No more cars?

I recently was in a car accident.

Just a teeny fender bender, nobody was hurt, damage to both vehicles was minimal.

I rear-ended someone at a stop light.  I’ll admit, I should have been paying closer attention, but in reality, I was only going about 10 mph at most.  I basically “jumped the gun” when the light turned green, but the car in front of me hadn’t begun accelerating.  It sounds really stupid, but I actually saw someone else do it just the other day.

So I’m not the only old dummy out there…

I remember the days when such an accident would have been overlooked by both parties.  I got out of the car and apologized, the man said he was fine but since his bumper was slightly dented (and body work can be expensive), we exchanged insurance info and moved along.

I figured the body work would cost $600 or $700, and since my deductible is $250, I figured I’d save myself a few hundred dollars.  My driving record is clean, so I figured it would affect my insurance.

Boy, was I wrong!

I was actually spot on with the cost of the repair.  The problem came when I was informed that the man I hit claimed bodily injury and wanted to be compensated for lost business since he had to go to a chiropractor three times (or, as I figure, he wanted to get paid to miss work and saw an opportunity to get a few massages!).

This changed everything.

My insurance shot up from $1,200/year to $7,200/year.

Six Thousand Dollars!!

Wow.

This got me thinking.  That’s an extra $500/month for insurance alone, not to mention what I was already paying before, plus the cost of gas, repairs, and the loss of value due to age and general wear and tear on my vehicle.

There must be a better option.

I browsed the internet looking for other out-of-the-box options, first finding this limo site, which (while awesome) would be a very impractical choice. I certainly didn’t want to deal with the nightmare of waiting for a bus, thinking about connections, and sitting in the hot sun with a bunch of college kids and illegal immigrants.

Then I spoke to my daughter. She told me about ride sharing.  There are two main companies (Uber and Lyft) and more are popping up all the time.  My daughter is a fan of UBER.  She says the cars are nicer and they’re just as cheap!

I started doing research, and boy, UBER is everywhere – even the Clintons use it.  The business model is gaining national attention and changing rules for our lawmakers.

(Here’s an interesting article about UBER of the national stage, controversy and all: Read the Bloomberg article here.)

So, I decided to download it and get riding!

Here’s an example of the screen:

IMG_1347

As you can see, there are several different options for the “type” of UBER you can take.

For larger parties and fancy nights out, you can opt for the Plus (Mercedes, BMW or Audi), Black (Lincoln Towncar), SUV (clean, black SUV’s) or LUX (think PLus version, but even nicer) options.

I haven’t gone that route just yet, so I’ve just been using the Pool version and the uberX version.  Both offer nice, clean vehicles (2006 or newer), at great prices.

I thought uberX was cheap when I went to dinner at a local restaurant and it cost me $7… and then, I tried the pool version and it only cost me $3.60 to get home!!

The thing about uberPOOL is that you are saying you agree to carpool with another passenger who’s also heading in that direction.  I’ve used this service about 10-15 times now and it’s only happened once.

So, let’s say that some days you go far, some days you don’t… so why don’t we figure an average of $20/day.

That’s $600/month.

It sounds a bit high until we consider the fact that that number is equal to my insurance payment alone.

I could say goodbye to these costs altogether: gas, car repairs, wear and tear, loss of value on my vehicle, my $250 deductible when I accidentally rear end another a** hole freeloader…

As I’m a man who loves my freedom, I haven’t quite decided to let the wheels go altogether.  A man and his car do have a special relationship after all…