My Unexpected Journey To No Longer Owning A Car

The kind of crazy story of why I no longer own a car.

No longer owning a car is part of a bigger life question

I should start this week’s column with a confession.

I didn’t tell you the whole story.

It just didn’t seem that important at the time.

Remember a couple weeks ago when I told you the wild story of trying save a baby squirrel?

I drove an hour to get the squirrel to a wildlife rehabber who will be taking care of the little guy and eventually releasing him on a 40-acre farm.

Who knew Year 7 is the wedding anniversary to gift a squirrel?
This turned out to be one expensive squirrel.

That seemed like a good way to wrap up crazy story.

Here’s the part I didn’t share.

I was in a car accident on the way home.

As much of an “accident” as it can be when a guy is riding your bumper on a busy highway.

Traffic slowed.

He said he wanted to slam on his brakes.

Slammed on his gas instead.


Double smack.

Darn it.

But really.

Everything good that could happen in that situation did.

He stopped.

Admitted guilt.

Got the ticket.

He had good insurance.

My bumper was ripped up, but I was able to drive home.

After a week in the shop, his insurance company did the math.

This is why I am no longer owning a car.
This didn’t look so bad until the body shop started taking my car apart. The other guy’s insurance company deemed my car a total loss.

They decided my car is a total loss.

She was a 2013 Ford Edge.

I called her, “Gilly.”

Her best feature?

We long ago paid her off.

I had planned on happily driving her into the ground.

Another 5-8 years, at least.

Not Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t let my mother or sister drive that car,” the insurance guy said, “I’m not going to let you.”

“So, what kind of car are you going to get?” friends and family keep asking.

The answer might shock you.

I know it shocked me.

The answer I didn’t expect to give

The answer is none.

I’ve proposed to Husband that we try on the idea of being a one-car family.

It’s part of the grand experiment that interests me more and more the older I get.

What do I really need?’

—The bigger question I want to try on.

I like to try on “What do I really need?”

I work from home, pretty much.

Both kids are off at college.

I can use Uber, public transportation, and my feet to get me where I need to go during the week and Husband’s car for big things on the weekend.

So, to be more accurate. I guess I technically own half of Husband’s car.

This is more an experiment in being a one-car family, with the one car being gone most every weekday.

Not so fast with your praise

Don’t proclaim me a saint of minimalism quite yet.

I had a rental car for a week.

This has only been real for a few days.

It’s entirely possible the answer to “What do I really need?” is a new car.

But for now, I find power in pushing back.

In saying, “Not so fast, car world. You don’t get to just assume I’m going to be part of you.”

There’s so much I can’t control.

Like the goofball who ran into me.

Like the squirrel who fell out of the tree in our front yard.

But I do get to control this.

Like everything else in my life, Dear Reader, this ride will be so much more fun and interesting if you come along.

Any tips on going car-less?

Or going without something you thought you couldn’t?

Please offer up your thoughts in the Comments section below.

And if you like this story, you might like my latest book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



My Unexpected Journey To No Longer Owning A Car

by DarynKagan time to read: 3 min