Without a car, one year on… Uberizing!
What have I gained? Money. More spare cash.
What have I lost? Some convenience.
After 8 years...
Taking the train was initially uncomfortable - the crowd during peak hours, the stuffy trains at times (when the air-con does not seem to be working), etc. There are always reasons not to like public transportation.
However, it has, technically saved time. The morning commute to the office is shorter now. I am working in the city and it is a direct station to station travel. There is no need for additional transfers, in my case.
Driving in the morning is not necessarily that convenient with the morning traffic jam. Taking the train also excludes the annoyance of paying the ERP and FINDING PARKING LOTS. Furthermore, I have begun reading during the morning commute and this is something I appreciate a lot.
Uber, Grab Car, and Taxi
Apart from the train, I rely on taxis. At times, I will choose the mode that provides me with the earliest pick-up. But most of the time, I will just compare the prices and go with the cheapest option.
I like Uber and Grab because their pricing is pretty straightforward. Of course, having to choose the option of UberX and GrabCar (Economy).
UberX - Base Rate: S$3.00; Per KM: S$0.45; Per Minute: S$0.20 GrabCar (Economy) - Base Rate: S$3.00; Per KM: S$0.80.
Taxis, on the other hand, have so many surcharges that even a Singaporean like me can't remember. There are peak hour charges (25%), midnight charges (50%), CBD charges ($3), booking fees etc.
Having said that, I do notice that Taxi fares might be comparable (or even cheaper) to UberX and GrabCar (Economy) during non-peak hours excluding the booking fee. If you flag down a taxi, chances are, the fare will be cheaper during non-peak hours.
For the record, I personally feel UberX has cheaper fares compared to GrabCar (Economy) as long as there isn't a massive jam. I will also stay away from UberX or GrabCar (Economy) if there is a price surge.
Money Saved I never really knew how much exactly was it to maintain a car monthly. There are always the additional hidden costs in some months - maintenance, extra parking fees, ERP charges, traffic fines, parking fines etc. The total amount could range from S$1,200 to S$1,800 a month.
My transportation cost now is down to only S$300 to S$400 monthly. It can even be as low as S$200 if I did not splurge on taxi/private car hire fares.
I do miss the convenience of driving - when I want and wherever I want. But, the money saved is definitely a big sum and it could be put to better use. I am still considering if it will be wise to buy a small weekend car when we have kids eventually.
Dilemma indeed. #firstworldproblems