Why I Gave Up My Car for Uber

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(The following post is a guest post from Dr. Will Kirby, who was also featured in True Doctor Stories here. He currently runs Kirby Dermatology and is the National Medical Director for LaserAway. He can be reached @DrWillKirby.)

Los Angeles is the greatest city in the world for a multitude of reasons but there is one glaring abnormality that makes people detest this glorious place:

Driving.

I’m an awful driver and I hate driving. But it’s a necessity in Los Angeles. See, things are so spread apart that the public transit system isn’t practical and while biking might suffice for a very short commute, it certainly isn’t reasonable on the 405, 101 or the 101 freeways.

So I’m stuck driving a car…

Or am I?

I decided to crunch the number on what it actually costs me to lease a car in LA…

  • Monthly payment on a car lease with $0 down and 10,500 allotted miles year: $411
  • Car insurance: $90
  • Car registration: $20
  • Gas: $50 (at least)
  • Fixed monthly parking charge for parking structure where I work: $32
  • Monthly random parking and valet costs: $40 (approximately)
  • Oil changes and maintenance: $20
  • Car washes: $25

Wait? What?!?!?

That’s $688 a month!!!

And I don’t even like my car! It’s not even cool! I’m driving a 2014 Ford Edge – imagine the actual cost if it was a luxury brand! Plus, I hate driving and its a waste of time! Also, it’s stressful – I didn’t even factor in the emotional cost of road rage. Moreover, the car sits in the garage during vacations or when I travel for business just collecting dust!

So I actually just gave up my car two weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier. I realized that “the things you own are the things that own you” and I just didn’t want to have to be burdened with another material possession in my life to look after.

Now I’m not completely crazy; My wife and I are going to keep one car to transport the kids and for groceries but as long as I keep my Uber/Lyft bill under $688 a month I’m saving money by not driving. And even if the bill creeps into the mid-$700 range I can emotionally justify the expense.

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I ride my skateboard to Taco Bell.

 

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