Is Ride-Sharing Worth Your Time and Money?

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are all the rage right now. It is now becoming much more popular to use a ride-sharing app to book a ride through your favorite ride-sharing company because of the benefits.

Namely, it is usually more convenient to use Uber or Lyft than to struggle with catching a taxi. Plus, ride-sharing is typically much safer than some other forms of public transportation, while also saving people a great deal of time. However, is using a ride-sharing company a good idea financially? Will it save you money to use an Uber instead of a taxi or your own personal car? To learn more, read the sections below.

First things first, it is important that you understand what ride-sharing is. Essentially, it when you request to be picked up from a certain location and driven to another location by a driver in his or her personal vehicle for a certain fee. It is very similar to utilizing a taxi cab, although you request the drive online or through a specific ride-sharing app that also allows you to see what the route will be and what the price is estimated at up-front. This service can provide many benefits and is therefore becoming a much more frequently used mode of transportation.

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Financial Benefits of Ride-Sharing

Ultimately, the exact savings that you may expect from using a ride-sharing service will vary greatly depending on several different factors. For example, it is very important to factor in the current cost of your car, how much and how far you need to travel, and how much you value your time. Studies have shown that the more expensive your car is, the less distance you need to travel, and the more you value your time, the more beneficial using a ride-sharing company can be.

Increased Productivity

This is because catching a ride with a company such as Uber or Lyft can save you money in a variety of different ways. For one example, depending on your profession, you may be able to spend your commute getting some work done while sitting in the passenger or back seat of the car instead of simply driving.

Some people may be able to get work done on a laptop before heading into the office. Or, this can also be a big benefit to students who may want to use the time that they usually spend driving on studying instead. You have likely heard the saying, “Time is money,” because it has a lot of truth to it; if you can increase your productivity during the drive, it may be well worth the fee.

Cheaper Than Car Ownership

You may also want to consider using a ride-sharing company such as Uber or Lyft if you find that you spend a lot on your vehicle but do not need to travel far very often. Perhaps your monthly car payment is pricey, or the cost to fill up your tank with gas is super expensive. Plus, if you factor in the occasional ticket, the cost of car insurance and car maintenance, and the price to park your car, ride-sharing can save you a lot of money in the long-run.

If you are spending more than you would like to on your vehicle, it may be within your best interests to sell it and use a ride-sharing company as your primary mode of transportation instead. This is certainly not the best option for everyone, but studies have shown that certain individuals who do not commute many miles each year may benefit more from using ride-sharing than driving themselves.

Cheaper Than a Taxi or Rental Car

Ride-sharing companies can also be much cheaper than other transportation options such as using a taxi or renting a car. This is especially the case when you are travelling to a different city, because using an Uber or Lyft for your occasional commutes to meetings or vacation activities may end up saving you a great deal of money versus renting a rental car for your length of stay.

Cost of Uber or Lyft

The price of using Uber or Lyft is calculated depending on the type of car you choose (standard, handicap accessible, hybrid, luxury, etc.), how far you will be going and the time of day that you are requesting a ride. You may also notice increases in pricing when the demand for a ride is high, such as on weekends or around holidays. When you use the app to request a ride, you will be provided with a price range that you will be expected to pay after your ride has been completed. This range can help you to determine whether or not it makes financial sense to use the ride-sharing company for that commute instead of driving yourself.

Other Benefits of Ride-Sharing

Although the financial benefits of using a ride-sharing service are very important to consider, there are many other benefits that may help you to make a decision about whether or not you wish to use the service or drive yourself on certain occasions.

As one example, ride-sharing services are especially useful if you travel to a party or bar and need a ride back home once you are drunk. They can eliminate the temptation to drive drunk if you do not have a designated driver and can therefore reduce your likelihood of getting charged with a DUI or causing a fatal accident.

Ride-sharing has also been shown to reduce the amount of traffic in most cities by reducing the number of vehicles on the road, and it can also help reduce harmful vehicle emissions as well. In addition, ride-sharing can save many people a lot of time.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use Uber or Lyft to commute every day or to catch an occasional ride is up to you, and it should be based on a number of factors including the cost of your car, how you value your time, and how far/often you need to travel. Once you have assessed your financial situation and travelling needs, you can make an educated decision about whether or not ride-sharing is a good option for you.

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