With people getting married later in life, many families find themselves starting life with multiple vehicles. This offers multiple advantages, such as greater flexibility and freedom regarding transportation. Despite the advantages, sometimes downsizing to one car becomes necessary. Before you choose to downsize to just one car for your family, there are some things you should be aware of.
Finances are often somewhat tight for families, especially this year. Many have lost jobs or been furloughed, putting greater strain on family budgets. Most expenses can’t be eliminated, even if they can be reduced. Downsizing to one car is one thing that can significantly reduce monthly expenses. By only having one car, you now only have to pay for maintenance, gas, car payments, and car insurance for one car. With the national average cost of car insurance coming in at $1,555 a year, that’s the equivalent of getting roughly a $0.75 raise at a full-time job, just by eliminating car insurance alone.
After you downsize, you’ll probably find that there are times when you still need to get around but don’t have a car readily available to do so. Before you get rid of any cars, consider the transportation alternatives available to you. If you live in an area with a good public transportation system, that can make getting around easier. Carpooling or riding bikes can be other good options. When you want to take a road trip, you can rent a wide variety of vehicles that it would otherwise be expensive to own. This can help you prevent wear and tear on your personal vehicle and extend its life.
One of the biggest concerns might be figuring out how to handle employment with only one car. 46% of American households operate on a dual-income basis. Downsizing to one source of income isn’t feasible for many. One of the biggest benefits to the pandemic has been the shift towards employers supporting remote work opportunities. You may find it best to have one parent working from home to avoid any work schedule transportation conflicts.
Becoming a one-car family is a pretty big adjustment, especially if you’ve never had to share your vehicle with others. You’ll need to figure out how to handle employment and other responsibilities with only one car, occasionally using transportation alternatives. Perhaps the biggest advantage, though, is the savings you’ll get as a result of downsizing. Make a plan now so you’re prepared for becoming a one-car family.