Downsizing: The Car



When we downsized our house and many of our belongings in 2016, we operated on the theory that we needed two cars for two drivers. That is the way of the world, right? A car for every driver?

As we spent more time in our new house, we realized that we spent less time driving around. I remember how we used to sit around our old house, talking about which rooms we could easily cut out of our living area. After a year or so in our new location, we started talking about cutting out a car in much the same way.

Living in a more rural area has had an impact on our travel patterns. We’re not inclined to jump in the car daily to go get this or that. When we run errands, we often go together. I still have haircuts and medical appointments, yes, but not every day – and they are during the day. Bill’s gigs are usually during evening hours.

Dropping a car suddenly seemed possible.

The snag was that shortly after we moved to the smaller house and the single-car garage, we opted to lease a new car and buy a second car. We want to keep the one we bought, so we had to wait out the lease on the car we want to drop. We are dropping the Volvo pictured here in about ten days.

During the wait, we discovered with some displeasure that even after our homeowner’s association plows us out after a snowstorm, we still have to clean off the extra car in the driveway. And no matter how well we plan, we always seem to need the other car, the one parked in the driveway or at the curb, when it rains.

I’ve always said that “they’ll have to pry my car keys out of my cold, dead hands.” I love driving and I’ve always loved having a car, looking at cars, and shopping for cars. Going to one car doesn’t mean I have to give any of that up.

But the truth is, a second car is an extra expense that we don’t need at this point in our lives. I believe we can live without it. And if that situation changes, we have the flexibility to buy another second car.

Besides, now our single car will always be warm, dry, and waiting for us inside the garage, no matter what the weather.


This blog post is part of a series called Downsizing. It is the chronicle of moving from a 2475 square foot home to one approximately half its size during the first six months of 2016. It takes place in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

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