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Experiment: Is car sharing cheaper than renting a car for a weekend trip to Los Angeles?

April 2017

Last week I escaped the rain in Vancouver by going on spontaneous and extended weekend trip to Los Angeles. 4 days in total.

Los Angeles is famous for it’s crazy traffic, so I was a bit hesitant on renting a car for the weekend, but the city is also know for a layout that requires a car to go anywhere, so we kinda needed something to get around.

Los Angeles traffic. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8kyePbFGbk Los Angeles traffic. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8kyePbFGbk

We decided to do an experiment: Would car sharing be cheaper than renting a car for the trip?

  • Best case: We would save money, and have more convenient transport.
  • Worst case: We would rent a car once arrived, and take it from there.

The cost

This is the cost breakdown for 4 days, arriving Friday afternoon and leaving Monday evening

Car rental

4 day car rental via National, valet parking at the hotel, daily city parking when driving around, and gas.

Car sharing

4 days of car sharing using Uber, Lyft and Zipcar. We started out using Uber, but had some interesting drivers, so we switched to Lift, and the final day we rented a Zipcar for the day to do some Los Angeles driving.

Conclusion: Car sharing has won me over

The numbers speak for themselves. We saved $308.93 on a 4 day weekend trip by using car sharing instead of going with a regular rented car. We were driven around the city with our own driver, didn’t have to think about parking and overall had a much more convenient transport in the city.

Car sharing has won me over, and for the future shorter trips I won’t be renting cars anymore.

The next question that arises: Do I need to own a car at all?

/k