Hypermiling: Could you really live without your car?

Seasoned Hypermilers among you will already know that the best Hypermilers don’t even turn the key. They find every way possible to cut and reduce journeys, saving countless litres of fuel in the process.

Long term reader and supporter of the site has finally decided to take this idea to the next level and get rid of his car altogether.

We’ll be keeping in touch with Andy to gain an insight on how one copes when driving is no longer an option.

[Read more] for the first installment of his car free life.

Over the last few months, after reading Karl’s tips here, I have been car sharing with a colleague every day to work and been just giving him a few quid each month. It’s less than it would be for my petrol and he has to drive past my house each day anyway – it’s a win-win situation. This means that my car (V reg Audi a3) sits parked quietly outside the house most days and it’s becoming less and less used.

After lengthy discussion with “her indoors”, we’ve decided that we will have a 3 month trial with just one car to see if we can manage. She works shifts as a nurse, so this adds some complications, but I think it’s worth a go. So today, with my usual lift on holiday, I thought I would give the bus a go as practice for when the car is gone (as I hope it will be in the next few weeks) and I can’t get a lift in from someone else.

I woke at 7:45 this morning – my usual time for getting up on a weekday and got ready for work, fed the cats and walked 20 minutes to the bus station.(This may be another benefit, as I could do with shifting a few pounds!) I had already checked what time the bus came and had opted for the 8:30 from Bay 4. After carefully avoiding some “interesting” characters and making my past the cleaners and coffee shops, I arrived at the bus station just as the 102 was pulling up. When I boarded the bus, I was pleased with how helpful the driver was after I asked him how close I could get dropped off near my work. Turns out it was less than a 5 minute walk! The bus cost me £2.10 for the 25 minute/9 mile journey which works out about 1.54 litres of fuel at current prices.

The bus was a bit warm today on a humid muggy day but apart from that I can’t complain. I had an idea in my head that the bus would be horrible, unclean and smelly – but it wasn’t any of these things and there were only 5 other people on the bus – just me by the end.

I got to work at 9:02 – so not bad – Don’t tell my boss. The journey was unexciting as I’d driven it so many times before, perhaps next time I should take my Kindle as I had nothing to do today when my 3G cut out.

Overall the journey was a lot better than I expected – I don’t think I would want to rely on the bus everyday, but it certainly is an option for the days when I cant get into work any other way.

PS: I’ll be posting more about my journeys without a car and how I get on in general -Not looking forward to the 6am journeys to take the missus to work when I need the car!

Stay tuned!

Andrew Hall is a Web Developer from Peterborough, UK.


Karl is the editor and owner of this glorious website. He currently writes for numerous environmental websites, producing content for the greater good. His experience in graphic design, Wordpress and all things automotive have helped sculpt Hypermiler.co.uk into its current form from very humble beginnings. He has numerous IT qualifications, a red belt in Taekwondo and likes craft Ales. Get in touch via our Contact Page

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2 comments on “Hypermiling: Could you really live without your car?
  1. Jon says:

    All well and good until you walk 20 minutes in the freezing rain to the bus station, find out that a bus has been cancelled and there are a lot more people there than there were in summer (when more people walk), all smelling of wet dog. Then you wait 5-30 minutes for the next bus, being 7-32 minutes late for work instead of the survivable 2. Maybe the driver even stops to nip into a shop for a magazine, or an old lady appears who takes a few minutes to pay, making you even later.

    And then on the way home, you get a bus with a load of noisy teenagers who want to spend their time turning biros and elastic bands into tissue peashooters and timetable catapults… you may well be the target… and then have to stand the whole way home because the christmas shopping crowd are dragging home half of Argos.

    Okay, it’s not a best-case scenario: but one morning in summer isn’t the time to get a true feel of public transport… I spent the first 20 years of my life using nothing but, and some of those journeys have been pretty hellish: I’ll tell you some of my train stories sometime.

    • Neil says:

      Twenty minutes walking to the bus station? Hanging around for buses that don’t run with 100% reliability? Putting up with increasing fares due to, you guessed it, rising fuel prices? How many late arrivals would it take before you received your P45? And how much is it going to cost you to get rid of the bed bugs that crawl out of the bus seats and into your clothing to hitch a lift home with you?

      Why not just cycle? Your nine miles would be faster, take you door to door, improve your fitness, cost you virtually nothing, and you could get a new bike with the government’s ultra tax efficient “cycle to work” scheme if you don’t have one already sitting in the garden shed. Get an electrically assisted bike (typical range would be good enough for your return trip) and you wouldn’t even have to raise a sweat.

      I know cycling is not for everyone but now that I only use a car very ocasionally the cash savings have been dramatic.

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