Want to sell my car in order to cycle

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
S.1234
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Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby S.1234 » 7 Jan 2021, 10:02am

Hi guys,

New here!

I am just looking for some advice.

Recently I have been evaluating whether it is wise for me to drive. I was actually in an accident a few weeks ago (my fault) and it has really made me think about whether it is all worth it, the whole car owning business! For me, there are a few factors to it, 1. my anxiety/depression has been so bad in recent months, not just with driving, but in general and I feel stopping driving could benefit me. 2. Financially, I feel like I am always penny pinching with owning a car. My car insurance has been a fortune because I have had a few accidents etc and likely will be again at my next renewal date.
Having no car does not faze me, as a matter of fact I actually enjoy my current 10 minute walk as part of my journey to work after getting off the bus. I live in Glasgow so there are quite a lot of cyclists etc as it is.

I am so scared about what people will think if I sell my car and do not replace it. I have been inspired with the idea of cycling to and from work each day. I actually do not have a bike at the moment but I look forward to getting one. I figure it would only take about half an hour to cycle to work which is amazing because it takes about that on the bus (my little walk incuded also).

So yeah, any advice for me? Would be greatly appreciated! :D
Last edited by S.1234 on 7 Jan 2021, 10:51am, edited 1 time in total.

Jdsk
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby Jdsk » 7 Jan 2021, 10:30am

Welcome.

There's a relevant recent thread... I'll try and find it.

Jonathan

sukuinage
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby sukuinage » 7 Jan 2021, 10:35am

I would say:

Think about what you used the car for and decide what you need from a bike to replace it - load carrying, distance travelled etc.
Decide whether you can use the bike for everything or whether public transport, taxis or hire cars would be needed at times
Work out a budget for your savings/ expenditure and decide - maybe from advice on here - which bike (or bikes) would suit you

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TrevA
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby TrevA » 7 Jan 2021, 10:48am

I’ve gone car free in the past and used my bike as my main form of transport. It can be made to work, though it can take a bit of planning. I used to do a weeks shopping by bike with 2 panniers and a trailer and that involved climbing a 10% hill on the way back from the supermarket. You will need a suitable bike that is built for carrying a load - a traditional touring bike is ideal, as they are built to carry luggage and a heavy load, but a hybrid bike with a rack will also be suitable. Such bikes will have low gears which are good for load lugging, especially if you live somewhere that’s hilly.

I’ve always cycled to work, I’ve had various commutes ranging from 3 to 20 miles each way. You need a secure place to park your bike, but most workplaces have this. A short commute can be done in normal clothes, but I find a longer ride is better in cycling specific clothing and get changed at your destination.

Don’t worry about what people think. Many Londoners don’t own a car as it’s unnecessary, because you can get everywhere by public transport and/or by bike.
Last edited by TrevA on 7 Jan 2021, 10:50am, edited 1 time in total.
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simonhill
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby simonhill » 7 Jan 2021, 10:49am

First thing to do is work out how much you spend on your car. This will give you a figure to work other things against. It may show that even after buying a bike, what seem like luxuries - eg a taxi once a week with shopping is actually cheaper.

Secondly, will you be happy riding a bike on the road? Most of us are happy to do this, but it can be a bit daunting at first if its busy or bad surface etc. You may want to consider some form of training, try contacting your local Council.

Much as I love the idea of you switching to a bike, winter is not the best time. I would hate a few weeks of bad weather to put you off, so you may want to wait till spring.

Otherwise a bike is the way to go. Cheaper, healthier and much more fun. Go for it.

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Graham
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby Graham » 7 Jan 2021, 11:04am

S.1234 wrote:I am so scared about what people will think if I sell my car and do not replace it.

Anyone who thinks less of you for shunning motor-vehicle ownership - isn't worth bothering about.
You are one of the growing band of pioneers who manage to live your life without it.

It is only those who live their lives in a sustainable, non-planet-destroying way who can save yourselves* and the next generations.

Top marks. Do it !

** Too late for my generation : deeply-entrenched, destructive, behaviour . . .unwilling & unable to change !

Bonefishblues
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby Bonefishblues » 7 Jan 2021, 11:08am

What Graham says - who gives a stuff what others think.

Besides, if it didn't work out for you, then you could always revert to Plan A.

rmurphy195
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby rmurphy195 » 7 Jan 2021, 11:17am

Hi there s1234

From your post it appears that you are no longer confident about driving and, perhaps, haven't been for some time.

My late father in law was in this position some years ago, after being blamed (wrongfully) for an accident which he was not involved in and was not responsible for - in fact he stopped as a witness. But the whole experience left him rather shaken and, though did did not have a record of accidents etc. his confidence was gone so he gave up driving and sold his car.

What did others think? Well, most of us thought he was very wise to do so under the circumstances. And afterwards he was much better for it, since the stress of driving in an inner city area with its aggressive drivers (Birmingham) was getting too much for him.
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

thirdcrank
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Jan 2021, 12:04pm

If all you are really bothered about is the opinion of others, you have nothing to bother about at all, EXCEPT:-

If you have close family, they may have different views to yours, both about their carless travel and your safety when cycling, even though the latter is largely misplaced.

Then, although things are changing in this era of eco-friendliness, IME not all employers are cycle-friendly. ie They may be completely green on paper, but not so keen on staff in cycling togs.

PH
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby PH » 7 Jan 2021, 1:32pm

rmurphy195 wrote:From your post it appears that you are no longer confident about driving and, perhaps, haven't been for some time.

