Uber is cheaper than owning a car

Car sharing cost comparison

Own car or car sharing - which is cheaper?

  • Car sharing is worthwhile if you are not constantly dependent on the car and do not need it daily or regularly for longer journeys.
  • The fewer kilometers you need a car a year, the more car sharing pays off. It's worth it up to around 10,000 kilometers a year.
  • For example, those who drive 5,000 kilometers a year save between 900 and 1,500 euros a year with car sharing compared to their own car.
  • You can find out how car sharing works and which providers are recommended in our guide.

Car sharing, i.e. the flexible rental of a vehicle, is particularly popular with young city dwellers. More and more often they do without their own car and combine car sharing with trains, local public transport and bicycles. A taxi ride is also possible every now and then, with the sums carsharing users save without their own car. But car sharing is not worthwhile for everyone. We did the math.

That costs a VW Golf per month

Depreciation346 €
Taxes7 €
insurance62 €
other fixed costs17 €
operating cost107 €
Inspection and Maintenance16 €
Repairs17 €
Tire replacement18 €
total590 €

New VW Golf 1.4 TSI BMT Comfortline, holding period: 4 years with 15,000 km each. Source: ADAC (March 2016)

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Realistically estimate car costs

Having your own car in front of the door is unquestionably convenient - especially for spontaneous trips, excursions or long journeys. Shopping may also be more relaxed for some people if the rented car does not incur costs. Because with car sharing you not only pay for driving, but also for intermittent parking. A look at the total costs of your car helps to realistically estimate the car sharing prices. The table on the right shows an example of the complete monthly costs of a VW Golf. If you only calculate the fuel costs, you are lying to yourself.

Also, remember that your time is valuable. A private car needs repairs, MOT, inspections and regular cleaning. These can be time wasters. With car sharing, all of this is done by the operator. In addition, you don't have to take a parking ticket and usually don't even have to worry about refueling.

Our sample calculations below, which we made in 2014, serve as a rough guide for comparison. To do this, we have taken various routes and times as a basis and also calculated parking times. The use is of course very individual: the actual costs depend on your driving habits, the providers and the vehicles.

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For example, those who drive 5,000 kilometers a year can save between 900 and 1,500 euros a year with car sharing. Renting a car is worthwhile up to around 10,000 kilometers a year. Other sources see the limit at 11,250 kilometers (Wirtschaftswoche) or 15,600 kilometers (world).

However, if you use the car every day or regularly need it for longer journeys, then your own car is more suitable. In addition, for some, a car is also a hobby or a luxury and thus emotionally charged. Rational financial arguments then of course take a back seat - which is perfectly fine.

You can read more about car parts in our car sharing guide.

Do you want to buy a car and can't decide? Then use our car cost calculator.

To the calculator

Daniel Pöhler

Daniel Pöhler

Daniel Pöhler mainly works on the Finanztip newsletter and, as deputy head of text, contributes to the linguistic quality of all Finanztip texts. His focus is on mobility and the digital. In his traineeship at the trade newspaper Telecom Handel, he learned what makes the telecommunications industry and trade tick. Daniel holds a degree in business administration from the University of Bayreuth.

Frederike Roser

Frederike Roser

Until December 2015, Frederike Roser was head of communications and was responsible for Finanztip's press and public relations work. Before taking on this role, she worked as a team editor for the topics of cars and travel. The trained consumer journalist brought experience from numerous editorial offices, consumer protection and the Stiftung Warentest.

* What the star means:

With our recommendations, we want to help as many people as possible to do their own finances. This is why our content is available online free of charge. We finance our extensive work with so-called affiliate links. We mark these links with an asterisk (*).

At Finanztip, however, we handle affiliate links differently than other websites. We only link to products that were previously recommended by our independent expert editorial team. Only then can the relevant provider set a link to this offer. We get money if you click on such a link or conclude a contract with the provider.

Whether and in what amount a provider pays us has no influence on our recommendations. What our experts recommend to you depends solely on whether an offer is good for consumers.

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