13 a day if you need one. I lived 2 years in Amsterdam without a car. It would be incredibly tough to do in the Highlands.
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  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    We went from a two car family to a one car family specifically because i could cycle to work, mainly on the premise it needed £800 of work, and insurance and tax were due at the same time, so sold the car and put it towards a bike & tools instead.

    We then made the remaining car a 7 seater , as we still want to go camping etc.
    So it's a 'partial'...
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  • I sold my car three years ago as I commute by bike although I still have use of a car, a 2004 Fiat Panda which belongs to my wife. She walks to work so the thing hardly ever gets used. Shopping is delivered and I pick up any extras on my shopping bike. In reality we could sell the car without any hardship but it costs the square root of f/a to keep on the road.
    I'm not really allowed to drive now as my wife says that I drive like a cyclist. I don't think it's a compliment.
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    If I didn't have kids I would. Hate driving, never wanted to drive but forced into it.
  • straasstraas Posts: 338
    Got rid of mine last September, hire cars for weekends away or holidays (£45 friday to monday, or £140 Friday to the following monday)

    Now and then it would be nice to have a car but we usually manage - get food delivered etc.

    Nice feeling to hand a car back to the hire place and not worry about insurance, maintenance, depreciation etc. and always get a new modern car.
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  • RhodrichRhodrich Posts: 870
    My main family car (Vauxhall Meriva) cost me nothing (gift from a friend who was going to scrap it), although it needed £300 of parts needed to get it roadworthy (cambelt kit, water pump, oxygen sensor, engine mount, rear brake pads, indicator relay, service items). Depreciation is therefore zero on it. Insurance is £250 a year, and tax is £185, with an MOT about £50. For under £500 a year (before fuel), it's a no brainer.

    We needed to go to Nottingham and back the weekend before last at the last minute to visit my wife's uncle, who was ill in hospital. A trip like that for a family of 5 on public transport (train) would have cost hundreds. In a car, it cost £40 in petrol. Ultimately, this is the real problem - cars are just too cheap and convenient to compete with any other form of transport over medium distances, especially if you believe in Bangernomics.

    Ditch the £3000 a year habit, and buy an old sh*tter: http://www.bangernomics.com
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  • DJFishDJFish Posts: 49
    We've gone from three cars down to one.
    If I ever need to escape and the car is pre-booked I can hire a gaily coloured Fiat 500 for about £30 per day.
    It's a darned sight cheaper than running a 2nd car which hardly ever got used.
  • Ditched my motorbike after I took up cycling to work. Still run 1 car, but it works out at about £2000 a year including petrol for the mileage we do, no depreciation as we bought it at a spares/repairs price :) Certainly helps living a 5 minute walk from the supermarket, the car sits unused for 2-3 weeks at a time.
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    The Mrs uses the car on a daily basis, mainly as a taxi for the kids to their various activities and the we use it for longer trips on holidays in France and the SW, plus visiting family.

    I think we do about 6,000 miles between us. Main saving for me is ditching public transport; It's worth about £3k a year in savings as I don't get the train.
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  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,764 Lives Here
    Rhodrich wrote:
    Ultimately, this is the real problem - cars are just too cheap and convenient to compete with any other form of transport over medium distances, especially if you believe in Bangernomics.

    Ditch the £3000 a year habit, and buy an old sh*tter: http://www.bangernomics.com
    All very true. I'm not quite at the bangernomics stage but have never borrowed money to buy a car and generally run oldish cars. But you need to have a bit of mechanical nouse, or have access to a good, cheap mechanic. We used to use the car very little and could almost have ditched it, but the last year dealing with a poorly daughter has meant car use has gone up with various trips to appointments and having to do school runs at strange hours. As I mentioned up thread I think the car club thing works for occasional use.
  • pastryboy wrote:
    If I didn't have kids I would. Hate driving, never wanted to drive but forced into it.

