A Hair in the Ride-Sharing Soup

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Some of you may remember that episode of the original Star Trek TV series in which Kirk, Spock and McCoy pick up up a space bug that ages them prematurely. They go from youthful 30-somethings to 80-something Alzheimerian geezers in a matter of hours.

The people pushing ride-sharing as “the future” of the car business might want to give some thought to this business of premature aging.

Or rather, the marks they expect to offload the costs of it onto should be thinking about it.

Ride-sharing is based on two things:

First, renting a single car to as many people as possible – as opposed to selling it to just one person – and thereby multiplying the revenue stream severalfold without having to produce more product. Instead of one person paying $300/month toward ownership, debit the accounts of maybe two dozen people each month for say $50 each, on average, for temporary use of the thing.

Second – and a function of the the first thing – keep the car almost constantly on the road. Ideally, the seat should never get cold.

And the meter should always be running.

The model seems to be taxi cabs. And to put the actual taxis – and taxi drivers – out of business.

Which brings us to premature aging – via accelerated wear and tear.

Most people put maybe 10,000-15,000 miles on their car each year. Most new cars don’t need major scheduled service before they reach 100,000 miles. It’s rare for things like alternators and water pumps and air conditioning compressors to kaput before then. And if they do, the parts and labor are usually still covered by the car’s warranty.

Which is good, because these things now cost real money – $400 for an alternator vs. $40 back in the Dark Ages of the ’70s and ’80s. Getting at the water pump sometimes requires partial disassembly of the engine.

A set of tires is usually good for four or five years. Also good, given tires that cost $150 each, plus mounting and balancing.

An oil change ($50-$75) maybe once a year.

It takes a decade-plus of driving and (usually) 150,000-plus miles before the engine begins to show signs of tiredness, the clutch starts to chatter, the transmission starts acting up and the car begins to hit you with increasingly regular and dauntingly high-dollar repair bills.

Such as $4,000 for a new/rebuilt transmission, for instance. 

But a car yoked to the ride-sharing gig will likely see 100,000 miles in just one year. Remember: The whole point is to keep the car “earning” – and that means, keep it running.

Which means – wearing out.

The car will need more frequent routine maintenance – and it will reach the economic Event Horizon – the point beyond which making repairs is not worth the expense – much sooner.

Instead of an oil change once a year, it may need an oil change once a month. New tires (and brakes) once a year instead of once every five. The car itself will be used up more quickly. It’s value will decline accordingly.

How much is a five-year-old cop car with 350,000 miles on the odometer worth vs. an identical civilian version, of the same vintage, but with 60,000 miles on the odometer?

What are the implications of this? Who will pay for the more frequent maintenance? The exponentially accelerated wear and tear?

And the depreciation?

Let’s not forget, while we’re at it, the necessarily higher insurance costs that someone will have to pay. You may be a conscientious person and a great driver. What about the guy who rents the car after you do? Maybe he will only spill coffee on the seats. Maybe he will neutral drop the transmission. . .

Who is going to pay?

It won’t be the ride-sharing services.

These costs will be folded into the hourly/daily rental they charge to use the vehicle. They have to be, or else the math doesn’t add up. The marks are lulled by what seems to be the low hourly/daily rental charge. But unless they only need a car a handful of times a month, they’ll end up paying more than if they had just bought the thing.

Instead, they  won’t own anything. They’ll just pay. And pay.

And pay again.

It’s not unlike the electric car con. Tout to the innumerate the money they’ll “save” by not having to buy gas – but avoid mention of the cost of the car itself (or the electricity, which is cheap for now but won’t stay that way once they’ve suckered a critical mass of the population into EVs and the grid starts to brownout from insufficient capacity to meet the load).

Meanwhile, the ride-share pimps tell us that personal vehicle ownership is wasteful because the personally owned car is not in use most of the time.

It is parked in the garage, waiting to be used.

Which is true, certainly.

It is also true that – because it is used less – it lasts longer. A car that is driven 10,000-15,000 miles annually will generally go at least 12-15 years before wear and tear begins to catch up with it – and the cost to keep it running begins to reach the point that repairing it is no longer worth the expense.

In the meanwhile, you have a reliable and largely maintenance-free car that is available whenever you need it for just a couple of bucks per day. Which hardly seems “wasteful.”

Speaking of waste – how about the time wastage that attends this ride-sharing business?

Unless the ride-sharing people have a Star Trek teleportation system in the works, you will have to wait at least a little while before you go anywhere in our ride-sharing future.

Tap the app – and wait for the car to be delivered. Or go pick it up.

