Should She Keep Her Car Or Go Car Free? Your Advice For Anne

By Micheline Maynard

Ask, and ye shall receive! Our reader Anne in Ann Arbor, Michigan, asked Curbing Cars last week to help her decide whether she should keep her 1998 Honda Civic, or take the plunge and go car free.

Anne's 1998 Honda Civic

Anne’s 1998 Honda Civic

Your advice has come flooding in. Here’s the first response, from John Lloyd. (We’ll be featuring more Advice for Anne this week.)

Dear Anne,

Great question!  The fact that you’re asking whether to keep your car is a wonderful indication that you have freed your mind from the tyranny of the automobile.  I have been living “car light” for the past 3 years, and driving my car less and less every year.
Like you, I have an older car (a 2000 Toyota Corolla), and I only fill the tank a couple of times a year.  I’d love to go completely car-free, but I live in a car-dependent suburb and like knowing I have the option in an emergency.  If we had a Zipcar available nearby I’d feel better able to let the car go completely, but since we don’t, I’ve hung on to it.
One thing I’d definitely advise against is buying a new car.  Even if you get a hybrid, half of the embedded carbon footprint is in the materials of the car itself, and of course you’d be making car payments and paying higher insurance premiums, too.
If you feel you must have a car for those rare occasions, your old car is still cheaper to maintain than the cost of a new car.
If you choose either of the other options (keep your old car and live car light, or go completely car free), I applaud you for your choices.  Either way, keep walking!
Do you have Advice For Anne? Send your tips to We’ll let you know what Anne decides to do.

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