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Owning A Car vs Ridesharing


Have you often found yourself in a conundrum, wherein you’re contemplating whether to either spend your savings on a car or to stick to the eco-friendlier norm of ridesharing? Well, you’ve to the right place to help you solve this dilemma.

Keep in mind that the right choice for you requires you to factor in a lot of variables like where you live, what the traffic is like there, whether or not it is a densely populated city, your annual earnings and so on. 

Owning a Car:

Being the proud owner of a car that you have been saving up for since your first paycheck can be considerably rewarding in several ways. But here, we will look at everything that comes with it. 

Pros: 

  • Being in control of your car: This serves as a solid advantage for those that prefer taking the wheel. It germinates a greater comfort level for those that thrive on being in charge, independent and those who enjoy driving.
  • Having the comfort of being the only one in your car: A feature that ridesharing drives lack, owning your car generates an added satisfaction of being the only one in your car. 
  • No additional or unnecessary conversations: This one is for those days when we would much rather plug in our earphones than make conversations. Having a car that you can call your own empowers you to choose if and whom you engage in conversation with. 
  • Drive without destinations: Long drives with no destination in mind can be therapeutic to many. Being the proud owner of your vehicle means no explanations are needed for drives to wherever.
  • Impulsive trips: Impromptu road trips whenever is a luxury that car owners often possess and exercise. 
  • Always available at your disposal: One of the ultimate selling points of having a car in your garage is its round-the-clock availability for use. Be it an emergency in the middle of the night or just a trip to the grocery store mid-day, having a car in your parking can prove to be a lifesaver, literally. 
  • Pet-friendly: Various pet parents have encountered problems with 'no pet policy' rules in public transport. Having personal transport eliminates that difficulty entirely. 

Now that we have covered some of the positives of owning your own set of wheels: let us have a look at everything that comes with that package. 

Cons:

If you have heard the saying “With great power comes great responsibility”, here is where you will see it in action vis-à-vis owning a car. 

  • Finding a parking spot: If you live in a crowded city, this can be a major problem for you. Finding a good parking spot can be extremely tedious.
  • Added stress: The added stress of parking your car on a street where it is vulnerable to scratches or robberies can be highly stressful. Additionally, traffic jams may also act as primary contributors to stress.
  • Paid parking: When you finally find a good parking spot, but it is highly overpriced, it’s an added expense to your overall expense of owning a car. 
  • Wasted time: If you are not a fan of driving, it could add up as a waste of your time as you cannot make productive use of or spend your time spent driving or anything else.
  • Fuel costs: These are, again, a significant monthly expense. Some experts suggest that filling up your tank amounts to lesser than filling it up in parts, but this depends on the type of car, fuel type and frequency of your driving.
  • Additional but unavoidable costs: Registration, insurance, tires, and routine servicing can be tedious and expensive. The expense of all those is unavoidable but essential as maintaining your car aids in the long life of your car and adds to its resale value.
  • Storage: Finding an appropriate and safe storage or garage can be difficult. In several buildings or apartment complexes, you are charged for reserving a parking slot to your name and are required to make timely payments. Or, if you own a house in an apartment complex or building, parking may sometimes not be included in the house amount and must be paid for separately in a lump-sum amount.  
  • Resale value depreciation: Reselling of cars very rarely gains profits. This is because the value of the car depreciates over the years as demand increases for newer cars that come into the market.  

Ridesharing:

After having looked at the positives and negatives of owning a car, let us further explore the option of ride-sharing. 

Pros:

In addition to the undeniable pros of ridesharing like not having to buy a car and car maintenance bills, we have discussed a few more of its positives. 

  • Productive use of your time: Whilst getting from place A to place B, you can sit back and relax during your ride, or you can use your time on your phone or your laptop productively to get work done. Ridesharing enables you to use the duration of your ride however you like.
  • Omits parking worries: You do not need to worry about parking or paid parking like you do if you own a car. Once you have reached your destination, you simply pay for the ride and be on your way. 
  • Environment friendly: By ride-sharing, you play a part in contributing to a greener, less polluted planet. 

Cons:

Even though ride-sharing is typically a win-win situation for everybody, some prominent cons do exist and are as discussed below:

  • Difficulty to find cabs in rush hours: Due to increased demand for cabs during rush hours, finding cabs may become a task. Additionally, there is a hike in prices during peak hours for the same trip.
  • Hygiene: Although this is not encountered very frequently, hygiene levels in some cars may not be acceptable and poor hygiene in the cab serves as a deterrent to passengers.
  • Added effort: There is an extra effort involved in coordinating with your trip driver, such as clarity in finding your location.
  • Safety issues: Although renowned ride-sharing companies like Uber and Ola do thorough background checks on their drivers, there is always a concern of safety with your driver as they are not known to you.
  • Waiting time: There is a stipulated time allotted to waiting for your driver to arrive to pick you up after you have booked your ride. In some cases, your driver is completing a trip nearby before they come to pick you up, which may increase your waiting time. This can greatly inconvenience those running late or just need to get to a place urgently. 

Now that we have covered some areas on owning a car and ride-sharing, ask yourself these questions before making your choice:

  1. Where do you live? What is public transport like in that area? Is it a crowded city? Is it a high parking fee area?
  2. How much is your time worth?
  3. How much does a weekly expense compound to over a decade? (For both ridesharing and owning your car). There is an approximation to this one: your weekly expense times 752 gives you a vague estimate of your spending on transportation over a decade.

If your results are inconclusive, there is always the prospect of a hybrid between both, owning a car and ridesharing, which may end up being the best choice for you. Time, effort, research and calculations should yield which of the two is a fit for you. 

So what is it that you prefer: buying your own car or the modern norm of ridesharing?

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