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Going Car-less

Max_ManMax_Man Posts: 185
edited January 2009 in The bottom bracket
Just filled my car up with petrol.... :shock: :shock:

I am refusing to pay that much from now on, the car will gone by next week. It's not that I can't afford it or against cars politically, I just hate wasting money.

Being car-less has been on my mind for a good while now, after a few hours working out figures I wonder why I have been so blind for so long.

Anyone else carless?, any tips?


  • SiechoticSiechotic Posts: 86
    I'm carless because my Alfa threw it's cambelt at 65mph on the motorway 1 month ago and destroyed the engine. Defininately needed new underwear when that happend! :shock:
    (it is now the size of a washing machine at the scrap yard) :cry:

    I have only one piece of advice:

    Use Tesco or Asda delivery service!

    Trying to bring home the weekly shop of fully laden carrier bags on your bike is liable to end in disaster!

    I work 47 miles from home and have discovered the beauty of train and bus travel (when they are on time), cycling there and back is not really an option as I would be on the road longer than my 2 year old daughter would like!

    The best thing about using the train and bus is that there is no driving related stress, I can just sit back and read a book or listen to the iPod. The journey now takes just 15 more minutes than it did in the car using the motorway - plus there is a real looker that gets on the bus every morning too as an added bonus!
  • Garry71Garry71 Posts: 96
    Don't get rid of it yet, if it's a good runner. Park it at a relatives house a few miles away and see how you get along without it for a couple of weeks.

    My car packed up a couple of months ago, and I didn't miss it for getting to work at all, but the weekends were a bit censored for shopping etc.

    My parents gave me their Focus last week, and it was ten minutes before all the stress and aggro of driving came back to me, so I still use the bus for work. I'd go on my bike, but I'm on a building site full of chavs who would cut bits off for a laugh.

    If I told my boss I've got another car, I'd be driving 100 miles a day for peanut wages and very little (if any) petrol allowance.

    Fuel prices are a typical example of the way we get bled dry in this country. Petrol will go up and up because the government knows that most people will just moan and then buy some more.

    I read that international businesses call Britain "Treasure Island" because we'll pay top whack for anything.

    Cycling is too nice to waste it on getting to work.
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    Guess I'll see you all over at the commuting forum soon then!

    Siechotic have you considered a bike - train - bike commute? Why not get a cheap hack (£50 second hand will pay for itself in a fortnight on a relatively modest commute distance!!!) and ride as far as you feel like, lock that one up, train the rest and (if you need to) keep another cheap hack at the train station near your work to complete the journey.

    As for me, I got a single speeder for my 15 mile commute through the cycle to work scheme, it's excellent training especially on the hills and means I don't have to wear out my decent bikes in all weathers. You'll know you're hooked when you buy lights for it and keep going over the winter!

    I ride up to 4 days a week and drive once to take in fresh clothes, still saves me up to 80% of my fuel bill!
    "Impressive break"


    ...I can taste blood"
  • mm1mm1 Posts: 1,063
    Never driven, grew up in London and didn't see the point of learning. Have lived outside London for 10 years (Surrey / West Sussex / Hampshire borders and Cambridgeshire), people talk to me as if i have a disability "how do you manage"? This includes my sister, who is a doctor and dispairs of her fat patients (i am allowed to say "fat" here, aren't I?). no intention of ever getting a licence or a car...ever!
  • rob_speddingrob_spedding Posts: 442
    We've a few 'cargo'' bikes ridden in the next issue of CPlus. They're for people who really do want to go car-free!
    Rob Spedding, Editor, Cycling Plus
  • PostieJohnPostieJohn Posts: 1,105
    I've been car less (and careless) for over 5 years.
    I was driving a 16 mile round trip, daily, at peak time, on average I saved 30 miles off that journey time.
    By cycling not only am I healthier and better off, but I now find myself shopping locally, supporting local buisnesses.

    Now obviously, I'm in my ideal job, with even less need for a car.
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 6
    We're a family of four with two children (one four years old, one nearly two ). We do not have a car, and have never had one, and we get along just dandy.

    We've got road bikes, a tandem and a trailer or two and we spend more time as a family and even the weekly shopping is often a fantastic adventure.

    Trains and buses are our friends, and the local train company (Northern) is very amenable to unscheduled bike/trailer journeys.

    So we have a rare old time, and are fit as ponies. Not for everyone, perhaps, but then it is a different way of living.
  • ndoddndodd Posts: 54
    car less for 5 years now same advice as the others really cheap hack with luggage for shopping or get asda / tesco ot deliver use bus or train if you need a car at weekends sometimes, hire one or a small van normally cheaper
  • Gavin GilbertGavin Gilbert Posts: 4,019
    Car free since August 2000. Hired when I've really needed one, joined a Car Club in 2007 but haven't made much use of the membership.

