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Which Is Cheaper, Owning A Car Or Taking Uber Everyday?

Would taking Uber everyday still be cheaper than owning a car?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the price of owning a car in Singapore is one of the highest in the world. However, with many transport alternatives that are relatively affordable these days such as Uber and Grab, would taking such private transportation alternatives necessarily be cheaper than owning a car?

Cost Of Car Ownership

Before we begin the various calculations, this analysis is based on these 3 assumptions:

# 1 You are commuting from your home in Tampines to your work at Suntec City (31km going to and fro)

# 2 You travel 10km during each weekend day

# 3 There are 20 working days and 10 weekends each month

Owning a Toyota Wish can cost approximately $115,000. Calculating based on this amount alone would set you back around $11,500 per year or $958 per month.

However, most people would not have $115,000 lying around and would need to take out a loan. This would result in your monthly loan being higher than $958. For simplicity’s sake however, we would stick with $958 instead.

On top of this loan amount, there would be other miscellaneous fees of owning a car.

Assuming we are calculating the average cost for a Toyota Wish with 1798cc for a year:

Insurance: $1782.19 ( according to NTUC Drivo classic insurance plan)

Servicing: $1,000 (assuming your car is serviced every 3 months for $250 per session)

Season Parking: $1,140 ($95 per month for both sheltered and unsheltered carparks)

Cash card: $1,040 ( assuming you are required to pay $20 per week)

It is subjective to calculate fuel prices because it depends on how far you travel. It also depends on the petrol capacity and petrol consumption of your vehicle which is 60 litres and 14.7km/L respectively. However, based on assumption (1) and (2), you would be travelling 720km per month. If fuel prices are $2.47/ litre, that would add up to $120.97 per month and $1451.67 per year on fuel prices.

Fuel: $1451.67

Road Tax: $976

Here is a summary of the annual and monthly total approximate cost of owning a car listed in the table below:


Yearly Basic Loan $11,500
Insurance $1782.19
Servicing $1,000
Season Parking $1,140
Cash card + Parking Coupons $1,040
Fuel $1451.67
Road Tax $976
Total Annual Cost $18889.86
Total Monthly Cost $1574.15


Read Also: No Nonsense Explanation On Why Cars In Singapore Are So Expensive

Conventional Taxi

Based on assumption (1) of traveling , that would set you back $17.10 (per ride) x 2 = $34.20 including peak hour surcharge. That would amount to

$34.20 x 20 (5 day work week for 1 month) = $684

Additionally, if you were to use a normal taxi on weekends and assuming you spend approximately $15 per ride, that would be

$15 x 2 = $30 per day.

$30 x 10 ( weekends) = $300

Total damage per month: $684 + $300 = $984


If you were to take Uber X and Uber Pool based on assumption (1) and (2),

Uber X Uber Pool
Price For Return Trip On A Weekday $15 (per ride) x 2 = $30 $14 (per ride) x 2 = $28
Weekdays $600 $560
Price For A Return Trip On A Weekends $10( per ride) x 2 = $20 $9 ( per ride) x 2 = $18
Weekends $200 $180
Total Damage $600 + $ 200 = $800 $560 + $180 = $740


Car Rental

There is also the assumption that renting a car each month may be cheaper as you avoid the hassle of paying road taxes and insurance. A Toyota Wish can be rented at $1,650 per month. However this does not include petrol costs and you should include petrol costs of $120.97 per month based on the calculations above.

Total damage: $1,650 + $120.97 = $1,770.97

Final Verdict

The above conclusions can be summarised in the table below:

Private Car ownership Conventional Taxi Uber X Uber Pool Car Rental
Total Cost Per Month $1574.15 $984 $800 $740 $1770.97


Based on our analysis, it appears from our analysis that the most costly mode of private transport would be to rent a car each month. However, if the distance covered and the type of car varies, the costs and modes of transportation may also change.

The margin between a private car ownership and the other alternatives can also serve as a gauge on whether you think that difference is worth buying your own car or not.

Read Also: Best Value For Money Car In 2016


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