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Old 6th July 2015, 11:32   #76
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

Economically the cab services make sense for a small family like a newly wed or a retired couples. When there are more members with diverse needs, the cab's benefits may break down even on the financial sense. I have to drop my kid to school every day and it so happens that her school is on the way to my office and this short journey is a great start to my day. Her school bus charges for a month is actually slightly more than my average monthly fuel prices and this alone would have negated my fuel expenses if I could have picked her up on the way back.

Emotionally, the own machine wins. As Civic_Sense said in the beginning, this is our property on wheels, its insides is the comforts we are used to, we are back home. While in the cab, you are only beginning your journey back home.

Temporally, the cab's struggle to give timely service in whole owing to the overall lack of professionalism of the drivers who sometimes think of their own economics and convenience. In the last one month, I had to make two trips to drop my neighbors because the cabs they booked failed to show up in the last minute forcing them to take drastic measures. (Though I didn't get paid, the thankful looks sufficed .)

On the commute convenience side it is a matter of preference, with a good company I don't mind a little traffic or the hunt for a good parking space. Many would differ and rightfully so.

Since some similes were used, here is my favorite. You can get a Blue Ray disc for a movie and save a lot in expenses, but it is not the same feeling as going to the movie and watching it in 3D, full sound effects and on the day of its release.

If I do an analysis with another person with a lifestyle similar to mine (this is key phrase, makes no sense generalizing here) I can see that he/she is only having marginal benefits. In the grand scale, I personally feel that even economically the cabs don't have the sway yet.
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Old 8th July 2015, 18:46   #77
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

A car for personal use would count as a possession and in that sense I find it comparable to the rented vs personal home scenario.

To add spice to our debate here, I just came across ZoomCar's another fantastic initiative, Commute+.

http://www.zoomcar.com/commute

The prices are quite competitive & their service is a breeze too.

P.S. I'm not related to ZoomCar in anyway & I've merely shared my experience with them.
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Old 9th July 2015, 13:35   #78
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

Me and my wife usually travel together to office. I had be out of the country for a work related assignment for a couple of months. This meant that my wife would no longer have the services of her 24x7 driver. Usually I would not have worried about it as she can manage with an auto-rickshaw and the distance is merely around 4kms. But since she is expecting I was not willing to let her travel in the autos with the bumpy roads here.
A solution was hiring a driver for a couple of months and only for pick-up and drop in my car. This would be only 30 min job for the guy daily. But here in gurgaon anyone who could hold a steering wheel was asking for upto 10k a month for this. This dint make any sense to me but still a solution was yet to be found. My wife herself came up with this idea which I initially thought would not be economically viable. But as it turned out a one way cost came upto around 80 bucks.You have to haggle with the autowallah for about 5 mins to agree for 60 bucks.
That means for the whole month (25 working days to ways) it would be close to 4K with Uber. And that too not using my car and fuel.
This was a huge saving for me and more so relief that she would have no issues in her office commute. Ya these issues of OLA/Uber driver misbehavior cases coming up did worry me at times but touchwood till now her experience has been decent.
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Old 11th July 2015, 05:48   #79
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

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Originally Posted by civic-sense View Post
A few months ago when me and a few friends visited Bangalore, we decided to leave the car behind and use Ola to commute. We had a lot of pub hopping to do, and driving was out of question. And then, who wants to drive in the mad traffic.
Everything went okay until...........Hiring a cab might make economic sense than owning one, but there is much more in life than saving money. You can derive pleasure looking at the swelling bank account, or you can derive more pleasure draining it.
That was one splendid post, civic-sense! Seeing that this is a forum for car-lovers and drivers, I felt a bit depressed reading the earlier post by cowardly-lion. Though undoubtedly making good economic sense, it left one with a vague sense of guilt and loss!

Your excellent post restores my optimism and belief that there's still a bit of alright left in the general gloom and doom! Thanks once again.
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Old 15th July 2015, 11:05   #80
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

When my car goes in for service, I load my cycle on it. Then pedal to office. But with this being Ramzan and me fasting, I decided to use Uber in Hyderabad.

This is downright ridiculous. I don't think Uber can ever complete with car ownership if this kind of surge pricing is applied.
Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)-20150714223252.jpg

I am not against surge pricing. But 4.7 times?

I took an autorickshaw instead.

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Old 15th July 2015, 11:17   #81
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

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Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I took an autorickshaw instead.
Which cost you how much ?
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Old 15th July 2015, 11:23   #82
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

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Which cost you how much ?
In this particular case, the distance was 8 kms.
The Uber GO cab would have cost me about 250.

The autorickshaw cost me Rs 120.
But that is because I did not feel like bargaining with the driver and this guy was very funny and kept me entertained for the full trip.

My dad would have not paid more than Rs 80 to the autodriver.
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Old 18th July 2015, 03:44   #83
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

That's an equation running in the minds of most people these days, especially all those who are considering to buy a new car.

But, we cannot quantify certain things in numbers. Reliability, comfort, convenience, joy, freedom and mobility that your own car offers you. You know which part needs attention and what you can do with your car, you might sleep inside your car under dire circumstances, you can take it out anytime for an impromptu trip without a wait time, you can get the sheer thrill of driving when the weather is exceptionally good or take detours as you want without worrying about cabbie's next trip, you are not dependent on any factor for the use and you can be quick in case of any emergencies (hope no one faces this).

To strike a golden middle, it is a good idea to keep a small, sturdy or a hatchback car powerful enough for most of your in-city and long drives. There are these self-drives for getting that temporary good experience of SUVs, premium cars or maybe 4x4s.

