Not having a car is not normal.

When I gave up my TV in 1997, I was like that guy parodied in The Onion who is quick to say, “no, I haven’t seen the latest Survivor episode; I don’t even own a television.”  Now with all the backlash against screen time and with the availability of shows on-demand, you can’t be smug about not owning a TV anymore. I guess it’s time to up our game. We are getting rid of our car.

In a few months we are going to be a ‘zero car’ family. We’ve told a few friends. Most react with a mix of support and skepticism. Some people worry that we haven’t fully thought this through.

Advice from a friend with a car: “You might want to test out the idea first, you know, put your car in storage and see how it goes.”

My father-in-law interpreted the decision to get rid of the car as some kind of financial crisis and offered to give us money to pay off my student loans so we wouldn’t have to sell the car.

I was not yet a fan of this idea last August when our 2003 Jetta died a solitary, metal-crushing, gear-grinding death on Route 301 near Glynwood Farm. The car was beyond reasonable repair. We sold it to salvage for $400. Considering I had put a brand new tire on the vehicle the day it died, the salvage guys made off well. The got a bike roof rack, too.

When the tow truck dropped me off at home, we were carless. My husband suggested we stay that way. I wasn’t ready, so I shopped around and found a previously owned (loaned) 2012 Jetta which we financed. It was a great car: a five speed that was fun to drive. I am not sure what the tipping point was for me to agree to get rid of it. It probably helped that I hated that it was painted white.