selling the car

Usually a car represents freedom: you can go anywhere, at any time, with anyone.

As any newly-licensed driver will attest to, you don’t have to rely on parents or friends or public transport. And it’s true – cars do give you a sense of independence, and quite often are a necessity in this day and age for the normal person.

But as you might have guessed, we are not normal people! In fact, many people might think we’re a little crazy – we get a lot of people asking why we moved from sunny Australia to rainy England… (answer: because we like rain!) – but we’re okay with crazy.

Because we aren’t normal and because we live on a narrowboat, because we don’t have to commute to work, because in this digital age we can work from anywhere – including a boat! – we don’t need a car anymore. It costs us way more to maintain it for those few times we need a car than it is to just call a taxi or use the electric bikes when we need to.

We’re also free from the hassle of moving the boat AND the car.

When we were still working the day job and needed to move the boat to a new location every 14 days, one of us had the enjoyable task of cruising the boat for 3-4 hours, while the other person had to take the car for a 10-15 minute drive to the next spot along the canal, scouting out a suitable and safe location to leave the car overnight where we could still access it. This meant a lot of time was wasted where we couldn’t be together enjoying the lifestyle.

Of course, it hasn’t been all bad having a car – obviously going for the groceries is much easier with the car (especially when it’s a wet, windy day), and over the winter it’s been invaluable with picking up coal. Yes, we wintered in a marina which had coal, but we like a specific type – we’re coal snobs.

But we’ve decided to sacrifice the good coal, the comfort and ease of a dry shopping trip, and the ability to jump into the car and tootle off to catch up with friends – they’ll just have to come visit us on the boat; a hardship, I’m sure.

And let me tell you – finally selling it was the best feeling! Ironically, we felt free!

selling the car
Finally saying goodbye to the car!

Now we don’t have to worry about paying road tax, car insurance, MOT’s every year, fuel, and all those maintenance costs. There’s always something that needs fixing on a car! Yes, you can say the same about boats, but at least we are using and living full time on the boat, so the costs for the boat don’t feel as painful when coming out of the bank account!

The added bonus is the additional incidental activity we gain from not having four wheels to move us around. We have to walk. But part of our quest is to pursue a healthier lifestyle and not having an easy way to get around makes it easier to incorporate exercise into our daily life.

We aren’t completely reliant on walking everywhere though – we have folding electric bikes that are very useful when doing the shopping and are great for zipping along the towpath. We would absolutely recommend electric bikes to anyone wanting a cheatsy-doodle way of getting around without a vehicle. Seriously, they have been invaluable in the two weeks since selling the car.

So we are car-free and have just left our winter moorings in Aston Marina.

We have nothing left to tie us to a specific location and we are super excited to explore the canal network with our new-found freedom – using boat-power, pedal-power and our own two feet (and four paws, of course).

We hope you’ll join us for our 2019 adventures!

If you are interested in getting your own electric folding bike, we found some on Amazon that are close to ours. These are affiliate links, so if you click and buy something (anything, even if it’s not one of these bikes) Amazon will pay us a small amount at no extra cost to you. It helps us out!

For UK readers, try this:

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For US readers, try this:

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