Either way, it’s not immediate – and far from convenient.

Nor will it cost us less.

Beam me up, Scotty.

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  1. I know this is an older story, but Harvey and Irma underscore another reason car-sharing can have negative unintended consequences, how the hell do you car-share a cities worth of population out of an urban center? Only those that own cars, will be able to pack up their families/belongings and leave, only a fraction of the quick thinking car-share crowd can do the same? And how much crap can you pack in a Smart car? That’s the majority of car-share rides around here.

    • Exactly, you can’t! One of the reasons why Katrina was so horrible in New Orleans, was that a big portion of the population had no personal cars (also the same general “helpless” population that would expect the city to do something too). Coupled with the incompetent city government that did nothing to evacuate people, actually allowing the city and school buses to be flooded and ruined. Good luck counting on the government to evacuate all the population let alone the helpless types of society.

      I saw a thread on another forum on the subject of electric cars as evacuation vehicles. At least people were realizing that electric cars would suck as evacuation vehicles, as even the range of a Tesla isn’t going to get you out of Florida. Yep, you wouldn’t be using electric if you were dead stopped in traffic, but you also wouldn’t have air conditioning either.

      So yes, owners of personal GASOLINE or DIESEL powered cars are the most able to evacuate on their own. Another reason why personal cars need to stick around.

    • If we look at the original plan of the so-called elites depicted in ‘things to come’ we would be living in underground mega cities that would be immune to storms. There were various other depictions, domed cities and the like, but basically the idea is an immunity to such weather. These are the glorious things that will come to pass once all of humanity learns to serve an elite.

    • Many in the Big Cities will simply participate in the Great Die-off. Too bad, so sad. No more cesspools of parasites living off the hosts. Life goes on.

  2. The GOOD thing about this is: The people who actually participate in it, will be the ones to bear it’s costs. -As opposed to say mass transit, which has become a government “business” now, and is subsidized by taxes which you are florced to pay even if you’ve never set foot on a bus/train in your life.

    The bad news is: Just like mass transit, how long before they start subsidizing this ride-share BS, once, like mass transit, it becomes too burdensome for the people who actually use it to bear the costs; and unprofitable for the providers? (Probably not long- they’ll just consider it another form of mass transit. After all, this seems to be THE model of late that tyrants favor: Take away our freedom, and make us pay for the process by which it is done!)

  3. There are two kinds of Christians.

    NiggerJewMuslim Christians who are okay with stealing from those who produce value to give to those who do not produce. These assholes have the gall to mislabel their theft as charity and compassion.

    And true Christian Capitalists. Who rely on their own efforts to survive in this world. Who voluntarily give charity and never condone or forgive all the theft they see unavoidably all around them. They may be deeply religious, only slightly so, or not at all spiritually minded. But they all recognize where they came from and respect the differing views of those they came along with.

    In your heart, you know you are one or the other. An evil NJM or a good CC. As are all your fellow Westerners.

  4. What is the secret sauce in MGTOW. It is the commercial exploitation of women’s property rights in their own sexuality.

    In the same way that authors are deprived of their intellectual property rights of their ideas and stories by the machinery of the internet. So to, and in far greater negative effect are women deprived of the profits from their own beauty and sexuality.

    To be fair, the women need the men to provide the technology and dissemination of their femininity to mass audiences. I don’t say this as some kind of identity scold. Who says women are some special class of victims. But rather I say they are a subset of victims of visual and auditory capture, in much the same way are authors and other creators of media.

    This is not solved by taking from Paul, who has managed to rob Peter and make a profit off of him. While Peter languishes in abject poverty. But rather to recognize the reality of how things are. That men no longer have need of women because they have instant ready access to an unlimited harem of women throughout the world at the touch of button on a device.

    If MGTOW are honest, they are not going their own way at all. But rather going the way of passive authoritarians enjoying the spoils of unseen men who plunder the property rights of all humans everywhere. And that is not in anyway noble at all.

    • Paying for images on the internet and MGTOW in all its forms are not tied together. One doesn’t follow the other. Furthermore the most successful website in that regard was owned and operated by a woman.

    • MGTOW is simply another term for bachelorism. And for fucks sake, men can’t even have their own thing, called men going their own way….key word being MEN, without it being about women. Sheesh. Besides, what does MGTOW have to do with this article?

      • The main point is the women in the images aren’t in control of the products made based on their bodies. They don’t name their price or have hardly any say in it. And then there’s a thousand piratings that happen post facto. Its the same story with writers and their products. And really with pretty much everything else.

