In some metropolitan areas, it’s so expensive to own a car that commuters are better off without one.
In the San Francisco area, for example, commuters can save $83 a week — more than $4,000 a year — using Uber compared with driving their own cars.
For the analysis, NerdWallet examined commuting costs — insurance, gas, parking and wear and tear — for the 20 most populous U.S. metro areas. The financial data site used costs for UberPool, Uber’s carpooling option, where it was available, rather than UberX, the private-car option.
The eight metropolitan areas where using Uber is cheaper than owning a car are:
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois
- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey
- San Diego-Carlsbad, California
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
- Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Virginia
Another way Uber puts more cash in your wallet
If you live in one of these cities but think selling your car to cut transportation costs is not feasible or desirable, consider driving for Uber. These cities are heavily populated, so it’s likely that you can make good money as an Uber driver. The extra income might make up for the high cost of owning a car in these areas.
Just remember that pay can vary. As we have written before:
Drivers report a wide variety of pay, and earnings vary by city and by driver. According to I Drive With Uber, a blog that serves the community of ride-sharing drivers, Uber drivers make an average of $19 an hour. But you can see from the comments on the blog that not everyone agrees with that assessment.
To learn more, check out “Can Ride-Sharing Provide an ‘Uber-Lyft’ to Your Income?”
If you’re more interested in riding with — rather than driving for — Uber, note that in February the company introduced a flat-fee package pricing structure that’s available in select cities. For more details, check out “Uber Flat Fee Packages: Rides as Low as $2.”
If you’re unsure whether Uber is the cheapest mode of transportation in your area, check out “Uber or Taxi? Here’s How to Get the Best Deal on Your Ride.”
Have you ever used a ride-share service like Uber? Tell us about your experience below or over on our Facebook page.
How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes
Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.