COULD you live without a car? It’s something I began to consider last year, stuck at home in lockdown, and it led to a decision which has been life-changing and liberating.

After working from home for a few months, I decided I was no longer prepared to pay to insure a car I was barely using. I had to drive it around the neighbourhood just to keep the battery ticking over in the first lockdown.

But instead of selling it, I decided to share it. My sister had let her lease car go - like many people stuck at home in the pandemic and forking out a couple of hundred quid a month for a car that was just sitting on the drive - so I offered her the use of mine. While my 10-year-old Peugeot isn’t quite as sassy and smooth as her fancy lease car, it serves a purpose until she decides to get another one.

So now we share my little car, along with her teenage son, who is learning to drive in it. And it’s a system that has worked well so far. With most of my job now desk-based, I don’t need a car all the time, so my sister uses it to get to and from work, and I ‘book it’ whenever I need it for work or anything else.

She pays the insurance, since she’s using it every day and keeps it where she lives, and we each put petrol in when required. And it really is a weight off not having the responsibility, or at least sole responsibility, of car ownership.

I’m not the only one who has gone ‘car-free’. A friend recently sold his beloved old MG for scrap and as he now works from home, he’s decided to do without his own four wheels. With a bus that takes him to the football, and a train station 10 minutes from home, he’s relying on public transport and says it’s liberating to be without the hassle of running a car.

Another friend gave up her lease car last year and says getting the train to work is a much more relaxing commute. “Walking to the station wakes me up in the mornings, and gets all the work stress out of my system at the end of the day,” she says. “I used to be stuck in rush hour traffic getting annoyed. Now I sit back and listen to my music.”

Of course it wouldn’t work for everyone. If you live in the countryside, with no railway station and only one bus every other Tuesday or whatever, a car is often essential.

And for many people, the convenience of having a car, and the pleasure of driving it, outweighs the expense, upkeep and responsibility.

When my trusty little Peugeot finally gives in to old age I may get myself another vehicle, but for now our family car share works.

That is until I switch on the engine and my ears are assaulted by the horrible commercial radio my sister insists on listening to. When I’m behind the wheel it is swiftly turned back to Radio 2, or Radio 4 if it’s time for The Archers.

Then there are the sweet wrappers in the glove compartment and the £100 parking fine I recently got, for a date when I didn’t even use the car...

But overall it’s a good system, and with three of us using it I guess it’s one or two less cars clogging up the roads. And even though we’re way behind the more affordable, efficient public transport of other European countries, I’m happy to hop on a bus or a train too. I’ve been using buses since I was 13, and when the time comes I’ll welcome my free bus pass.

Perhaps what’s best about not having a car is that I walk a lot more. I say “Morning’’ to people I pass. If I was behind the wheel I’d be impatiently muttering at the pesky pedestrians to hurry up and cross the road. Now I tut at cars roaring past. I’m in the slow lane - and it feels very zen.