Even before the pandemic hit, my husband and I had decided that it didn't make sense to keep an "extra" car in the garage 24x7. Basically, we realized we both did a fair amount of driving, but rarely at the same time.
So last summer we finally got our act together and sold my car. (He agreed to share his car with me :) We also agreed that if it creates any problems, we'll buy another car. We figured that in the event we both needed the car at the same time, one of us could use Uber, or, worst case, we'd rent a car. The plan was to track our expenses to be sure this plan really did make financial sense in the long run.
Nine months after selling my car, and almost a month after being fully vaccinated, we finally encountered a conflict. So I Ubered to lunch at a nearby restaurant yesterday to meet up with friends. The roundtrip transportation expense was almost $30; that was a lot more than I was expecting! So the first thing I did when I got home was calculate and compare car expenses over the last three years. Of course the pandemic makes it hard to know if today's calculations are useful in terms of predicting tomorrow's expenses, but here are the (very basic) findings:
That chart is pretty basic. It doesn't include oil changes, repairs, and gas. Nor does it reflect the fact that we've turned the cash we got from selling a car into an apperciating, instead of depreciating, asset because we invested it.
Afterward I asked myself if there was any downside to the experience. I guess I didn't get to pick the radio station, but the interesting conversation may have been more enjoyable than anything I'd have heard on the radio. I was also little anxious about whether or not the car would arrive as promised and whether or not I'd get to lunch on time. The car did pick me up, and right on time, but I arrived 25 minutes early for lunch. Note to self: There's no need to add "buffer time" to the ride. There is also an upside to all of this; my husband's car is way nicer than mine was, so in a way, many of my driving experiences have been upgraded, although I do have to adjust the seat and mirrors each time I get in the car. (Next up: I need to figure out how to use the automatic seat adjustment feature, I guess.) And given we have different fill-up philosophies (he doesn't like to go below 1/8th of a tank and I like see how far below "E" the dial can go), I suspect I may never have to pump gas again :D
Assuming an average cost of $30 for round-trip Uber rides, we'll need to use Uber more than once a week and then blow through all the money we've invested from the sale of my car before we lose anything with this plan. I just can't imagine that happening. Having grown up in the Motor City, never in a million years did I imagine giving up my car at 58. And yet here I am.