Home

I'm new here, but I am on a couple of other forums. Just stumbled across a topic else where (which I responded to) How many people have actually gone car free??? The C2W scheme is selling a lot of bikes, but most of the people I know use it as a way to get a cheap bike and never actual ride to work. I am the exception (I think) I actually sold my greedy 3ltr V8 and now cycle almost every where... I'm slimmer, I have a tan and lots of spare cash that I used to pump into the wretched car. Anyone else out there made the FULL change???  39

16 comments

Avatar
Fringe [1047 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

i was quite a few years ago for at least 10 years (and TV free for that matter) but since marriage, kids etc i now seem to have all the trappings of a car (tax, mot) while my wife uses it..  39

Avatar
mcfchris [4 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Gotta be honest, my missus still has a car and I have a banged up old jeep just in case it snows, but I never use it, may cost £200 a year or so to keep it.. Since I went car free, I have not had a single day off sick.. it's amazing.. Exercise actually is good for you.. Only problems I had was security for the bike at home and work. Without taking them inside the buildings.

Avatar
Zaskar [133 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I never use my car but after a cycling accident it has been a lifesaver for shopping till I heal up.

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2443 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I haven't so much gone car-free as never been car-shackled... haven't so much as had a single driving lesson.

And when the missus moved over from the US, she let her Texas drivers' license expire without doing the necessary to get a UK one, only ver driven over here once.

So we are a car-free couple, which was fine when we lived in London, but after moving to Oxford a few years back and, more recently, out into the Cotswolds, this may be the year when we finally get round to changing that.

Avatar
Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

We went car free for a year, and I'd happily do it again saved me a fortune and a load of hassle, even though I barely drive the car now. My wife doesn't drive, but her and the kids were not so happy about our car free lifestyle, my arguments about shopping online and hiring cars or getting the train didn't cut it.

The main complaint was the lack of spontaneity it imposed, but also in my kids' case I suppose they didn't like always relying on their friends parents to give them lifts etc. which I understand – Dave had to do all the driving when we travelled for work which wasn't very fair either.

I reckon though that if we'd had our car free year when they were younger they might have just accepted it as normal. Mind you, I'm an optimist me.

Avatar
Chuck [521 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I've never owned one. My parents never had one so I never got too attached to one. I do have a driving licence though, and it's useful to be able rent cars or borrow my GF's occasionally.

Avatar
OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

My wife and I were car free for many years and relied on public transport, rental cars and our mountain bikes. Then we had kids.

Avatar
TRs Blurb n Blog [199 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Soon after moving to London I became car free. It didn't take long before my car started looking battered even though it had been largely neglected, practically abandoned. I was worried that I would see a 'Police Aware' sticker on it because it hadn't moved for so long. There are still plenty of times that I would like to have a car like bringing stuff back from DIY centres, plants and big pieces of wood etc And like Tony said relying on someone to give you a lift is a ball ache and unfair on the person who has a car (I was that one person in my friend circle who owned a car) but living in a city where it is so accessible by bike I can't justify the added expenditure just for the spontaneous convenience. If I had kids or had to travel lots for work then this would be different.

p.s. I do still own a beach buggy which is in storage, does that count?

Avatar
james-o [232 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

good for you, great to hear it!

i've been car free for nearly 2 years. It's like giving up smoking (did that too) - the first few weeks are hard, after that you wonder why you didn't do it years earlier.

I use trains and bikes for transport now. i miss some of the spontenaity and ease of doing some things that a car offers, but i really don't miss the boredom of driving, the jams, the stress / idiot drivers, the expense and the feeling of being tied into a system that drives the profits of companies that screw the planet so openly.

but i appreciate it's easier for some than others to go car free, i don't have kids and if i did i may have to use a car, i'd avoid it as far as possible though. all in all, it's one of the most liberating things i've done despite the lack of weekend trips i do these days compared to a few years ago. even that has made me appreciate my local riding a lot more as a bonus.

Avatar
scotter [55 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

We are a family of four living car-free in Havering; possibly the most bike-unfriendly borough in the UK.
I take our two kids aged 3 & 5 to school/nursery every day by bike and do all our shopping with it or on-line.
We also travel the UK and Europe regularly using only public transport or plane, rarely even a taxi.
We moved from Melbourne 2 years ago where we had a similar arrangement, using a car-share scheme when we wanted.
Everything is possible without a car, it just takes a mind shift and good planning.
There's no lack of spontaneity for us and we seem to travel and go out more than most people we know who do have cars. It is annoying sometimes that many events seem to assume every attendee is car-bound, but we're used to this and make allowances.

Avatar
Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Yep, it's all possible we did all our shopping online, and hired cars too but we found it more complicated as our kids and extended family are older - particularly as our children get more independent and start leading lives of their own, the buggers.

It's definitely an advantage that your children are growing up in such an environment, but what happens when they are 13 and 15. Even I had to admit I wasn't happy having my teenage daughter making her way home from a party/club/whatever late at night, on her own, on public transport, by cab or on foot. Mind you, even that is work around-a-ble.

I can see though that it would be easier for us to go car free again in a few years when they are all off setting the world to rights.

Havering though? That's hardcore, as I recall most of that isn't even on the tube.

Avatar
alotronic [437 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Made it to 35 without a car, then we had a kid and a mate gave us his car for free because he knew we would never get around to buying one. Yes, he is a very nice guy.

So we've had it for five years now. It's just a box with wheels to me and I intend to run it until it dies and then we'll see how we get on without one for a few months (in London on a tube, so we'll use streetcar top ups). I suspect we've been spoiled rotten now though...

What astonishes me is that people actually judge you by the car you drive. I find this incomprehensible. What bike(s) you ride says a lot about you... but a car? I have riding mates who talk about their cars while out riding... arrrgggghhhh... who cares what you drive?! A car is work a bike is pleasure, pure and simple.

A

Avatar
Fringe [1047 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes
alotronic wrote:

A car is work a bike is pleasure, pure and simple.

and even when a bike is for work its still a pleasure  4

Avatar
james-o [232 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

"What bike(s) you ride says a lot about you... "

In some ways, but just the fact you ride one says all anyone really needs to know  1

Avatar
Martin Thomas [378 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I have a 26 year-old camper van that's rarely used and three bikes that are used constantly. But I wouldn't want to do without the van, both because it's fantastic to camp in and because I like having the option of driving it, even if I feel better and am better off when I don't exercise that option. I suppose this means there are parallels between my camper van and a nuclear deterrent.

Avatar
mcfchris [4 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Wow I've never had a post that had so many responses before!!! Yes car free rules ... Last night I cycled through the Yorkshire Moors with some friends on the way from a days work... sunshine,scenery, bunny rabbits, cows, sheep and 3 mates chatting about the woes of the day.. what more could you want??  16 what a way of life if only it could be all the time.