Over the long term, I firmly believe that owning your car is a better idea as compared to reliance on cabs (comparing only using a car for all commutes vis-a-vis using only cabs).
For daily use, I prefer a bike that's fast to zip through city traffic and way cheaper than even using an auto for commute. For in-city use, there is Ola's auto-rickshaw service that I am heavily impressed in the recent times. It is surprisingly cheaper than cabs and for some reason Ola auto-drivers are well behaved and follow traffic rules (personal experience).

To strike a golden middle, I am all for powerful hatchbacks. you get best of both worlds, smaller cars are better in city considering corners, less parking space and the power works for you on highways. To satiate your appetite for large SUVs, premium cars that most of the folks wouldn't bother to own, there are these self-drives!
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Old 18th July 2015, 13:10   #84
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

Car ownership is a matter of pride to some Indians. Many people will not give up that pride.

I've read these kind of articles and done an analysis with my father, it does turn out that Ola/Uber is cheaper for most people.

But not to forget, these low prices are going to increase slowly and we may see standard cab fares (14 rupees/Km) in a few month.

Owning a car can't be replaced.

What if you have to travel 4-5 remote destinations with a long stop time at each destination? Will you make the cab wait?

What if there's a medical emergency at 2 AM in the morning at home? What are the odds that a sleepy cab driver will quickly come to pick you up?

What if you need to travel to Mysore at 5AM in the morning? Will you rent a car from the previous night?

It's just such things that the car renting companies/cabs will not satisfy.

A cab can replace a sparingly used 2nd car if you have one at home. You can use a hatchback as a primary car and rent cars for outstation trips. But are you guaranteed one? We don't have too many players in the self drive rental business and it's a nascent one.

Once renting business is regulated, the car ownership can reduce to one per household. Never will it become zero as long as one can afford a car.
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Old 18th July 2015, 13:21   #85
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

What it boils down to, is that for mundane commutes a cab is the preferred transport, provided they are available when you want them. For those odd journeys especially within a short distance, personal cars can rarely be replaced. When it comes to flexibility and impromptu journeys nothing beats a personal transport.
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Old 19th July 2015, 13:02   #86
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

If renting (or cabbing) were that fantastic an option, Uber in its home country should have convinced Americans to give up their love for the personal automobile. Have they? No! The last time I checked Americans still preferred driving, the popularity of Uber notwithstanding.

If its good for the goose, its good for the gander. I don't believe Indians will give up car ownership anytime soon either. That said, some specific geographies (read South Bombay for one) are so designed that they have inherent advantages favouring personal freedom that does not require the ownership of the automobile. Step out of those places and most of the sub-continent pretty much demands that you own your car.

I weaned off public transport back in 1999 - 2000 when one lazy Sunday afternoon I figured out that my monthly commuting expenses (just to-and-from work) was enough to fund my EMIs for a Royal Enfield 350 Machismo. The only additional expenses was fuel, which was neatly balanced out by savings from not taking extra cab trips each month for non-work travel. Suffice to say that I haven't taken a cab/auto since (except for sharing an Ola with friends on trips from the pub; don't see a point engaging with law enforcement in order to ruin a perfectly pleasant evening).

The Enfield has since given way to a CNG Alto for personal, one man everyday commutes as it still runs on pretty much 2002 running costs. We've added a Safari for family movement and out of town trips. For me, why I prefer my cars is: the car(s) smell the way I want (no stinky cabs), run the way I want (no bald tyres, questionable skills of the driver, etc.), follow the route I want (including last minute deviations), play the music I want (on a system that has an amplifier and sounds exactly the way I like it), do not provide tirades of free unsolicited advise on the nation's political, economic and foreign policy conditions and certainly do not refuse to take me where I want to go, even at odd hours of the day.

Economics notwithstanding, transport fundamentally is a matter of personal freedom. Cabs don't quite hit that sweet spot.
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Old 31st July 2015, 09:05   #87
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

Todays ET article discusses this
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/48289590.cms
This debate is going to more pronounced with low car penentration in India and a vast potential for car aggregators. Let us see how the consumers evolve in metro and car companies tactics.
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Old 31st July 2015, 09:27   #88
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

I ve been using Uber X of late for several local trips and meetings etc.

4 of us went to a meeting and back in an UBER X this week.

The onward trip in peak hour with surge pricing, came to Rs 185 for a distance of 9-10km

The return trip with normal pricing in the usual lousy Bangalore traffic came to Rs 160

Effectively it has cost each individual Rs 86-90 both ways.

Is there a cheaper and equally comfortable and efficient alternative in today's world? If so, please point me to it.
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Old 31st July 2015, 10:46   #89
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There is a taxi service started in Nashik that is very economical. Even do short distance trips which the auto guys refuse. Especially a boon for senior citizens who don't want to drive but want a better service than auto. It's not app based or anything, you have to call them. I have very limited experience with them, but few family members who used it were all happy.
The is the first time I have seen such a service in tier 2 cities. Slowly but surely it's going to make life easy.
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Old 31st July 2015, 11:23   #90
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Default Re: Economics of car ownership in light of the new services (Uber, Ola, Zoom)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
<snip>
Is there a cheaper and equally comfortable and efficient alternative in today's world? If so, please point me to it.
In a well defined limited scenario, you would be right. Broaden it, include more variables like a 300+ km drive, a detour to pick up a relative, an unscheduled stop at a diner, an unplanned stay at a friends house overnight. The operational cost delta between the taxi and the own vehicle would change substantially. You cannot really put a price on flexibility (read freedom). Once inside a train, its comfort cannot be matched by a car, but the Indian Railways is seeing a slide in passenger count because the improved road conditions in the country is encouraging more and more travelers to use their personal vehicles.

If point A and point B are on an slight incline on a magnificent road, then a recumbent bike should get you there with adequate comfort at almost 0.0 price.

Last edited by sun_king : 31st July 2015 at 11:25. Reason: Removed a reply to a post that was deleted.
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