Skip to main content

How many cars to have when working from home?

When my wife and I started to work from home (WHM), one of the things we did was to downsize to one vehicle.  Now if you are wondering if that would cause problems, yes, it did.  There were a few occasions when both of us needed to have transportation and we were both used to having our own rides, but eventually, we figured it out.  These occasions were to rare that it was better for us to rent a car or use a taxi (when we first started in early 2000s, there were no rideshare services like Uber, Lyft, etc).  

Benefits of having one car in the family

Trust me, it brings down the cost of transportation by half.  You are not paying for ownership or lease, no need for insurance, and definitely no repair when you don't have the second car.  We estimate that it has put hundreds of dollars extra in our savings for just a little bit of aggravation in form of planning ahead and occasionally renting a car to get things done.

I am convinced that managing with just one vehicle may have added tens of thousands of dollars to our net worth during 15 years that we have owned only one car.  That just puts us closer to our goal of becoming millionaires.

Whenever we feel that it is a hassle, we just remind ourselves that are our parents and grandparents did just fine with one or even no car.

How to manage with just one car?

  1. Do not plan anything when a car is needed without consulting your partner.  We maintain a shared spreadsheet which has information on who needs the car and when.  Most of the time, we can just adjust our commitments or coordinate in such a way that one partner gives a ride to the other
  2. Join a local rental car company's rewards program so that over time you can take advantage of being able to book a car and maybe even getting a deal.
  3. If available in your area, download a ride-share app like that from Uber.
  4. Whenever possible, try to steer your contacts to instead conduct business via Zoom.  It will save you both time and money.  I find that a one-hour meeting on Zoom is just one hour of my time but the same meeting in person takes a lot more time when I account for travel time, wait time at their office because I have to arrive a bit early, and then the time it takes to get ready.