When Is Using Uber Cheaper than Owning a Car?

As companies like Uber and Lyft turn the cars of ordinary drivers into taxi cabs, at what point does using their service become cheaper than owning a car? That's a difficult question...

As companies like Uber and Lyft turn the cars of ordinary drivers into taxi cabs, at what point does using their service become cheaper than owning a car? That's a difficult question, and it varies depending on location because of varying gas prices, taxi fare, insurance rates, and parking fees. Los Angeles resident Kyle Hill, however, has crunched the numbers for his personal vehicle and provides you with a formula you could use to find the truth about your yearly driving expenses. For Hill, the estimated yearly cost of owning a vehicle came to $12,744 while the cost of taking UberX rides (the company's least expensive option) he estimated at $18,115.

In general, the cost of car-sharing services has yet to out-price operating a vehicle yourself. Still, the rates are often cheaper than a taxi cab and this has caused a German court to issue an injunction against UberX across the entire country. The cheaper rates, the court argues, are a result of unfair practices such as forgoing the insurance and licensing fees required of taxi cab companies as well as freelance drivers.

The market is changing, to be sure. So at what point would you abandon your vehicle? It is purely a dollars and cents decision or would the prospect of having a personal driver encourage you to spend a little more? In his Big Think interview, INSEAD professor of technology Karan Girotra explains what is meant by business modeling innovation (BMI), which Uber has used to great success:

Read more at TechCrunch

Photo credit: Shutterstock

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

(MPH Photos/giphy/yShutterstock/Big Think)
Mind & Brain
  • Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
  • In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
Keep reading Show less

New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.