How I Survived 16 Months Without a Car

Top: Caroline Constas (also HERE, plus similar version HERE) // Jeans: Thank you, 7FAM! (& ON SALE!) // Heels: Nine West // Crossbody Bag: Leatherology // Ring: Accessory Concierge, old // Sunglasses: Chelsea28 // 3 Pendant Necklace: All the Wire // Nails: DND Gel in Striking Red

Can you imagine being without a car for over a year?!

I couldn’t either….until I was in the situation and MADE THE BEST FINANCIAL DECISION OF MY LIFE!

In July of 2016, I was in a horrible car wreck that totaled my FAVORITE CAR……MY BABY: my 2013 Volvo XC60 SUV. She was black with black leather interior and I LOVED HER SO MUCH. She was with me through several milestones in my life, so I felt very emotionally connected to her…..& in my mind, I would drive her until the wheels fell off! (Because if you’ve owned a Volvo, you know THAT’S WHAT YOU DO because they are so dependable!)

Sadly, our journey ended sooner than I expected, and just like that, I was left without a car. This was during a time that I was traveling a lot and was in & out of Dallas regularly, so it truly didn’t make sense for me to purchase a new vehicle that would sit in my parking garage. During the few days, here & there, that I was actually in town, I used Uber and never felt inconvenienced because they were always available (not to mention, I could always get SO MUCH WORK DONE when I was being driven around!). Fast forward about 4 weeks without a car and thought to myself, “once I am back and ACTUALLY NEED A VEHICLE, then I will start looking for one.”  Since I live within walking distance from SoulCycle & Whole Foods, and work from home most of the time, I never needed to get into my car during the weekdays. On evenings & weekends, I was generally with my boyfriend, & either he would drive or we would Uber. If I needed to run errands, I would be smart about planning in advance where I needed to go..and to my surprise, I ended up buying less because I didn’t want to carry it around or load it into an Uber. Amazon Prime became more necessary and I ended up minimizing my consumption overall.

But let’s talk about the real positive here: I SAVED SO MUCH MONEY. Initially, I received a check from the insurance for the value of my car, which went directly into my savings account. But here’s a list of everything else I NO LONGER PAID FOR: $400 monthly car payment, a full tank of gas every other week, the monthly fee to park my car in my building, valet parking, toll tags, maintenance, monthly insurance, car washes, and mostly, MY TIME.

And I know, I know, it sounds terribly dramatic to say, “I don’t own a car.” But honestly, I never really was irritated by it. More or less, I felt proud…it became a social experiment that I wanted to conquer!

Eventually, in September of 2017, I purchased another SUV (shoutout to my fellow Lexus drivers! I never thought I could love a car as much as my Volvo, but Lexus’ service is BEYOND!) and am back on the roads! It felt bizarre at first, and I drove like a little old lady….some might say I still do! But my favorite part of having a car now is that knowing I can live without it, I see it as a luxury & a blessing to drive something that is safe & dependable! I think twice before hopping behind the wheel: Would it be cheaper to Uber? Can I walk to this location? Could I order this online instead? Is this errand absolute necessary?

Ultimately, I am so glad I have this story to share with people…to make them think about what we TRULY NEED & WHAT WE CAN LIVE WITHOUT! Do you have a similar story of downsizing? What was the outcome?! Let me know in the comments below!

Photos by Danielle Sabol

  • Lisa

    Love it! That’s amazing!

  • Nici

    Did you end up with the RX? That’s what I want next. I currently have a Lexus, but not SUV and I’m hooked. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Courtney

      Yep and I love it! I got the tricked out sport one, so its really fun to drive 😉

      • Katina Anderson

        I also have the sports model…I love it. I live in Dallas. I hope one day I will see you at Northpark or around Uptown. I love your style. God Bless

  • Kelli

    Great post! After my hubby’s wreck in 2017, we went down to only one vehicle. For the most part, it’s been ok, but considering that we have small kids, it can be tricky……

  • Laura

    What kind of SUV From Lexus do you own? I have one too. 😉 good choice and I have been following you for years. You are wonderful 😉

    • Courtney

      I have a 2017 RX350 FSport thats white with black interior!

  • Tina

    You are so practical and inspiring- thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  • docdivatraveller

    That is so true! I really loved the fact that you opened up! Although I can’t imagine my life w/o a car and Ubers are way more expensive in India 😀

  • Ayssa

    I wish I worked from home full-time so I could do this, because let’s be real Amazon Prime is the jam and I’m an addict. I just bought a 2018 RX in March (on my third one), I will never drive another car, their service is the best ever!

  • Ellen Y

    I just got back from Europe a few weeks ago and spent a month in Italy either walking, taking the train, or using a taxi. It opened my eyes to the fact that I don’t NEED a car. After coming back to the US I’ve been dreaming of moving to a city that would allow me to live efficiently without a car. After hearing your story it made me realize that it might be easier to live without a car in the US than I thought.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for sharing! It’s nice to know someone else had an emotional Connection to a car and lost it to a major accident. Enjoy that SUV

  • Lindsey

    I live in the heart of Washington, D.C. When I moved to my current neighborhood, I sold my car because parking is not great and I knew I would be tempted to take my car out during the week and be frustrated to not find a spot when I returned. It’s been almost 3 years and I don’t miss it all. With ride sharing like Uber and Lyft, Car2go and Zipcar, cheap car rentals, and great public transportation, it really hasn’t been a problem. The best thing is that I walk so much more and truly enjoy seeing my city that way. I feel very un-American in that I own nothing- no house, no car- but that’s okay. We consume so much more than we truly need, are often times so tied to our things, and own many things because we care about appearances. I am not really a free- spirited, hippie or anything but there’s a lot of value and freedom in not deriving your value from what you own or what people think about what you do or do not own.

  • suzanne

    It’s so refreshing! My husband’s job brings us to Aspen, CO in the summers…….we rent a studio apt, and bring no car. We have a lovely, four bedroom home, that we love, that comfortably entertains our family & friends when they visit, in our other life. But, we love downsizing, realizing, we can do this. We can live for 4-5 months with a suitcase (or two) full of clothes, no car, in a studio – and it’s enough, and it’s actually fantastic!

  • Danielle Mone

    I love Volvo’s. I’m currently in a Jetta and I love but my next car will definitely end up being an SUV!

    Also loving the pop of yellow and the polka dots!


  • Carol Ramírez

    I always look with so much pleasure at your photos. They are so gorgeous!