August 28, 2020

Making The Break With Vehicle Ownership


Today we sold our wheelchair accessible van to an auto recycler. They gave us a bit of money for it, plus removed from our property. After it was gone a feeling of elation washed over us.

It is another step we are taking toward realizing a low-energy/low consumption way of life that we have been working toward for decades. Letting it go also removed a complication in our lives that we didn't need or want.

Our van had fulfilled its initial purpose - to get us and a few boxes of our stuff from Victoria, British Columbia to Digby, Nova Scotia 6 years ago. 

Now that we are settled in a rural location we love, we can be done with our cross country conveyance.


Back in the day, we both brought a car to our relationship. One of the first things we did as an eco-conscious couple was sell both cars in order to enjoy some freedom from the tyranny of car ownership. 

We gave it a good shot, but it didn't take. 

After enjoying being leather tramps for a few months, someone couldn't help themselves and gave us a vehicle. 

"You don't have a vehicle, we have an extra one - take it! Go ahead - take it! Here are the keys - go, go, go."

We were weak and fell off the wagon. We took the gift wagon, and were hooked again. For a long time. 


Such is the life of car-aholics. In North America just over 90% of us are afflicted, so we are in good company. No one shamed us for going back to mainlining the transportation drug. 

In fact, they welcomed us back, handed us a dirty steering wheel, and bought us some go fast juice (gasoline).

In our car-centric world there are always strong triggers and enablers pulling/pushing/dragging us into private vehicle ownership and its promise of hypermobility. 

But we never gave up on our project, looking forward to the day we would not have to deal with such a large, needy, high maintenance asset. 

Today, that day arrived, and although our family vehicle is now a bicycle, and Linda is in a wheelchair, we feel more free than ever.


  1. Well see what happened while I wasn't paying attention! I'm so glad you were able to make the break. I confess that I have to rely on someone else with a car to get me places, but love not owning one myself. Now being quarantined I don't go out at all.

    1. Our neighbours have been helping us with groceries (we order online, they park at the store, they bring the bags out and place them in the open trunk). What an awesome help that has been. We also shop by phone at a local shop that has free delivery of produce. And pies. What is better than having a pie delivered to your door?

      There is a non-profit accessible transportation company in our area that we will use when we would like to travel off our property together, which doesn't happen often, even pre-COVID. We have dentist appointments coming up, and have booked our first trip with them.

      Mostly we just like to stay home. Pandemic or not.

  2. Anonymous12/29/2020

    I know this is months old, but felt compelled to comment. My partner has cerebral palsy and I wouldn't drive even if I could. I have a bike with a little orange bike trailer for our kid and for groceries. I wish more people who were able to live this way would give it a shot. Rain or shine, cold or hot, I'd always rather be on my bike than in a car.

    1. Getting out of vehicle ownership has been one of the best things we have ever done in our quest for the perfect simple life for us. We do not have the time or energy to spend on maintaining a car - they are so needy!

      Thank you for sharing your joy of the bicycle. Riding is one of the pure joys of my life, and has been since I was about 6 years old.

      A bike trailer would be a handy thing to have. Your kid is lucky to be raised without dependence on a vehicle, and the environment thanks you.

    2. Anonymous12/30/2020

      It truly is such a joy! I love having a song in my head and pedaling to the beat. Or just going extra slow and watching everything around me.

      We got the bike trailer by asking on 'nextdoor' if anyone had an unwanted one they were willing to part with. It's amazing how many people have them just collecting dust in their garage. I've found that goes for so many things, and during non pandemic times, giving/borrowing/lending with neighbors is a great way to get to know and trust the people around you.

      Hope you're having a wonderful day. Stay golden.


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