Should I buy a car or just get an Uber?

Is it worth owning a vehicle?

We live in a booming sharing economy – we can rent each other’s houses, cars, boats and bikes all at the touch of a button! With such easy access to these products, we must ask ourselves: is it worth owning them? More specifically, are the ongoing costs of owning and maintaining a car cheaper than the likes of Uber?

The weekly cost of a car, according to RACQ, ranges between $116-$332 per week (depending on factors such as model, fuel economy, size etc.) These figures don’t include the purchase price/depreciation, parking costs, and damages from potential accidents – albeit a small side mirror replacement or a total write off.

We must then compare those costs to someone that lives within the metropolitan area, who for example, travels to work Monday to Friday and drives to the supermarket and shops over the weekend, approximating to around 2 trips per day. If we then assume the average Uber trip costs $15, we are left with the costs of around $30 per day and $210 per week.

With these figures, using a ride-sharing app such as Uber at $210 a week is around the mid-point of the average weekly cost of owning a car. With this in mind, is it worth owning a car? Or are we limiting ourselves to a dependence on someone else’s car when we could so easily have our own? Other than the perks of not having to physically drive yourself and freeing up time within trips, what real benefit is there to not owning a car with those costs in mind?

On the other hand, we look at the prospect of driverless cars. Tesla, CEO, Elon Musk has expressed in early 2017 that he expects fully-autonomous cars to be operative by 2019, thus shaking the likes of Uber. Hence we could essentially be passengers in our own cars, or like Uber, sharing in someone else’s.

If driverless cars were to become fully integrated into society, it would mean the owners could have their cars actually generating income through car sharing services at all times. Further, as these cars are operating without the cost of labour (a driver), the cost of using such services would be significantly cheaper. Consequently, we are left again to wonder if it’s worth buying one of these cars or just using someone else’s due to the estimated price decrease compared to today’s Uber pricings.

But for now, while driverless cars remain in the not too distant future, the benefits that come from owning your own car most probably outweigh both the benefits and costs of sharing someone else’s.

Talk to one of our Lending Specialists about a car loan today! Complete your details below and we’ll be in touch or give us a call on (03) 9835 8200.

About the Author
default author image"
Joshua McGrath , Melbourne
Want to join the team?