    I'm aware that I'm a better place than many as I live and work in London so my public transport options are good. But oddly I don't use public transport that much. I think local and use 2 wheels or 2 feet.
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    Go for it Max Man. I'm not car-less but I admire anyone who makes the switch. I suspect it's not the end of the world.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • feelfeel Posts: 800
    Not car less, but it rarely gets used now and it's gathering lots of dust on the drive - when i need a car, i use the wife's - it's more economical :wink:
    We are born with the dead:
    See, they return, and bring us with them.
  • RevelatorRevelator Posts: 6
    There's always WhizzGo;

    Which seems like a decent deal if you really must use a car occasionally.

    check this out for some info on the carless experience!
    carless for 6 months as an experiment - started a year ago - now carlessness seems the norm
  • snakehipssnakehips Posts: 2,272
    How I wish I could contemplate going carless. Good luck to those who are or are planning to.
    'Follow Me' the wise man said, but he walked behind!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    One of my house mates seems to think I should learn to drive as I apparently NEED TO? I'm hoping that by the time I get a decent job, and providing it's within 40miles distance I'm hoping by then I'll be fit enough to cycling that every day and back, cars are too expensive although I reckon my bike is costing as much as a car atm!
  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    You might not need to drive now, but what if you need to later on. Driving is another skill and its something that some employers look for as it makes you a more flexible employee.

    I choose to cycle to work to get around etc, but sometimes having a car and a license is invaluable. Especially in the winter...

    if you can afford to do it, get on and get your license done, just because you have a a license, doesnt mean that you have to buy a car...
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Winter does not mean I cant cycle, I did 98miles in the cold weather today and it was raining.

    I can catch trains, taxi's and buses.
  • Actually winter means occasionally you can't ride. I fell off and broke my leg on black ice last year - obviously you have all the courage (or something else) of a young 'un in his prime but don't ever feel you're invincible. A spell in hospital or worse is not recommended!! You are right though that you can manage on those terrible days with taxis,trains, buses etc. I'm probably getting soft in my advanced middle age.
  • Car-less sounds a great idea and Mon-Fri work commute would be OK by public transport. But, I would miss out on so many things at the weekend when a car is invaluable for trips out and camping weekends. To get to the Yorkshire Dales/Lakes/Snowdonia for a days walking/biking (road or mtb) would by an absolute nightmare by public transport.
    Planet-X SL Pro Carbon.
    Tifosi CK3 Winter Bike
    Planet X London Road Disc
    Planet X RT80 Elite
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    doesn't sound so good now that petrol is cheap again - whoo-hoo

    time to hunt out a bargain 4.2 range rover again!
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    Since taking up cycling at the beginning of the year, I've done 300 miles in my TVR.

    It's going in the classifieds next week...
  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    willhub wrote:
    Winter does not mean I cant cycle, I did 98miles in the cold weather today and it was raining.

    I can catch trains, taxi's and buses.

    Thats all very well.

    But.... ( theres always one )

    Theres one thing that having a car makes sooo much easier and its shopping. Theres only so many times I can walk to the local morrisons in one week without getting arrested for stalking the checkout staff. I just get fedup with it only being able to carry a certain amount on my pusher, its much easier just to do a massive shop and then carry it back in the car. Same goes for christmas shopping, its not the doing the shopping its the carrying it back afferwards.

    I still reckon it would be a worthwhile exercise in getting your car license. When I'm looking at CV's or doing job interviews its always something I ask about. I've worked places before where my colleagues dont drive and it can be a pain in the butt if you want to send them to a customer at the last minute etc etc and they cant get there themselves, and dont tell me you'd be able to carry a spare server on your pushbike because thats what sometimes a field trip to a customer can involve.

    Just think your limiting yourself job wise by not getting it done thats all. A car can open up the world to you in a way that a pushbike never will, but a car can also limit what you do and if you're not careful you'll end up relying on it.
  • GotteGotte Posts: 494
    I would have gone carless last year after getting a Kona Ute, but for a spell of pneumonia. The thought of getting two kids to school over winter while recovering from pneumonia doesn't bear thinking about. It's a 6 mile round trip, btw with a pretty bad bus service.
  • GotteGotte Posts: 494
    I would have gone carless last year after getting a Kona Ute, but for a spell of pneumonia. The thought of getting two kids to school over winter while recovering from pneumonia doesn't bear thinking about. It's a 6 mile round trip, btw with a pretty bad bus service.
  • dizzydanedizzydane Posts: 322
    After the lovely raise in public transport costs in and around London, I can say currently my car and maintenance on my bikes costs less than commuting.

    I’m so glad to be riding to work on my bike! :D
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