Gransnet forums

Other subjects

To drive or not to drive

(37 Posts)
nannycake Mon 17-Jan-22 13:27:57

My cars MOT is due in March but it’s not going to pass unless I spend a lot of money on it and as it’s ancient I don’t want to. My dilemma is should I buy another vehicle or give up driving and use other means of transport. I’m 74 and have peripheral neuropathy in my feet and when my feet are cold I don’t drive because I lose feeling in them. Basically I hardly use my car except for shopping and small local journeys. It seems such a luxury to keep a car when I hardly use it but it does give me comfort knowing it’s there if I need it. What does other G-netters think or would do?

AGAA4 Mon 17-Jan-22 13:35:53

My mum gave up her car in her 70s as she wasn't using it much. She used buses and taxis and saved money as the car was costing her a lot to just keep it mostly on her driveway. The saving on MOTs, servicing, road tax and repairs was more than adequate to pay for a taxi when she needed one.

JillyJosie2 Mon 17-Jan-22 13:41:25

If money isn't an issue, why don't you keep it for another six months or a year and see how you feel then. I'm not 70 yet but I can't imagine giving up my car which I use, as you do, for short local journeys and general errands.

I'm a bit suspicious of taxis and prefer to be in my own space and to have the car there if I really need it. Once you've sold your car, it will be harder to find and buy another. That's my thoughts!

PinkCosmos Mon 17-Jan-22 13:42:56

I would agree with AGAA4.

The money you would save on car maintenance, insurance etc. would pay for taxis.

Hopefully, you will have a bus stop close by and a free bus pass - depending on where you live

Redhead56 Mon 17-Jan-22 13:48:54

It depends on your local amenities if everything is nearby that’s handy for you. If you don’t drive when you are in pain you won’t miss the car. Maybe for shopping get a taxi or delivery you will be saving money not having a car. I think you sound already decided and don’t seem that bothered.
I like the independence but admit don’t drive far from home. Unless my arthritis hinders me driving as my joints seize up I will carry on with mine. We have to at some point give in and admit defeat I won’t be stubborn I will when I have too.

Nannarose Mon 17-Jan-22 17:36:35

This comes up every so often, and there are so many factors to take into account. It is true that simply owning a car costs quite a lot of money that can be spent on taxis etc.
You definitely need to look at a typical month or two (not easy given the last 2 years!) and work out how you would get about and organise your life.
In principle, I agree with 'mothball it and see how much you miss it'. However, if it is already needing a lot of money to make it roadworthy, then that may not be a sensible option.

GrannySomerset Mon 17-Jan-22 17:42:51

It depends on where you live, too. Getting a taxi round us isn’t easy and in term time most of them do school runs so are not available at certain times, so that is a huge limitation. I too think it’s worth keeping a record of when and how you use the car to help you decide. I am not keen on having to depend on other people so will continue driving as long as my children think I am safe. They will be the first to suggest I hang up my car keys!

kittylester Mon 17-Jan-22 17:45:03

But what if there is not a taxi or bus when you need it. There are no taxis to be had in our village till 9.30 as they are busy taking children to school. The buses, currently are errati and being cancelled quite often.

kittylester Mon 17-Jan-22 17:46:13

Sorry, GranySomerset, x posts.

Or great minds etc........

Mattsmum2 Mon 17-Jan-22 17:52:23

My mum is nearly 80 and I can’t ever imagine her not driving and was a passenger with her when she had to stop in an emergency and her reaction was amazing. We’ve talked about when she gives up and she says she will probably take a taxi as bus routes are non existent where she lives. She’s just spent a lot on her car and will never change it.

rosie1959 Mon 17-Jan-22 18:00:41

Difficult to say if you live somewhere like I do being without a car would be tiresome there is just one local taxi service so hit or miss if you can get one
The bus service to the nearest city is OK but getting to a decent supermarket is hard work.
Saying that I use on line shopping for groceries and meat delivery and our local market for vegetables, but again this would be a mile or so walk.
I also go to regular meetings which need a car for access buses limited.

Kali2 Mon 17-Jan-22 18:04:31

If there is any time that your foot can lose feeling, I am so so sorry to say, but you should not be driving.

Hetty58 Mon 17-Jan-22 18:09:29

I've never driven - or had the expense of owning a car - but there's always a cab available when I need one.

