Mathias Brandewinder on .NET, F#, VSTO and Excel development, and quantitative analysis / machine learning.
by Mathias 24. July 2010 17:35

When I moved to California a few years back, I soon realized that to get anything done in the Silicon Valley, you pretty much have to have a car. So, I purchased my first car. Fast forward today: I live in San Francisco now, and noticed that I am driving less and less. Bicycle is very convenient in my neighborhood, and I don’t have to commute to work on a daily basis. Which got me thinking – do I really need a car? Public transportation only is not an option, because coverage is too spotty, but what about using a car sharing service?

The 2 major services available in my area are ZipCar and CityCarShare; their pricing system is largely similar: they both:

  • charge by the hour of usage,
  • charge a higher cost over the week-end,
  • offer a discount for full-day rental,
  • have a pay-as-you-go option, and better rates with minimum commitment plans.

Both include gas, with one difference: ZipCar charges by the hour, whereas CityCarShare has a hybrid pricing, with a lower per-hour cost, and a per-mile cost.

By contrast, when you own a car, you

  • pay a large upfront investment (buying the car),
  • recoup some of the upfront cost if you resell eventually.
  • pay regular fixed costs (insurance, registration taxes, garage),
  • pay by the mile (gas),
  • pay some additional costs, like maintenance, which are somewhat linked to mileage.

In addition to that, you bear the risk that your car gets damaged or totaled in an accident.

More...

Comments

Comment RSS