What if you could have your own personal driver?
You wake up in the morning, take a shower, slap on some work clothes, and head out the door. Standing there, spiffed up in a suit and chauffeur hat, is your driver.
“Hello, Mr. Johnson! How are you this morning?” asks the driver, as he opens up the car door.
For many of us, this is a dream come true. No longer do you need to focus on other crazy drivers cutting you off! Instead, you can catch up on email, enjoy a cup of coffee, or just look out the window and enjoy the view. Today, we have a solution that could get you something similar to this.
Sell your car online and use rideshare apps instead
We did the math. If you sell your car online and use rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft instead, you can significantly reduce the cost of your commute if you live near work.
Let’s give you two examples to compare:
1. Leasing a New Vehicle and Commuting
To come up with an average yearly cost for commuters, we calculated the average costs of leasing a vehicle, insurance costs in the Seattle area, and the cost of gas and traffic delays.
In Seattle, the average price of insurance per month is $128.83 (when calculating both men and women).
Insurance costs are pretty high due to high vehicle theft rates, driving conditions, needs for road repair, and traffic congestion. If you live in any city, you can expect similar insurance rates or higher. Seattleites pay about $1545.96 per year while people in Los Angeles pay an average of $1898.82 per year.
We also took into account the time it takes to wait in traffic, which can waste a lot of fuel. Using a monthly lease with a monthly cost between $220 to $420, you can expect to spend $4,785.96 to $7,161.96 per year to commute just three miles in Seattle, five times a week! If you need to pay for parking, that can add even more to the cost.
2. Commuting With Uber and Lyft
Costs are generally the same between these two apps. Later in the article, we give you tips and tricks to significantly reduce costs using both of these apps. But for now, we are going to give you a fair estimate of the cost of commuting three miles, five times a week, back and forth.
You might be worried about surge costs, but these can generally be avoided if you use both apps. So now to the ultimate reveal. How much does it cost yearly to use Uber and Lyft?
$3859.2 per year.
This is not including promotions. And if you find coworkers who want to share the expense, you can dramatically reduce costs by 25-50%. To be clear, this is how much it costs if you use both Uber and Lyft and avoid the surges. For those with initiative, you can tap into promotions from both companies.
Meet a Successful Commuter: Lara Behnert
The story of Lara Behnert from The Seattle Times is a clear example of what we are talking about. She travels 2.75 miles, back and forth and only pays $252 per month ($3024 per year). Surprisingly, Lara found this solution due to chance and circumstance.
She lived in the Central District of Seattle. Her job was in Belltown, and at the time, she took the bus. “It was a straight shot,” she told The Seattle Times. But when she switched jobs, instead of going straight to work, it took 45 minutes from stop to stop.
To Lara, driving her own car was a safety issue. As the creative director of a major company, she regularly works 15-hour days. Staying awake on the road was not an option. As well, when calculating the costs, especially when a car payment on a nicer car can be as much as $500 per month, ridesharing was well below the price for parking, insurance, and gas costs.
So how can you be like Lara Behnert?
3 Tips to Save Money with Uber and Lyft
1) Find the cheaper ride using FareEstimate. The website is simple. Add in your destination and the website will calculate both Uber and Lyft costs in your area. Each morning, you can enter in your travel destination and choose the cheaper option. Also, check both apps to see if there are surge costs in your area (just in case FareEstimate does not catch it).
2) Watch for promotions. Uber is expanding in Latin America, China, India, and East Asia, and they are investing in their new service, UberEATS. Because of this, Lyft is investing tons of money to take more market share in the United States. For the next few years, expect to see these two rideshare apps competing on price with promotions.
3) Share with coworkers. We mentioned it already, but it is worth mentioning again. Uber and Lyft do not charge more for multiple passengers. If you can find someone willing to split costs with you, using Uber and Lyft will be the obvious winner in saving money versus owning a car.
In the 21st century, owning a car can be seen as a relic of the past, especially in urban areas. Instead of paying the exorbitant costs of parking, waiting in traffic, and insurance, you can have an Uber or Lyft driver drop you off wherever you need to be. You get the same exact benefits without the hassle of owning a vehicle.
As well, with Tesla and others finding ways to create self-driving vehicles, you can expect this trend of reliable, cheap taxi services to continue. Imagine a fleet of self-driving, electric cars bringing people to where they need to go. This is the future!
If this sounds like the life for you, then it may be time to sell your car and join the movement of Americans who choose to not own cars. There are many great places to sell your car online such as eBay Motors, Craigslist, and TRED (we cannot help but include ourselves).
If you are looking to gain great value on your car, then see why we think TRED is the best choice to sell your car online.