Do we really need a car in London?
Do we really need a car now we are living in London? Our car is a 14 year old 2 litre diesel VW Passat estate, far too big for us in London. Its not ULEZ compliant (Ultra Low Emission Zone), much too old. Its starting to cost more every time it has an MOT. Also we are both a bit embarrassed to be seen driving a dirty old diesel car.
Reasons are more complicated
We moved to London on 21st July 2023 and for over three months our vehicle has languished in an expensive car park. There are just two of us. I can’t drive, blame MS and double vision. Recently MrsB no longer feels safe driving a car, reasons undiagnosed. Quite simply its gotta go.
It costs over £1200 a year just to park it. Now add £1000 to cover basic running costs. Fill up the tank with fuel and suddenly the cost begins to hurt the bank balance. Don’t forget driving in London can be slow, just take a drive on the South Circular. Remember anything can be bought on line these days and its delivered as well. Now its time for us to be car-free.
Good transport links
There are superb transport links within a short walk of our flat. The Elizabeth line is less than 50 metres from the front door. The DLR is a 6 minute walk and the train station is a bit further. All three have step free access. An added bonus are the Clipper river taxis into London. Also there is an excellent bus service. Don’t forget that pensioners travel for free on public transport using a London Freedom pass
This car has given us good times
I’m sure a time will come when we wished we still had the car but that urge will be brief. It does offer freedom and a chance to travel to interesting and isolated places We enjoyed a fabulous holiday to Italy without driving on motorways in Europe. There were also several trips to Germany to see our daughter and numerous trips in England. Initially living without the car might not be easy but we would much rather sacrifice it now than after causing an accident.
My mother used to drive and she would have petit mal seizures. She would blank out or stare into space for a few seconds. This is definitely not good news. Taking away her driving licence was so difficult and embarrassing. That problem will not be necessary for our children.
Do we really need a car
To my mind it is a complete no brainer, we do not need a car. There are excellent transport links here. Food shops are close and online shops are so convenient. Book shops and charity shops are few and far between in this area but I’m being picky. A car is definitely an unnecessary expense for both of us in London. We would much prefer to spend our money on something we really enjoy.