4 Reasons Riding an Uber or Lyft Can Be Cheaper than Owning a Car

By: Jimmy Rhoades Posted: 10:49 PM, Mar 28, 2018

Americans love money and cars. So what if having a car were wasting your money? We spoke with Todd Davidson from the Energy Institute at UT Austin to learn whether it makes more financial sense to use ride share services like Uber or Lyft. Should you ditch your car? Read on for four factors you should consider.


1. How Much You Drive

First, figure out how much you drive. “If you're driving, say, less than 7,000 miles per year, then it's pretty likely that using mobility services would be preferable,” says Todd. But the more you drive, the better deal having your own car becomes. “Rather than just letting it sit while it depreciates in a parking lot, you're extracting the value from the car before it basically just ages and becomes less valuable on its own,” adds Todd.


The amount you drive also costs time. “Typical commuters might be spending on average, say, 40 to 50 minutes per day driving in their vehicle,” Todd explains. “You start stacking up that amount of time, and it's really worth something.” The value is the other stuff you could be doing. “It might not even be work. It might even just be taking a nap or reading a book,” continues Todd.


2. Kids

The next variable to consider is whether or not you have kids. Having kids means driving from daycare, to babysitters, to doctors, and to the grocery store over and over again. Convenience becomes a huge deal! “Having a child will definitely impact the equation,” shares Todd. “You might have a car seat permanently in a car that you own, [which] makes it very convenient for you to move your child throughout the city.”


3. Where You Live

Next up, where you live matters, too! “If you need to move 12 head of cattle, mobility services [are] not going to satisfy what you need.” The point is that cities tend to lend themselves to ridesharing. “Without the density, it's hard to achieve the economies of scale.”


4. Cost of Parking

Finally, don't discount the cost of parking. “If you're having to spend a lot of time looking for parking, almost certainly mobility services [are] something that you would want to consider,” offers Todd.


The potential benefits of more people using ride sharing services are huge, and it just might save you some money!


Should you ditch your car for ridesharing? Plug your stats into the Energy Institute’s online calculator to help you decide!


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