Living Without a Car for a Year


Los Angeles is a big city. Everyone knows that. It’s typically in the top 3 ‘U.S. cities with best transportation’ lists. If we were anywhere else, I probably would not have made this possibly challenging decision. However, things changed for us a few months ago, bringing us back to a location we were already familiar with in West LA. A fantastic location for public transportation, bike paths, and walking distance to almost everything we need in our daily lives. Though almost everyone around us gasped in horror at the thought of living without a car, I wanted to prove that we could do it for a minimum of a year, and our lives would not only not fall apart, they would improve. I plan to log our journey over the next year as the four of us get by in this crazy, busy city without our own personal vehicle.


One family takes on the adventure of living without a car for a year.

It has been interesting to tell people what we have been planning to do. The looks I’ve gotten, and the comments that have been made, lead me to assume people think we are going to encounter a terrible life without a car of our own. I give them a smile and assure them I’ve done my research. I’m not saying it will always be easy, in fact I have already pre-apologized to my Husband for the complaining I may do during the hard times, like in bad weather. I also understand most of the reactions we receive on the topic really stem from everyone else thinking about themselves living without a car. For two months I tracked our driving trips, car expenses, transportation methods available to us, and so on. Worst case scenario… we get another car. In the meantime we are learning, growing, and saving the planet a little more than before.

Why is this something we want to do anyway?

  • Living without a car is going to save us money.
    No car payments. No insurance premiums. No repairs. Minimal gas when renting or borrowing. No random purchases like air freshener, cleaning supplies, or decorations.
  • Living without a car is going to save us time.
    No random trips just to get out of the house (which I am notorious for when I have something to do at home instead). Concentrated shopping trips means less time wasted in stores each week. No time spent dealing with a car or traffic.
  • There is a flip side to this one, of course. There will be more time spent waiting for the bus. Time spent traveling by foot or bike. Time spent planning trips.
  • Living without a car will prompt us to explore our local community.
    We will allow ourselves the chance to see all those great, small places we typically drive right past. We vowed to always try a new place this year whenever we go out to eat.
  • Living without a car will help us spend more time at home.
    Focusing on what really matters to us, which is taking care of each other and maintaining a home together. We will plan our errands and chores leaving time to do more of the wonderful fun things I pin and then never find the time to do with the kids. I will find it easier to dedicate time to my writing and crafting. Homeschool will be a bigger success. The list goes on.
  • Living without a car will bring us closer as a family.
    More quality time spent together as we run around town much less. We will go on adventures together. We will exercise together. We will share more meals together at home. With a less busy schedule we will have more time to focus on the needs each of us have.

You can follow our journey on Twitter or Instagram with hashtag #LALifeWithoutACar.

Do you think your family could live a year without a car?

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