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Can you survive without your car?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Halfhidden, Jun 28, 2009.

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Can you survive without your car?

  1. Yes

    27.3%
  2. No

    27.3%
  3. Don't Know

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I don't have a car

    45.5%
  1. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    It is good to hear how members are using their cars. As I said at the beginning of this thread it's more of an experiment on how Sparky and I adapt to not having a car. I fully appreciate that this isn't even a possibility for some, and I understand that. I very much doubt that I would have contemplated this experiment if the children weren't so grown up or we lived further out of town.
    That said... it's great to hear how other members are using their cars and trying to lessen the global pollution by car sharing or organising trips more efficiently.
    But as denanmor pointed out earlier.... you will be out of work without one. It's a fact that you are disadvantaged if you don't own a car these days..... and that's what makes this experiment a little more interesting!
    Keep the comments coming... love to hear them all warts and all! ::15:
     
  2. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    What you are saying reminded me - when I started work in 1957, until I left there in 1963, I began at £3 per week, bus fare from Penzance to Helston was 1 shilling and 11 pence return daily. When I finished it was £6 a week wages and the fare was 2 shillings and 7 pence per day. Not at all sure how that compares in this world ... ::18:
     
  3. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    It's been a week since we stopped using the car. So far we've been drenched twice and knackered out carrying shopping, but nonetheless the experiment is working out better than I expected.
    We haven't used taxis or buses this week to try to maximise our financial savings. This week we totalled £33.54 saving because we didn't use the car, pay petrol and all the other associated costs of running a car.
    The car park belongs to the PHA and in an attempt to stop parking abuse they have announced annual charges to park on their land. For instance one family has a total of 4 cars full time and two relatives who visit daily making 6 cars, the family next door has 3 cars and a motorbike, and a couple of doors down has 2 cars. All tolled not enough spaces for everyone to park. So they are looking to introduce an annual parking permit levied at £100 per car, per year.
    So it looks like I'm set to save even more money than I had anticipated.....!
     
  4. CHILLYWILLY

    CHILLYWILLY Active Member

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    I changed from an Escort 1.8 Ghia to a 1.3 Fiesta. My weekly petrol bill went down from about £42.00 to £22.00. I also made a saving on insurance and road tax. I only see my car as a means of getting from A to B and am not fussed at all that it is not a 'looker'. She does the job I need her for admirably and missp would not want to drive anything a lot bigger. An ideal size too for getting up and down Chywoone Hill and east to park in small spaces. I only learned to drive in 1991 as I found 2 wheels were enough for what I needed at the time. We used to walk lot more then and probably felt better for it. Having said that living out in the country we have started to walk about a lot more so hopefully we shall benefit fitness wise.
     
  5. tonystancliffe

    tonystancliffe

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    Personally i have managed to survive and flourish, as has my family also without the need for a car (for 10 years) they have missed out on nothing, and have managed to experience a great deal without the car ( and both are now university graduates who also happily go about their lives without cars). Yes their are times when having a car might be necessary (if your job dictates or possibly if you have no access to public transport). I use my legs which i was born with and average 20 miles a day as a landscape photographer (I don't expect everyone else to do the same), and i enjoy the pleasure that comes from absorbing my surroundings whatever the weather.
    As to shopping, well i have it delivered by Tesco's or Sainsbury's which alleviates the car yet again. Please don't think that i hate cars, as that is not the case, I have just made a conscious choice to live without one. As a child growing up in the 1970's it was far less common for households to have a car, let alone 2 as many households run now, and when families had a car it wasn't used to drive 2 minutes down the road to the local shop. You could say, that the reliance on cars for even very short journeys thus not exercising as many have sedentary occupations as well, may in some way account for the obesity problem's we are facing in this country and further afield.
    By not running a car for 10 years it has meant that we where able to put the money towards overpaying our mortgage, and reduced it from 25 years to 15 years which has saved us a small fortune in interest, not to mention that cars depreciate rapidly in value.
    I will end by saying that everyone to their own, and i hope we all made an effort to not use cars today (Green Britain Day) If Possible.

    Best Wishes to all fellow Picture Penzance members.
     
  6. black cat

    black cat

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    Yes i can use the wifes
     
  7. Penzancemaid

    Penzancemaid

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  8. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Well its been a while since I posted on this thread. July, the last post from me was still warm and quite dry. Now that we are in November we are finding it a bit harder to live without a car.
    Although there are some plus points. I have lost nearly a stone because now we walk to the shops and carry our shopping home. Walking from Heamoor to town was a challenge at the beginning, but now we regularly walk from Heamoor to Wherry town Lidl and quite often we will then continue on to Eastern Green and Tesco before walking home. When I had a car I simply would not have entertained the idea of walking a few hundred yards to the local shop.
    Both sparky and myself feel much better for the extra fitness.
    Now that the winter is setting in we have been caught out with some heavy rain falls. The other day we bumped into BoP who, like us was sheltering from the relentless rain... man it rained! It actually angered me by the end of the day. I don't mind the rain but when the wind drives the rain into your face and your jeans start to soak up ice cold water... it's no fun any more!
    We have already destroyed one shopping trolley. You know the kind of thing that old ladies drag behind them... Well they aren't accustomed to the weight that we had in mind (averaged weight of shopping 70lbs). I'm now looking for a shopping trolley that has a tubular steel frame rather than the flimsy aluminium frame.
    We have just invested in some serious waterproofs and are about to take on the winter full on... wish us luck
     
  9. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    Ows about one of the abandoned trolleys from Tescos etc.::11:::11:
     
  10. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Ah! Trolleys! Now you're talking!

