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#1 2017-12-01 18:09:20

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,186
Website

Cost of Car2Go vs. car ownership

It'll come as no surprise that Car2Go is cheaper than owning a car only if you use the Car2Go infrequently.  But what's the breakeven point?

Let's assume someone uses Car2Go an hour a day during weekdays (e.g. 30 minutes each way to/from work, or a shorter commute plus some smaller trips), and doesn't use it on the weekends at all, and that the tax rate is 8.25%.  With a per-minute rate of 41¢, that gives us a yearly cost of 41¢ x 60 minutes 1.0825 (tax) x 365 days/yr x 5/7 (to account for weekdays only) = $6943/year for Car2Go.

For comparison, AAA says the annual cost of owning and operating a small sedan is $6354 ($7687 for a hybrid, $8171 for a medium sedan).  Granted, that's for about twice as many miles as would be put on the Car2Go (15,000 vs ~7500).  Still, Car2Go doesn't seem to be a cost-effective replacement for a car unless you drive it pretty infrequently (such as to supplement an otherwise car-free lifestyle, based on mostly biking/walking/busing).

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#2 2017-12-04 16:34:00

ecloera
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Registered: 2016-10-08
Posts: 2

Re: Cost of Car2Go vs. car ownership

We moved from Portland to Austin a number of years ago. We didn't have a car there and thought we could do it here. We tried using Car2Go, the bus, TNC's, bikes and we walked a lot as well. We both work from home, so we didn't even have to go anywhere for work. We did live near two grocery stores and a decent bus line that ran every 30 minutes. After 4 years we finally gave up. We got on the Tesla list and bought a Chevy Bolt. And now we live in the city center. We tried for years and just gave up on public transportation. When I go back to visit family in Virginia, it's so natural to just get off my plane and get on a train to my family's residence or even going back to Portland, get off the plane and get on Trimet to go visit friends. We hope things change here in Austin, but it doesn't look promising.

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#3 2017-12-04 23:17:35

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,186
Website

Re: Cost of Car2Go vs. car ownership

Thanks for sharing your experience, ecloera.  I was car-free when I was single, but it was just too hard to do here with a family.  When we were in Japan, no problem: we had a car but would go literally *months* between uses.  Here's it's very different, and it's entirely because there aren't good alternatives to driving.  Here's my story about giving up.

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#4 2019-09-27 23:25:42

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,186
Website

Re: Cost of Car2Go vs. car ownership

Car2Go announced today that it's leaving Austin.

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#5 2019-09-30 10:48:48

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 196

Re: Cost of Car2Go vs. car ownership

I have not used a Car2Go for a few years, and I have never used Uber or Lyft.  How does the cost of Car2Go compare to Uber and Lyft?  If about the same, I would guess that the hassle of driving and parking would make Car2Go less attractive to people.  Also, to use Car2Go you might have to walk to get to one.

Has anyone claimed that the rise of scooters was a contributing factor?

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#6 2019-09-30 11:03:32

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,186
Website

Re: Cost of Car2Go vs. car ownership

I thought about the impact of scooters, but those are mostly for pretty short trips according to the data, so I don't think that impacted Car2Go.  (Though the one time I took a scooter, it was for about 50 minutes, from around Ben White & I-35 to Manor & Cherrywood.)

Car2Go was about $1/trip + 50¢/minute with a cap at $20/hr.  For a 15-minute ride, Car2Go would cost $8.50 vs. $12 for Lyft.  So, $3.50 savings for one trip, or $7 round trip, and if you did it every day, then $210/mo. savings by taking Car2Go.  That's substantial, but I imagine many people see just the $8.50 vs. $12 and it doesn't seem like a big difference, because they don't multiply it out (or they're not taking that many trips, so there's not a big price penalty between the two options).

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