The “Actual” Cost Of Uber Vs Car Ownership In India

A few days ago, the GoZoomo Research Team (no such team exists) came across this article published in Inc42, exploring the cost of Uber vs Car ownership in India. The facts were presented neatly and… umm that’s all. After reading the article, we couldn’t resist pointing out the issues with the assumptions used for the calculations. Also since GoZoomo deals with pre-owned cars, we decided to compare Uber’s cost with the cost of owning a certified pre-owned car instead of a new car.

Long story short, the article suggested that over a period of 3 years, you save around 5 lakh rupees on a car of 5 lakh.
Given below is a snapshot of the data presented by the author of that article.

This data is only for cars which run on petrol. The author also presented the facts for diesel cars. The real question that inspired us to do our research was, “Am I really saving 5 lakhs rupees in three years if we use Uber instead of my own car?”

While we appreciate the quantitative nature of the article , we had to disagree with a few of the assumptions.

1. Cost of driver

Our take: If your age is less than 45, then I guess your ego wouldn’t allow you to hire a driver. Will it? So we decided not to include the driver’s cost so that potential car owners could relate to our data.

2. Petrol’s cost

Our take: The author had assumed that the mileage of a petrol car and diesel car is 10 kmpl and 12 kmpl respectively but a petrol hatchback will give you a mileage of around 14 kmpl with ease and a diesel hatchback will give you around 18 kmpl. Again, we decided to go with our numbers.

3. Maintenance cost

Our take: Cost of Insurance, service and regular maintenance will come around Rs.1700, instead of the author’s assumption of Rs. 2800. Exceptions can be there if the car likes to have dinner at fancy restaurants.

4. Resale Value

Our take: The author’s assumptions for the resale value of a car are drastically low, so we used our data to bring more authenticity to the numbers.

One might say that these are the minor differences but when we used our pre-owned car data in the author’s sheet, even we were surprised by the difference in the cost of ownership.

Uber Vs Pre-Owned Car Ownership Cost (petrol):

The cells marked in green signifies that we replaced the author’s numbers with our data.

If you own a pre-owned Swift VXI Petrol, you save Rs. 2.94 lakhs in three years. Let’s see if our savings change for diesel cars.

Uber VS Pre-Owned Car Ownership cost (diesel):

The cells marked in green signify that we replaced the author’s numbers with our data.

So if you own a Swift VDI Diesel, you save Rs 3.76 lakhs in three years. Shocking? Isn’t it?

In conclusion, we don’t have much to add to the famous words often attributed to Mark Twain and Benjamin Disraeli “Lies, damned lies, and statistics“. Take an uber because you want to hail a cab and not because taking an Indica on Uber is cheaper than owning a Swift which it is not as per “all established laws on mathematics“.

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