Thinking of ditching your car to save money now that you live in an urban area? Think again. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published this week found that using ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft instead of owning a car would cost more than twice as much annually on average.
The study, which analyzed over 240,000 single-rider trips in 20 urban areas across the country, found an average cost of $13.15 for 15.11 minutes that covered 6.66 miles. AAA also found that the average urban driver covers 10,841 miles per year, which would make for a total cost of $20,118 if ride-hailing was used for all of those miles.
“Whether you own a vehicle or not, ride-hailing services are a convenient transportation option,” said John Nielsen, a managing director at AAA. “However, with the average American city-dweller driving nearly 11,000 miles per year, a personal vehicle is still the more cost-effective choice.
The average annual cost of owning a new vehicle (the costliest form of ownership), according to the AAA, rang in at an average of $7,321 annually, including car payments, insurance, fuel, and parking averaging anywhere from $706 in Phoenix to $8,088 in New York City.
Interestingly, the study also included the average annual cost of ride-hailing over the same distance broken down by major metropolitan area, of which Boston was the most expensive at $27,545 per year, and Dallas was the least expensive, at $16,944. Eighteen other cities, from Atlanta to Seattle, were included in the results.
Of course, it’s important to consider that ditching a car for city living would likely account for far fewer miles driven in a year, as public transportation, cycling, or even walking would reduce that total significantly. But if you were thinking Uber or Lyft was a convenient alternative to commuting with your own car, think again.
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