    Nancy and I bought a sort of light weight sack truck from Lidl's and then a large plastic box from Poundsaver/Stretcher (old Tescos in town). The box is attached to the trolley with those stretchy cord things with hooks on the end. I'm hoping to upgrade at some point to one with pneumatic tyres ....

    Saturday morning we can be seen heading off to Lidl's with a stop off at the recycling at Wherrytown. Having five cats plus bottles, newspapers etc means the box the Council supplied just doesn't do the job.

    We stayed with my mum in Alverton temporarily while the paperwork was being sorted on our house and then I used the trolley to move boxes from there and then had a removal firm shift stuff like the fridge etc.

    We have a log burner, and when a house was being gutted in Queens St, the builders chucked out a ton of wood. So, went around there numerous times and bought a stack home - all with the trolley!

    We don't have a car, in fact, neither of us can drive, so we don't miss what we don't have. Though having said that, it would be nice every now and again just to be able to get out and about around our fantastic coastline without relying on public transport.

    Oh - and when they had the trolleys in again at Lidl's, we bought another one - just in case the first one ever broke! ::11:
     
  11. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    I guess I have been using a haversack for so long, must be 35 years or more, useful on holidays it was, two and later three children in tow (they went everywhere with us, by train and bus. The packing went in the bag on the way up, leaving just the one suitcase; then it was unpacked and used for the shopping trip into town and back to the flat. Later I discovered it made more sense when we were home than to drag around a 'shopping trolley'. The weight and the pressure helped my slipped discs no end, and allowed us to keep an eye/hand on the children. Later when arthritis took a hold, the backpack proved useful again as it was less strain on the joints. Now it also proves so very useful, as it allows my hands free for photographs or for walking across difficult terrain, as it allows me to balance and to steady myself, if I veer from vertical. It certainly is no strain on the elbows or wrists, nor does it allow the biting cut across the fingers from plastic bags ... and that is another point, saves masses of wasted plastic bags. One day in Haverfordwest, I discovered that a brolly and coat was quuite useless, and now it is vital to wear rainproof trousers over the main trousers, and to wear a stormproof jacket. I keep bone dry inside (I have to keep my knees dry, as the arthritis swells and I cannot walk for two weeks, if I do not). Just a few thoughts. :)
     
  12. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Yep, I give a back pack the thumbs up too for shopping trips. I have an old army rucksack and Nancy has a smaller back pack and we use these for trips to Morrisons. We go along the coastal path and then over the wooden footbridge, so we'd have problems with the trolley. I too have problems with a slipped disc in my lower spine but found if you pack the rucksack correctly, there's no problems. I've had two incidents now and the pain was constant and intense, so I do whatever I can to avoid a third one.

    Forgot to mention while talking about our trolley that we get quite a few admiring glances and people have even stopped us to ask about it. I'm thinking about giving the box a custom paint job - perhaps flames down the side! I'd like to get lights fitted too - it would be great to have indicators fitted either side! ::11:
     
  13. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    I can put the lights on for you.....::11:::11:
     
  14. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    It's been seven months since our experiment to live without a car was undertaken. I can confirm that we still don't own a car and the experiment is still alive and kicking.
    So far the problems have been shopping and weather related.
    Weather:
    The weather has been harsh this winter and perhaps we have noticed it more because we are now exposed to the elements more without the car. When I first experienced journeys in the wind and rain on foot rather than car it was difficult. This was an uncomfortable feeling and something that I have sheltered myself against for many years. Surprisingly enough the rain no longer bothers me any longer. Yesterday I walked down to the train station and took a train to Truro return for the price of £5.20. It was raining heavily and I got wet but whilst I walked down it suddenly occurred to me that I wasn't bothered. When i arrived at Truro I was met by a friend who picked me up in his car and we parked in Truro some distance from his shop. we had to walk in the rain to our destination. Now I noticed that I wasn't bothered about the rain despite the heavy fall, but my friend, who drives everywhere was hunched up and practically running to the destination... quite odd. Perhaps I'm a weather enthusiast now lol!
    Cost:
    In real terms petrol has increases by 50p a gallon in relationship the the cost of running our car six months ago. The figures will work out differently for your car and the amount of fuel you use.
    That not impressive in itself but coupled with the cost of living, insurance and other related vehicle costs that will amount to an impressive amount.

