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Study: Ride-Hailing Services Are Twice as Expensive as Just Owning a Car

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One of the ways ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have touted their advantages has been by calling themselves cheaper than buying your own vehicle, particularly in large cities. However, a new AAA study has found that, on average, ride-hailing could cost about twice as much as just driving your own car.


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The study is from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which based the calculations on the assumption that urban drivers travel about 10,841 miles per year in cars. Then, it analyzed the cost of ride-hailing in 20 major urban areas, such as New York City, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Boston. The total cost varied somewhat from city to city, but the average was about $1.86 per mile, or about $20,118 per year.

This includes both normal city driving and an average 2.1 road trips per year, totaling about 11 days and 1,476 miles. It also includes parking cost, although this always varied pretty widely from city to city.

Finally, it compared to the cost of owning and operating a new car in the same area, which it found in a different study as $7,321 annually with the same amount of miles driven. That is less than half the cost of using ride-hailing services for the same distance. AAA added that, if free parking is available, ride hailing becomes almost three times more expensive than just owning the car.


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John Nielson, who is the managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair for AAA, summed up the results, saying, “For those who travel a very limited number of miles annually, or have mobility issues that prevent them from driving a personal vehicle, ride-hailing can be a viable and important option. But, for everyone else: the car is still king.”

News Source: AAA