Owning a car vs Uber vs GoGet 2019
Which transport option is cheaper? It depends on how often you drive.
City dwellers in Australia now have several alternates to public transport, but which is cheapest? Finder analysed the cost of pay-as-you-drive services such as GoGet and compared them to the cost of owning a car and using a rideshare service to find out which offers the best value overall.
Owning a car
Car ownership in this analysis is calculated to include the following:
- A $10,000 car including a car loan at 9.89%
- Fuel based on the average per litre cost
- Registration fees
- Compulsory insurance costs
These figures do not include tolls or parking.
Rideshare and Uber
Most rideshare companies in Australia have chosen to match Uber’s pricing model. While some other providers will offer temporary discounts, and Uber will often increase the cost for riders via surge pricing, Uber’s basic pricing structure will be used in this analysis, without any surge pricing applied, so costs could be a fair bit more expensive than this if you ride at busy times.
Drive-your-own carshare services such as GoGet generally have several types of cars available at different costs and several membership levels available depending on how often you drive. They charge an hourly hire rate and a per-km hire rate. In this analysis, the cheapest combination of these charges was used for each combination of trips.
|Trip length||Trips per week||Cheapest||2nd cheapest||3rd cheapest|
|30 min||2||GoGet $1,344||Uber $3,518||Own car $4,159|
|30 min||6||GoGet $3,558||Own car $4,549||Uber $10,742|
|30 min||12||Own car $5,132||GoGet $6,756||Uber $21,484|
|60 min||2||GoGet $2,492||Own car $4,354||Uber $6,878|
|60 min||6||GoGet $5,135||Own car $6,756||Uber $20,633|
|60 min||12||Own car $6,305||GoGet $13,152||Uber $41,265|
Two factors determine which is the cheapest transport option – the number of trips taken per week and the length of those trips. For infrequent, short-trip drivers, GoGet turns out to be the cheapest option. Travelling two 30 minute trips per week with GoGet will cost $1,334 per year. Uber is the second cheapest option, but the cost still increases significantly to $3,518.
Twelve 30-minute trips per week are the sweet spot for car owners, with owning a $10,000 car with a car loan ($5,132) working out cheaper than both GoGet ($6,756) and Uber ($21,484).
Interestingly, when journey time is increased to an hour, two trips per week makes owning a car ($2,518) cheaper than grabbing an Uber ($6,878) – but both are costlier than GoGet at $2,492.
So, which option is best? Well, if you’re a daily commuter owning your own car is far cheaper. If you don’t have the cash to buy outright, you can often pay less than $200 a month for a car loan over the course of five years. If you're going to do that, though, make sure you shop around.
If, on the other hand, you have your car sitting in the carport several days a week, you may be better off ditching it completely. Especially for inner-city residents, GoGet and other car-share services provide a more affordable alternative to ownership and often come with reserved parking spaces.
Graham Cooke's Insights Blog examines issues affecting the Australian consumer. It appears regularly on finder.com.au.