A study conducted by AAA revealed that owning a car is far cheaper than using ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem. Many people think that switching to such services is a lot cheaper and more convenient than the owning a car, especially for those who live in busy cities like Dubai where parking and other related costs can be quite high. The study proved otherwise. It found that from a cost perspective, the best option is to own a car.
The study closely analyzed the cost of ride-hailing services and this included the occasional use of rented cars in 20 big cities and then multiplied this figure by 10,841, the typical number of miles driven by an average driver who lives in an urban area. The study covered only urban areas as normally ride-hailing services are widely used and are available in urban areas. The study found that for these cities in the United States, on an annual basis, using ride-hailing services for getting around would cost USD 20,118.
Even when the cost of fuel, insurance and parking is taken into account, owning a car would only cost half as much. Based on AAA’s Your Driving Costs study the average cost of owning and operating a new vehicle is USD 7,321 for that equivalent miles-driven figure. Flat-rate parking averaged USD 2,728 in the 20 markets and for those who have access to free parking, ride-hailing worked out to cost almost three times as much as vehicle ownership.
The most expensive market in the United States for ride-hailing services full-time was Boston at USD 27,545 per year, followed by Nashville, Tennessee at $26,397. The other three cities in the top five were Seattle (USD 23,951), Philadelphia (USD 23,201) and Chicago (USD 22,020). The cheapest cities were Dallas (USD 16,944), San Diego (USD 17,316), Miami (USD 17,339), Phoenix (USD 17,436) and Atlanta (USD17,741).
AAA used data from 243,838 economy-level, single-rider trips in the 20 urban markets to find the average cost of ride-hailing services, which worked out to be USD 13.15 per 6.66-mile trip. It factored in the use of rental cars for longer trips.
According to AAA, drivers can reduce the costs of car ownership by buying used cars in good condition, avoiding the use of high-octane premium fuel unless it is necessary, keeping up with maintenance and driving at slower speeds to minimize fuel consumption.
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