    Do we miss the car?
    Umm! bloody right we do! but can we live without it? Well, Sparky and I discussed this the other and have to say.... all in all, we think that we are better off financially, we are fitter, we meet more people, we interact with more, we appreciate life more and it has had a positive impact on our shopping... not only food but all aspects.
     
  15. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Good for you HH and sparky!

    Think I mentioned before that neither Nancy or I can drive - so, in many ways, it's easier for us as you don't miss what you've never had.

    This may sound a bit hippy dippy, but as you've found, you get used to the rain plus you're outside and 'in touch' with the elements (rain or shine), not enclosed in some metal box. And if you're lucky to have the time, you can try and time your trips to avoid any major downpours, so you work with nature and accept it, not try and fight it.

    And in a strange way, I think going on foot for food shopping satisfies the hunter gatherer within us all, something that's been lost to a certain extent. Not quite as good as foraging in the wild, but I get quite a buzz wrapping up and heading off with the trolley, braving the elements etc. I know it's only heading out to the shop (or shops) but you are reliant on your physical energy to get there and back again with what you've 'gathered'.

    And it's even better in the summer when the sun is shining!

    Hope you both continue with reaping the benefits that you listed.
     
  16. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    @tabtab13 funny you mentioned the "prime instincts" in the walker shopper because that's exactly how we see it!
    I tried (badly) to get this across in the last post. You definitely get the feeling that you've earned the food you just walked out and struggled back with. Its changed the way we shop!
    I'm also thinking of doing a comprehensive survey on shopping trolleys and rucksacks at one point.
     
  17. trepolpen

    trepolpen Major Contributor

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    Off my trolley!

    Well, tabtab13 and others, I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't drive. Poor old Jan had to struggle everywhere with shopping and three littl'uns back in the eighties and, in desperation, she took driving lessons in 1991 and shamed me.

    I felt inadequate enough as it was but, in retrospect, I have to recognise that I have the best of both worlds. I can tipple (and could) without fear or rashness and, since Jan is not averse to one or two, I still had to and have to walk. But when it really is necessary to use our car, I have a chauffeur (or should it be a chauffeuse?)

    I only wish I could say like HH that I am fitter for it (the tippling, I mean!) but I do feel inadequate never to have learned to drive but, if I could, I would have to have a car of my own and that wouldn't be possible. If I can play musical instruments, among which percussion, then I reckon I have enough co-ordination to be able to drive. I worried that I might discourage my children from ending up as non-drivers by being one myself but all three are drivers and passed their test first time - except for one and that was at the second attempt

    In fact, we rarely use our car. It's good for taking things to the dump, visiting the mother-in-law and taking her out. Petrol is so expensive whether you are green-minded or not.

    The thing I liked least about being a non-driver was that I was so dependent on others for lifts and often felt they were rather begrudging. You always had to travel a distance for a convenient pick-up point as though you were made to crawl a bit. Jan, however, if she are offering a lift, always picks people up at their home and drops them back even when it is out of our way. In fact, she offers lifts rather than make people feel they have to scrounge. I never remember a neighbour opposite, who wasted Jan's mornings gassing when our kids were young and wanted her attention, offering to take her to the supermarket for a shop. When Jan learned to drive, she dared to ask one day if Jan would drop her over to Tesco as her husband had the car that day. Meanwhile, I was working out of town and couldn't do much to help.

    We had a shopping bag on wheels but with kids, you need more than two hands! I'm not sure what form your 'trolley' takes, Tabtab13, but I imagine one made of wood. Our one had a wheeled metal frame and a tartan cuboidal bag.
     
  18. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    I know what you mean about not being able to drive, tpp! When people find out that Nancy can't drive, they're very surprised, but when they find out I can't either, they can be quite dumbfounded! What? A man who can't drive?! And then when they find out we decided not to have children either, well, we might as well have come from another planet!

    Not sure about being that much fitter for not having a car. True, we do a lot of walking (and eat well) but as we're both smokers, I think one cancels out the other to a degree.

    Our trolley is a light weight sack truck from Lidl's with a large plastic box attached to it with stretchy cords with hooks on the end - so a bit of a home made jobbie. Does the job perfectly though and we can get a fair amount of stuff in it. It's been one of the best things we've ever bought!
     
  19. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Over the years, I always have been greeted with the amazed amused look.... what ??? No Car? Can't drive? How DO you survive? Then the even more amazed amused look .. what, you don't own your own house? My Dear!? Then the zapper ... and we get Housing Benefit too. ::6:
     
  20. jpetrie

    jpetrie

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    Hi Halfhidden
    good luck with giving up your car. I agree that it depends on your circumstances, I live in and work in Penzance and don't feel the need to use a car. But I do get a bit annoyed when people who are car drivers think I can't get around the place - sometimes they seem not to be aware what those big double decker cars with numbers on the front are actually for! And there are always trains for further afield. I could have a moan about the cost of public transport of course...
     

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