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Car ownership vs. ride-hailing: AAA studies which costs more

September 7, 2018
Consumers who live in a big city probably have mulled whether they should own a car or simply rely on ride-hailing services. It turns out that saving money by taking the latter route may be another urban legend.
New research from travel organization AAA, which advocates for individual motorists, found that ride-hailing services actually cost more per year than owning a car.
AAA compared how much consumers pay for both in 20 U.S. cities, basing the calculations on owning a medium sedan, plus additional costs for gas and insurance. The calculation was based on driving 10,841 miles annually.
Under those metrics, AAA found that the average cost to own a car is $7,321 a year not including parking charges, or $10,049 with parking charges.
By contrast, ride-hailing services cost $20,118 a year to cover the same distance. That calculation includes the use of a rental car for longer trips. The average driver takes 2.1 road trips a year, according to AAA.
 
The costs do vary by city. In Chicago, AAA estimates the annual ride-hailing cost to be $22,020. Of the 20 cities studied, San Diego was the least expensive, at $17,316, and Boston was the costliest, at $27,545. 
 
 

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