Is the cost of driving worth it for you?

Being faced with the reality that you need to give up driving is difficult to accept. Having a car provides people with the luxury of getting places on their own time, without having to abide by public transit routes that may not even take them exactly where they need to go.

However, losing the ability to drive (or choosing to give up driving) doesn’t mean you need to give up the perks of having a car take you where you need to go.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have a strong presence in many parts of Massachusetts. These services will get a car outside waiting to take you to your destination within minutes of you opening your phone.

Aside from learning the technology and concerns about being in the car with someone you don’t know, the biggest barrier to using ride-share services is the cost. Despite this fear, the costs associated with driving for seniors are likely much higher than using a ride service or public transportation to get where you need to go.

In order to better understand the cost of owning a car for the average senior, we asked a group of seniors who live in Brookline to create a sample monthly budget for owning a car. Here is what they came up with:

Sample Monthly Transportation Budget

Expense Cost per month
Car Payment (if you have one) $350
Maintenance $50
Parking $70
Insurance $200
Gas $50
TOTAL $720

Of course, these estimates could vary greatly depending upon the make and model of your vehicle, your driving habits, and more. Use the blank chart below to see if you could save money by ditching your car for other forms of transportation.

Blank Monthly Transportation Budget Outline

Expense Cost per month
Car Payment (if you have one) $
Maintenance $
Parking $
Insurance $
Gas $
TOTAL $

For a more detailed expense worksheet, take a look at page 19 of this publication by the Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence.

 

Compare your results above with the cost of popular ride-share services below.

How much does an Uber cost in my area?

How much does a Lyft cost in my area?

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