For those of you unfamiliar (shame on you!), Uber and Lyft are companies which provide a platform/application for ride sharing. By ride sharing, I mean everyday people like you and I, using their personal vehicles to provide rides for others. You can think of it as the soccer mom taxi! So whether you need a ride to/from the airport, an event, or just don't want to drive, Uber is a great way to get around your city.
With this in mind, what if you could use ride sharing everyday?!?!? Instead of putting miles on your own car, spending extra on maintenance for your car, and all of the other additional responsibilities of car ownership, why not ride share?
According to WNYC, an average American spends 25 minutes commuting to and from work each day...ONE WAY! That's an average of about 50 minutes out of your day, 250 minutes of your week, 1,000 minutes of your month, and 12,000 minutes out of your year! Imagine if instead of being behind the wheel, you were a passenger on your way to work. What could you do with those extra 250 minutes each week? And if you're in a traffic laden city like Atlanta, or just have a long commute distance wise, your time spent on the road may be much more. It's a lot easier, and safer, to eat breakfast on the run when you're not the driver! Maybe you have a few additional emails you needed to check/respond to, important phone call to make, or need to add some final touches to a presentation. Either way, those extra minutes are valuable. The question is how valuable are they to you?
The easiest way to put a dollar value on your time, at MINIMUM, is to calculate how much money you make at your current job or business. Whether you're making $10 an hour, or $100 an hour, TIME is MONEY! In fact, using those numbers as examples, that's between $2,000 and $20,000 of your time each year, respectively.
Ok maybe the thought of time equals money is too abstract for you, since it may not equal money back in your pocket immediately. Lets get down to the nitty gritty, and talk about the money you are actually spending!
Average Car Payment
According to Edmunds the average new car payment, through the 2nd quarter of 2015, was $483. The average used car payment was $361. I like round numbers, so lets bump of the new car to $500 and the used car down to $350. Using these numbers, the average American is spending $6,000 a year on a new car payment, or $4,200 a year on a used car.
Average Car Insurance Payment
According to DMV.org the average American spends just over $900 a year on car insurance. Residual benefits of ride sharing... lowering your current car insurance premium by NOT driving! Less miles on your car, less chances of getting in an accident, less chances of getting a speeding ticket, smaller premiums for you! Just because you're now choosing to commute with Uber or Lyft instead of your own car, doesn't mean you HAVE to get rid of your car. However, if you choose to, I'm sure many drivers would not mind!
Maintenance and Gas
According to BankRate the average American spends around $350 a year to maintain their car, and another $1,000 on gas. Depending on your location, how far you drive, and the type of vehicle you own, this can vary greatly. Hello SUV and Sports Car owners!
Total Cost of Ownership
Based on the numbers above, the total cost of owning your vehicle and commuting may fall between $6,550 for a used vehicle, or $8,350 for a new vehicle. Keep in mind these are averages, and will vary based on how far you travel, the type of miles you travel (highway vs city), as well as how well you take care of your car.
Is it Worth it?
Next week we will discuss the cost of an Uber Ride, using the average American commute as our baseline, in Uber Lyft 2 - The Alternative Commute. We will compare the costs of your average commute to the cost of a similar Uber commute, and how ride sharing could benefit you! What are the annual costs for your own car, and how close to the average commute you actually drive each day? Will ride sharing save money in addition to adding valuable time back into your day? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below! Subscribe to the Blog to receive email updates for future posts! Never used Uber or Lyft? Test out a Free Uber Ride here for first time riders! Ride with Lyft! Or better yet, become an Uber Driver or Lyft Driver, and make some extra cash!
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Akeem The Dream
I enjoy discussing and learning about technology, stocks, sports, and beating my wife at Dominoes! As I learn, I love to share with family and friends so that we can share our knowledge. Thanks for being apart of the journey!