Uber Options.

Decades ago in the UK my father calculated that all the travel they did in retirement would be cheaper if they used taxis. Obviously there are non-financial aspects such as convenience and time but overall it did seem workable even though he never adopted it. Now with Uber it is becoming even more realistic and is being widely adopted especially in cities where parking is limited. I recall in Japan it was necessary at one time to prove parking availability as a car owner, and that double stacking of cars was taking place. In a recent Saturday Star Pieter du Toit recounted his two years without a car of his own. He says in two years he has saved R100,000 enabling him to pay a deposit and transfer fees on a flat which he is letting out on airbnb. I believe this applies particularly to retirees who may possibly travel less, locally at least, and who have two cars. I have long argued that if one wishes to be frugal while retired then don’t have a second car. The argument comes up that what if both want to go to different places at the same time. I feel that normally this should be avoidable with careful planning and is much easier to solve than if one person gets multiple commitments for the same time. The cost per km of running a second car for a few dozen unavoidable trips a year is in any case horrendous so at least use Uber for those if cost is an issue. Du Toit says the longest he has waited for an Uber car is seven minutes. This means that the total time can be less than with your own car if parking would not have been available at the mall doors, city centre shop etc. I have also been horrified by old people driving when they are not fit to do so. The old story of the optometrist, after checking an old lady’s eyes – “What’s your car registration number?”  What’s that got to do with anything – I know it without being able to read it?” “I want to know to avoid you when I’m driving.”

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