HOUSTON, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are twice the cost of car ownership in the United States, an analysis by the American Automobile Association (AAA) said Tuesday.
According to AAA, the average driver in the U.S. in an urban area - the only setting in which using these services is a practical full-time transportation option - drives 10,841 miles (17,346 kilometers) per year.
The analysis found that while urban drivers travel fewer miles than those living in smaller towns or rural areas, relying on ride-hailing services as a primary mode of transportation would cost 20,118 U.S. dollars annually. This equates to more than twice the cost of owning a personal vehicle, even when factoring in the expense of fuel, insurance, parking and the vehicle itself.
According to data from AAA, the average annual cost to own and operate a new vehicle, the costliest form of vehicle ownership, is 7,321 U.S. dollars for 10,841 miles of travel annually. But the average annual cost of ride-hailing in those areas would range from about 17,000 U.S. dollars to 26,000 U.S. dollars.
Understanding that parking costs can be a major ownership expense for those living in urban areas, AAA also analyzed the costs of flat-rate parking per year, which ranges from 706 U.S. dollars to 8,088 U.S. dollars with an average cost of 2,728 U.S. dollars. For those with access to free parking, relying on ride-hailing services is nearly three times more expensive than vehicle ownership in these cities.
"For those who travel a very limited number of miles annually, or have mobility issues that prevent them from driving a personal vehicle, ride-hailing can be a viable and important option," said managing director of AAA Automotive Engineering and Repair John Nielsen. "But, for everyone else: the car is still king."
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 59 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive services.