    This pretty much sums me up too; I passed my test quite late and it was purely for practical purposes (young child and only wife drove) so driving seems more like a chore.
    I was also unfortunate in witnessing what an incorrectly driven car can do to someone (in this case it was a pillion passenger on a motorbike) and am terrified of doing the same.
  • Jal_Jal_ Posts: 49
    Considering doing this later in the summer, the car sits outside my flat unused during the week. Girlfriend rented a car from Edgware Rd the other week, £50 Friday-Sunday for a Peugeot 308 - at that money it's not worth buying one!
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    veronese68 wrote:
    Rhodrich wrote:
    Ultimately, this is the real problem - cars are just too cheap and convenient to compete with any other form of transport over medium distances, especially if you believe in Bangernomics.

    Ditch the £3000 a year habit, and buy an old sh*tter: http://www.bangernomics.com
    All very true. I'm not quite at the bangernomics stage but have never borrowed money to buy a car and generally run oldish cars. But you need to have a bit of mechanical nouse, or have access to a good, cheap mechanic. We used to use the car very little and could almost have ditched it, but the last year dealing with a poorly daughter has meant car use has gone up with various trips to appointments and having to do school runs at strange hours. As I mentioned up thread I think the car club thing works for occasional use.

    Used to be more bangernomics I think my old Fiesta was worth £500 tops, and it was a very cheap form of transport. But did replace it with a big Volvo estate which suits our driving better, in that it can swallow a bike or two and is comfy easy motorway/A road cruiser.

    If your going to rely on car clubs need to be realistic about how many times and what miles you'd do. I pop down to wales for a few days which is surprising expensive via car clubs a few times a year. As ever mileage varies
  • essex-commuteressex-commuter Posts: 2,188
    Not me, I love cars too much.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 3,993
    I had a mate who gave up his car. He still joined a group of us on regular trips doing a certain activity. He just got a lift from others in the group, even into the Scottish highlands 6hours plus away. He always borrowed club kit instead of buying own too. He was not well liked!

    Basically his share of other people's cars was probably fairly high but he was being environmental by not owning a car right? I admire those who manage to give up cars. My partner used to bring up the idea before our child was born. I talked her out of it and since our son was born she has not brought it up again. In fact she's talking of caravans and campervans!

    We did consider it and using hire cars. Worked it out and with holiday hires it was cheaper without cars but not with public transport. I could cycle to work but my partner took 1.5 hours. That meant she would take public transport part of the way if not all the way.
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    Had a car for about 7 years, then didn't for about 8 years. Gifted my Dad's old 5 series a couple of years ago. It's handy, although not the best suited for carrying a bike. Fortunately there are no kids to clutter up the back seats so the bike fits alright. Don't use it too much, mostly for long journeys, but it's not going to depreciate any more and it's probably more economical than scrapping it and buying another.
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  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,404
    I love cars too, so I've not got rid completely. But we did get rid of the second car that sat outside the house going green with tree pollen or whatever it is round my way.

    Got a 4 year old 3 series last year for supermarketing holidays and Kid ferrying. It's fun and sensible at the same time, probably do about 12000 miles a year in it, including 2 week long UK holidays and a few weekenders.

    If I lived in or very near a city and didn't have kids I'd seriously consider ditching it. Although, if I didn't have kids I could probably afford a Porsche, so maybe not.
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  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    we're not quite out in the sticks, but to get anywhere PT is a PITA - so it's bike or car ..
    was tempted to ditch the second car and just use the camper van as mileage is quite low - but TBH, we wouldn't get any decent money back for the car and the hassle of having to drive the van around just to transport No1 Sprog where there are lots of narrow roads that although we can technically use, it's not always sensible! mean we just keep the 3 vehicles on the road.
    Perhaps when No1 sprog is older (not 2 yet) we can think again - but then again, he's probably going to "need" transporting everywhere anyway...
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Went car free for quite a few years when I lived in Docklands then when I met the Mrs we just used her old Micra. Arrival of the daughter forced us to get something a bit safer / more practical (B-Max). With toddler and parents / in-laws spread from Nairn to Chichester it became essential. Still use the train or plane for trips to Scotland (Brother) and the Lakes (Parents) but the car does everything in-between.
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