It has now been almost three months since we became a one-car couple in a very automobile-oriented town. Since we bike pretty much everywhere, and have the bus as a back-up, the transition was smooth, as I expected. Usually, if we go somewhere in the car, it’s to visit family, and we go together.
However, I questioned our decision to keep the older car on several recent occasions. One afternoon, after getting something out of the trunk, we noticed that the interior of the trunk was wet. Our reaction? Ignore it for a couple of weeks until it starts to smell funky, then ignore it for a few more days while the smell intensifies. When we finally investigated, we found that some dry beans had made their way into the spare tire well, along with the mysterious water — yummy! We cleaned it out, dried it out, aired it out, and waited until the next rainfall to see if the water was a fluke, or if we had a leak.
At about the same time, we noticed that the upholstery on the ceiling of the car, behind the sunroof, was having sagging issues, It felt like some kind of panel was out of place up there and resting on the upholstery. Now, at this point, I have to say that I have always thought that sunroofs are a bad idea. It’s just one more moving part that can break and create costly repairs, and it’s completely optional, so why would you have one? Anyhow, the sagging upholstery trouble was indeed related to the sunroof (see, I told you they’re evil!), but wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, the company that had installed it provided a lifetime warranty that they made good on with very little effort on our part. We hoped that the trunk leak may have been related to the sunroof as well, and therefore fixed at the same time, but that remains to be seen.
In summary, so far, so good with the one-car life, but we will test that with my upcoming career change and the onset of less-friendly biking weather. If we commit to making it work, I think we can continue. The annoyance of having to buy a 2nd car just a few months after selling one provides a STRONG disincentive, as do all of the costs that come with that car.