Oh, those car costs don't stop. Between the price of gas, the winter tires, the frequent tune-ups, the new parts, it never ends.
But now the good news: there's a practical alternative to owning a car that doesn't mean having to take public transit. Indeed, ride-sharing is growing and could be one of the best ways to keep more of your hard-earned money.
The "sharing economy" is booming, after all, with no shortage of competitors in the car sharing app category. It's easy to find out which carpool app offers the cheapest route. That is especially true if the ride is during off-peak hours.
When potential costs are all added in, the financial figures for owning a car can be teeth-clenching. Factors to consider are car payments, regular maintenance costs, unexpected repair costs and the cost of gasoline.
Toss in those winter tires, or spare tires. Toss in parking fees, a roadside assistance membership and tolls for good measure, and yes, it may just be more cost effective, in many ways, to go with ride-sharing.
The upshot? Someone's chauffeuring you throughout, offering you the opportunity to kick back, relax and maybe catch a few more winks to recover from a bad night's sleep (or a rough day's work).
Perhaps your own white-knuckle driving time on the highway or in rush hour traffic is not your idea of fun, and you'd rather sit in the back of someone else's car – with a laptop, a newspaper, a book – to use that time more productively. In this scenario, no more spending precious time at the filling station, no more idling your thumbs while your car's being serviced, and parking headaches are avoided altogether.
And as an added plus, if a friend or colleague joins your shared ride, even for part of the way, you may be able to split some of the costs.
Whether or not ride-sharing is for you depends largely on budget and preference. Take a careful look at your car expenses over the course of a year and compare that to your probable fees for using a carpool app. Even if the latter is the same as the former, you could still be saving on all kinds of hassles.