Lucca Mon 17-Jan-22 18:11:08

If there are plenty of taxis and buses near you, definitely that’s a better option. Add up the cost of road tax insurance garage bills,,,,

I have a friend in central london who gave up her car 20 years ago at age 50. It just wasn’t financially viable,

marymary62 Mon 17-Jan-22 18:16:20

I’d take it for it’s MOT and see what happens . If it passes and you’ve somewhere off-road to park it just SORN it for a while until you find out whether life without a car is for you. If it fails you will find out how much it costs to put right and that may help your decision as to whether to spend the money or not . If you want a new car get one. Don’t make your decision whether to drive or not based on the car, make it because it is either a positive choice or a wise one .
My mum (30 years ago now aged 70 ) stopped the instant she felt she wasn’t safe as she could not bear the thought of causing an accident. I’m not suggesting you are unsafe as you are very aware of your condition and do not drive when affected - but what do you do if your feet get cold when you are out ? I know my feet get cold sometimes ! If you have a tiny niggle that you should not drive for health reasons and safety then I would very kindly suggest you do stop now . Only you can decide that nannycake, and it is a difficult decision. Good luck !

lindiann Mon 17-Jan-22 18:16:33

funny I have just been on the phone cancelling my insurance and Sorn my tax because my car is ancient and coming up for an MOT not used much lately very sad though I will miss the car sad

Hetty58 Mon 17-Jan-22 18:18:16

Of course, in the summer I walk a lot more and use buses and trains. My shopping's done mainly online and I have the freedom of doing round trips, with no parking or returning to a parked car.

My legs are strong anyway from twice daily dog walking - 'use it or lose it' is very true.

Ladyleftfieldlover Mon 17-Jan-22 18:26:59

I love driving and don’t look forward to giving up one day. I do pretty well all our driving. OH has his own car which he uses when going out on his own. If we are together we go in my car and I drive. I drive up to London to see my son and his family, which is around 70 miles each way. Obviously over the last two years that hasn’t always been possible! Also, we live in a small village. There is a bus service but rather infrequent. To get to Oxford I would have to drive to a nearby village, park in an overgrown lay-by and wait for a bus there. There is also a village taxi, but just the one. I know that one day infirmity will catch up with me and I will have to rely on other forms of transport!

Georgesgran Mon 17-Jan-22 18:32:26

My daughter uses hand controls in her automatic car - a simple lever with the indicator on the end - push the lever away to brake, or pull forward to accelerate. Obviously DVLA would need to know, as would your insurance company.
Worth a look?

kittylester Mon 17-Jan-22 18:45:52

Hetty using the word 'cab' is quite telling. We have Sam's Taxis - if he isn't doing s hool runs.

Today, we dropped something off at DD's (only 3 miles away - over Charnwood Forest) while we were on the way to Leicester shopping.

Not sure Sam's taxis are up for that. And we don't have cabs!

nannycake Wed 19-Jan-22 08:20:08

Thank you so much everyone for responding so quickly. I found all your comments honest and helpful. I appreciated the prompt from marymary62 about driving with cold feet. I live in a small town just outside of Bristol where everything I need is within walking distance which is fortunate for me so not being able to drive won’t impact my everyday life. Thanks again for your comments.

Newquay Wed 19-Jan-22 08:50:45

Sad to say I agree with OP, if you have health problems you really should stop. Don’t waste money on repairs. You will adapt.

marymary62 Mon 24-Jan-22 19:37:19

Well nannycake hopefully your feet won’t get as cold as mine in the north east ! I wear sensible woollen socks all winter in all circumstance ! It’s lovely that you have everything so close - it shouldn’t be a problem

Hetty58 Mon 24-Jan-22 19:47:41

A couple I know have both lost confidence with driving. They don't have major health problems but only use their cars locally and won't drive after dark -due to the awful glare from modern headlights.

Apparently, there's a maximum wattage - but it's not been updated to adjust down for LEDs - I think that's ridiculous, as even as a passenger, I'm blinded by them.

Nannarose Mon 24-Jan-22 22:06:23

It is true that in many small towns and rural areas, taxis are not easily available. I always suggest that when you first do without a car, book a taxi on a fairly regular basis and get to know the drivers / dispatchers.
Some think that whilst they can get around using buses and lifts with friends then they will. But if you get to know the taxi firm, then they will try to be helpful if you need them at an awkward time.