Carsharing changes our relationship with the cars we owned and loved and hated over much of the century just behind us. And one of the points we hear from proponents again and again is that carsharing offers substantial savings, because the cost of owning a car has become much higher than in the past. Surely the cost of car ownership in the 21st century -- and all that goes with it including direct and indirect costs, among them depreciation, insurance, petrol, maintenance, parking, etc., -- is no light burden. But how expensive is it really? In this article, carsharing expert Dave Brook digs into the numbers and reflects on the true cost of ownership for most car owners in the United States.
Does it really cost $9,000 per year to own a car in the US?
It's not that the $9,000 number isn't true - I think the AAA did their homework, since it matches up very closely with Intellichoice cost of ownership numbers. But as the AAA chart (PDF) shows, it's only true for very high mileage drivers in new, medium size cars - and, I would argue, these people aren't the people likely to join and use carsharing.
- $12 per day
- 60¢ per mile (10,000 miles/year)
- 46¢ per mile (over 15,000 mi/yr)