Yes this^^^
I think you're dealing with two issues - Whether it's a good idea to continue driving and what to do if you don't.
The second is really simple, there's plenty of answers and you will find your own, you already know there's alternatives for getting to work, which for many is the bike hurdle. The rest might just fall into place, I made plenty of plans when I stopped owning a car, some of them only lasted weeks and others never got put into practice! If plan A doesn't work there will be a plan B, even if plan Z means going back to owning a car. I tell people I don't currently have a car, been doing so for 20 years, how much longer that'll be true for I don't know, maybe a month, maybe forever.
The first question is a lot harder, probably not possible to deal with on a forum. But if you don't feel driving is the right thing for you to be doing, don't do it, certainly don't let anyone pressure you into doing so. There are courses and assessments to increase your confidence and competence. I went on one before I hired a car after not having driven at all for five years. It was nothing outstanding, but worthwhile none the less.
Good luck

peetee
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby peetee » 7 Jan 2021, 4:42pm

Well done for accepting that you might be better off without a car. So many people are quite stubborn about such an idea, especially if age-related problems are the cause. Someone in my family has now been given the all-clear to drive again and I’m not the only one to think that would not be a wise idea even though the benefit to their mental well-being is undeniable.
It could be a difficult time to consider ending ownership. It may make you feel more isolated with the current pandemic restrictions but then again, as free movement is taboo this may be an ideal time to ease into the changes. That all depends on your usual lifestyle.
I still remember the financial burden that was my first car. It was almost as if I was adding a zero to end the weeks spending total.
I am currently looking out for a trailer so I can do the family shop by bike. I don’t feel my car is essential - 99% of the milage is getting my son to work - but if I was without it I think it would be a bit awkward at times. I am quite mechanically minded so would try to tackle a problem with the car but there are limits and the financial impact of repairs are hard to quantify or justify and may well trigger the turning point in terms of continued ownership.
As for your issue with what people would think about you not having a car, Perhaps you could elaborate. Is it that they think you would be a lesser person, that it would make socialising with them more difficult, or something else?
Cars have a nasty habit of making you feel like they are indispensable. They are a luxurious way to get around free from the elements and in comfort. In reality being without is perfectly feasible for many and can have lasting health benefits both mental and physical. Perhaps the initial option is to make a determined effort to structure your daily life a way that doesn’t involve the car. It’s still there for unplanned, unavoidable journeys but your routine and commitments are met by walking, cycling or public transport.
Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
“Oh, my wheels and coupling rods!” Peetee exclaimed.

iandusud
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby iandusud » 7 Jan 2021, 5:01pm

My wife and I decided a couple of years ago to try to reduce our car usage. Although our children are grown up we often have two or more at home with us so we need to carry a fair bit of shopping and was the main use of our car for short journeys. I decided that a cargo bike would fit the bill and hoped to find a secondhand one at a reasonable price but couldn't. In the end I built one. Since then we reduced our car usage enormously to the point that when we needed to replace our car a few months back we decided to take the plunge and go car-less. We have a tandem which is our transport when together and solo bikes for individual journeys. We will rent a car/van if necessary, like moving my son from uni for example. But since we got rid of our car we haven't missed it in the slightest.

With regard to the OP depending on how much you need to carry at any one time you may well get away with just panniers. We use panniers on the tandem and can carry a fair bit at a time. When I was single all I used was a large saddle bag but would shop every day. As someone else said or implied we are conned into thinking that a car is indispensable but it isn't, although it might involve lifestyle changes.

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Mick F
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby Mick F » 7 Jan 2021, 5:03pm

peetee wrote:Cars have a nasty habit of making you feel like they are indispensable. They are a luxurious way to get around free from the elements and in comfort. In reality being without is perfectly feasible for many and can have lasting health benefits both mental and physical. Perhaps the initial option is to make a determined effort to structure your daily life a way that doesn’t involve the car. It’s still there for unplanned, unavoidable journeys but your routine and commitments are met by walking, cycling or public transport.
Perfectly feasible for many, I agree.

Routine and commitments CAN be met by walking, cycling or public transport but not for everyone .............. sadly.

For us, personally, we cannot do shopping via walking, cycling or public transport.
One, the only shops within walking distance are a post office half a mile in one direction, and a Co-op mini mart a mile up the hill in the other direction.

Two, public transport is few and far between, and it's a change of busses to get to a supermarket. I dread to think the time involved in walking the half mile to the bus stop, getting into Tavistock, waiting for another bus, and walking from the bus stop to Tesco/Morrisons/Lidl ........................ then the return journey with heavy bags.
Do it once, twice or three times a week to keep the bag-weight down?
We'd be spending most of our days just waiting for a bus. :roll:

In Utopia, there would be public transport on the end of a telephone. Collect you from your door, take you to the shops and then bring you back.

Three, cycling to and from the shops?
You try it here.
I've done it with a bike and trailer, but it's not a good ride, nor an easy ride, and with a heavy trailer it takes a good strong rider like myself.

We need a car. Maybe a taxi would do it for us, but it's cheaper to own a car.
Mick F. Cornwall

peetee
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby peetee » 7 Jan 2021, 5:14pm

You’re absolutely right Mick. It can’t work for everyone but for our OP in Glasgow, hopefully it’s a possibility.
One of my reasons for choosing my house was its proximity to essential services. It’s tempting to imagine a life in the hamlets round here but even in the one a couple of miles away (which I find particularly appealing) life without a car would be a struggle.
Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
“Oh, my wheels and coupling rods!” Peetee exclaimed.

Jamesh
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Re: Want to sell my car in order to cycle

Postby Jamesh » 7 Jan 2021, 5:39pm

Before I leant to drive in my mid twenties I used a bike for every journey around the city I was in (Southampton)

I could transport just as much with the bike as a could with a car. 8x4 plywood, 4x2 timber no problem strap it to the bike and walk home.

Get a trailer and it's even more versatile. Bags of compost, spades rakes etc no probs.

Cheers James