Think You Can Save Money By Going Carless? Think Again

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


, - December 26, 2018

Ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft have become a popular alternative mode of transportation across the US. While it may seem like you’re saving money by not driving or owning a car, according to AAA, riders in major metro areas could be spending more to use these services than they would buying and maintaining their own vehicle.

Does Ridesharing Truly Save Money?

Going carless and occasionally using ridesharing services can save you money. But, if you rely on them to get to and from work, you could be wasting more than double what it would cost you to own a vehicle – including the extras like parking, insurance, and gas. According to AAA’s research, urban drivers travel an average of around 11,000 miles a year. By analyzing the cost of ridesharing services in major US urban areas, here's what AAA found for 10 major cities and Washington, D.C.:

City Average Cost of Ridesharing in a Year
Atlanta $17,741
Boston $27,545
Chicago $22,020
Denver $20,434
Los Angeles $17,951
New York $21,279
Philadelphia $23,201
Phoenix $17,436
San Francisco $21,972
Seattle $23,951
Washington, D.C. $21,093

Compared to owning a car, using ridesharing services as your main mode of transportation can get extremely costly. The average annual cost of owning a new vehicle – including insurance, car payments, fuel, and parking – is $7,321 if you’re driving about 11,000 miles a year. Depending on the metropolitan area you live in, you could be spending three times as much per year money using Uber or Lyft.

Should I Still Use Ridesharing Services?

Although these numbers may shock you, this doesn’t mean you should drop ridesharing services altogether. In fact, if you’re considering moving to the heart of a major city where you can walk and use public transportation to get where you need to go, you may not need a vehicle. In these cases, it makes sense for you to use ridesharing services and taxis every once in a while, and it won’t cost you nearly as much compared to financing a car.

Considering Financing a Car?

Before you jump the gun and decide you need a vehicle and want to drop ridesharing services, sit back and evaluate what makes the most sense for you. If you commute to and from the city every day, purchasing a car may be a better fit. If you live and work in the city, and seldom drive outside the city limits, you could get by using ridesharing services when you need them.

However, if you’re in the market for a vehicle, but worry that your credit score or credit history might prevent you from getting approved for an auto loan, let us help. At CarsDirect, we work with a nationwide network of special finance dealerships that are connected to lenders willing to help consumers dealing with credit issues, and we want to help connect you with a local dealer. To get started, simply fill out our free and secure car loan request form today.

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Megan Foukes is a recent graduate from Indiana University who graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism. Megan works as a content writer for Auto Credit Express and contributes to several automotive and finance blogs.


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