Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bye- Bye Truck! (or How we became a 1-Car Family)

A new adventure has begun at the Simon house. Not since I was a young girl (less than 10-years old) have I been part of a 1-car family. But, this past Monday, the truck (a 2000 Nissan Frontier) gave evidence that it was not “well.” We dropped it off at the mechanic and the long and short of it is: the truck needed several expensive repairs and needed to pass inspection for registration renewal. It failed! The exhaust manifolds on both sides were leaking….also expensive to repair.

The total cost of the repair work was equal to or would exceed what the truck is worth (we had also just done $1500 in repairs in April). So, after much consideration and with the current registration due to expire on May 31st, Friday night we took the truck to Car Max and sold it.

We hoped the truck would last at least 2 more years; it's only at 121,000 miles- the Honda Accord we just got rid of got to 230,000 miles before we SOLD it!! But, no such luck.
However, we aren’t interested at this time in buying another vehicle. Why? We are not interested the quality or type of vehicle that can be purchased with our current savings and we do not want a car payment. Therefore, the best option for us at this time is to live with just one vehicle. As many of you know, the D.C. Metro area has a great Metro (rail) system---unfortunately it doesn’t go to where David’s work is located. Our current plan is for:

a. David to use the car for work.

b. The kids and I to walk or ride bikes in and around Vienna. Vienna is a great town, the grocery store, bank, drugstore, library, multiple parks, community center, swimming pool, etc are all within 0.5-2 miles of our house.

c. My mom rides the Metro to work. She has graciously said that I can drop her off at Metro and use her car during the day—when I need to get somewhere that is further from home or if the weather is bad.

This hasn’t been nor will it be the biggest challenge we conquer this year. However, it is definitely an adjustment to life as we know it. It will be fun and I am sure it will not be without some frustrations but we will manage as a 1-car family (we would like to make it until August). This will be a great opportunity to teach the kids about caring for the environment, creative problem solving, and good stewardship of resources.

See you on the bike path, sidewalks, and Metro of Northern Virginia and the DC Metro Area!

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