• Christopher Hall

Catch Uber everywhere and sell your car – why not?

Have you ever wondered if it would be cheaper to sell your car and catch an Uber everywhere?

I have, that’s why I did the numbers.

Oddly enough, there’s something else that’s even more economical than Uber.

The Three alternatives:

1. Uber Vs. Owning your own car

Uber is not even an option if you:

  • Drive small children in harnessed seats

  • Have a large family

  • Travel/explore long distances

  • Have a lot of cargo; boat, caravan, bikes, surfboards, stand up paddleboard, trailers, horses

I have all of the above which means Uber* rarely works for me on a daily basis, travelling around Sydney with 2+ surfboards, 2+ bicycles, a 14-foot SUP or the family.

Practicability simply beats economics.

Uber Vs. Average Car Usage

If you drive less than the Average Australian driver (13,700km each year)** then Uber can be a valid alternative.

Then the decision becomes Ubers Vs. Taxis - which one is better? We’ll get to that in a second.

Uber Vs. Light-car use**

Uber is better than owning a car when:

  • You travel less than 3,000km a year,

  • Average 9km Uber trips, and

  • Take up to six Uber trips per week

But there is an even cheaper way to get around than Uber..

2. Uber Vs. Taxi

Studies have shown** that Uber-ing around Sydney can be cheaper than Taxis:

  • 9 times out of 10 trips (just check your account on NYE for the 1 out of 10 times)

  • It is 30% cheaper on average

  • Surge pricing only occurs 14% of the time

Uber was found to be more reliable than Taxis AND a more pleasant experience.

3. Uber Vs. Car-Sharing

Car-Sharing*** beats Uber and owning your own car when:

  • You don’t have to transport luggage, cargo or family

  • You drive less than 30,000km a year

How much cheaper is Car-Sharing?

Over three years, for the average Australian car travelling 13,700km/yr:

  • Owning a Car is 2 x the cost of Car-Sharing

  • Uber is 5 x more expensive than Car-Sharing

Over three years, for the light-user car-owner travelling only 3,000km/yr:

  • Owning a Car is 10 x the cost of Car-Sharing

  • Uber is equivalent in cost to owning a Car

The Winner?

The numbers are in and the verdict appears mixed.

But the action steps are simple:

  1. Sell your car if you can (no cargo/luggage/family to transport)

  2. Uber when you’re:

  3. In town / CBD

  4. Somewhere that would require hefty paid parking (CBD / Airport)

  5. Travelling short distances in heavy traffic (work, relax or sleep while someone else drives you)

  6. Unable to drive home safely (NYE etc.)

  7. Car-Share all other times

How much money can I save?

Over three years mixing Uber and Car- Sharing the savings should be:

  • About $10k for the average Australian car driver

  • More than $17k for the light-use driver

Disclaimer: This is not personal advice. Consider whether this information is appropriate for your circumstances.


*UberX prices from ubersetimate.com.

** Australian Bureau of Statistics, NSW Fuelcheck, Carsales.com.au, Canstar, Choice, greenslips.com.au, Roy Morgan, Service NSW.

*** Publicly available prices for Car Next Door.