A few days ago, I had to take my car to the dealer to fix a faulty window switch.  For me, the nearest car dealership is located over 20 miles away by freeway in any direction.  In an attempt to reduce my carbon footprint, I planned the repairs around transportation from friends and family who would be in the area when I needed to be there.

The car was supposed to be in the shop for one day; I figured 24 hours without my car wouldn’t be a major problem.  I live within walking distance of some places I had to go.  However, just an hour before I was to pick up the car, I was contacted by the service department.  They had to tell me the bad news; there was a shipping problem.  The part didn’t arrive as expected, so it would be another 24 hours before I would get my car back.  They offered me a loaner for the inconvenience so I took them up on the offer.  I never realized how dependent I have become on my car.

Activities while I had the loaner:

  • Drove to a meeting.
  • Picked up supplies for repairing a bicycle.
  • Used an electric pump powered by the car.
  • Drove to the store.

Things I learned from this experience:

  • If you need to leave your car in the shop, plan on being without your car for 48 hours.
  • Allow for extra time when you’re walking, plan on taking twice as long as you think you’ll need.
  • I depend on my car way too much

Eye-opening questions:

  • Would you be able to get to work or school without your car?
  • What if your car were in the shop 2 or 3 days?
  • Do you have alternate transportation?
  • Do you have friends who would help you with your traveling needs?
  • How do other people handle transportation challenges?

At this point in my life, I don’t know what I would do for an extended period of time without a car.  I know of some people who have managed to do it for a while.  It definitely takes some extra effort.

What would you do?