Peak Car – 2: The Impact of Car-Sharing on your ‘Money Mind’
The choice of owning a car works out to about $5,000 per year for us …
As an economist, I love the full marginal cost pricing. That is, with car sharing you pay for using the car in real time … It makes you ask each time, do I really need this? For how long? Can I bundle the trip with something else?
With a regular car, the amortization is a sunk cost once you buy your car; insurance is a similar lump-sum annual cost; maintenance is always a toss up; even with gas, once you have a full tank, it lasts a while. So getting into a car is essentially zero marginal cost, since you have already spent the money.
In terms of convenience, there is no car outside my door to jump into on a whim. But between the two options, I can access the services of a car most of the time I need one, at about a quarter of the cost of owning one (plus some extra transit fares, so perhaps a third of the cost all in). On a weekend evening, I might have to venture further away from home to get a car but I have never not been able to access one. And even if we rent a car for a week or two each year for vacations, we still come out ahead. …
The key is having a wide range of mobility choices for whatever trip you have in mind.
More here – including a description of some car-share options.
And then there’s the impact of auto-autos, or self-driving cars. Persquaremile speculates:
… we’ll start thinking about cars differently. If cars can drive themselves around, passengers or not, what’s the point in owning your own car? Why not lease one from a pool? Welcome to stage four. Schedule it for your daily commute—perhaps with a price break for carpooling—and request one on-demand for more unpredictable needs. If wait times are short enough, it’ll be an attractive proposition. …
When people stop owning cars, the line between public and private will blur further. Who will pay for the upkeep of roads, consumers or companies? What about parking spaces? Will private companies be able to take advantage of free parking, as individuals do today? Or will free parking be a thing of the past?
Way more here.