        The monetary system is so convoluted and controlled such that the average guy is forced into using unethical means against his will. If you go all out, maybe your budget is 10% self sufficient/or ethically purchased from consenting empowered vendors.

        Goods and services are provided via regulatoryism, not capitalism, in the majority of cases.

        There is no mythical unicorn method for going ones own way. Not saying that there couldn’t be a way. But for most people there just isn’t an option they’re aware of right now.

        There’s plenty of delusions to choose from, sure. But the actuality is they are no real relief. Tell me where the bachelor can live and not pay property taxes that fund schools and welfare et. al.

        Reality however unpleasant is not optional.

        • I understand that. No one is truly self sufficient in this marketplace unfortunately. That doesn’t mean men have to further indenture themselves to the state by getting married/having kids/etc. if they don’t want to (because the cards are stacked against them) when that was the “plan” laid out before them by society, before they were even born. You’re conflating MGTOW with other issues.

  5. BTW, we don’t have to be a-social, or even anti social to maintain an even keel. I like new things, ideas, inventions, and so forth. Ever had a car with a factory 8-Track player? No? Well it sucks! Cassette tapes were only marginally better, and CDs revolutionized portable music – YAY! But not EVERY new idea is a good one, and frankly, the best ones have mostly been fleshed out to their full potential, It’s a mathematical FACT, that we will get to a “saturation level” of innovation and technology that will ultimately drag us under the surface, rather than keep us above it! Enough food is sufficient, a little extra is comforting, and too much makes you a gluttonous pig that is easily slaughtered. We are fast approaching “too much” (too much safety, too much conservation, too much govt dependency, too much luxury, too much instant gratification)
    of what we DON”T NEED! Wants are not necessarily Needs. When society spends all its energies on its Wants (see all of the above shit) someone else (I wonder who) is going to start dictating our needs. If we behave like children (or livestock) we are going to get exactly what we asked for. “weeeeeeee” (Ned Beatty)

    • gtc, I have to take you to task about an 8 track. My 8 track beat hell out of that ungodly expensive cassette I had later. Not everything new is better…..can’t argue with that.

      Been texting with a friend near Houston. Boo hoo, no store open so no bread or water or ice cream.

      My wife and I went through a flood when we first moved to the farm. Creek redirected across our driveway and field so we had no way out except a rubber heel.

      We had water, beer, booze, food so it was more an adventure. We considered taking the boat off the trailer but it didn’t seem worth it just to walk a mile to a ride. A friend was living with us so we had a great time and the dogs loved it, and we used ropes and hooks to pull ourselves through the flood and rescue the cats that seemed to like it fine.

      A friend showed up a few days later with a 400 hp 8 wheel drive tractor and moved enough dirt so we could get out.

      City folks would have been SOL. What do we do? Throw some steaks on the grill, grab a cold one and chill out. If my job was that important they knew where I lived and could come after me. Nobody showed up and it was grand for a few days. Oh, we had to work hard and spend a lot of money to get it all repaired. TANSTAAFL.

      • Ditto on the 8-track. I still use an 8-track deck in my car and it works great. People today forget (if they ever knew) that the format was developed by Bill Lear as a high-end mobile audio system for jets and yachts. (Unfortunately as we got into the 1970s a lot of sub-par equipment and crappy tapes were produced which didn’t exactly enhance the format’s reputation.)

        • We had an 8 track that would blow away that expensive cassette. Of course with that high end set up it took me some years to say it out loud. Too much ego tied up in that cassette. I heard portions of albums with a Cd player I’d never heard before….like the first 30 seconds of Days of Future Passed.

  6. Even better yet, WHO in the hell is taking you down to the “loaner-car” lot? Is there going to be one in walking distance of “everyone”???….I think not. In my business, car repair, I constantly hear the excuse “I can’t get a ride to leave it with you”, or “I can’t be without my car”. It takes people weeks, if not months, to “schedule” their ONE annual visit for a safety inspection and an oil change. This stupid “ride-share-renting” crap is gonna fly like a lead balloon! How do these shitheads think they will ever cut the consumers’ umbilical cord to their cars? Our entire society, malls, suburbs, centralized shopping, entertainment, national goods transportation, hell…….you name it……it has hall been constructed around, and depends on, individual transportation and personal free-will to go, when, where, and however often anyone chooses!
    If it has taken our entire society and economy 100 years to grow into this one thing, personal transportation, how in God’s name do these assholes believe it can be undone overnight without catastrophic social and economic upheaval? Well, they don’t……they want to take our money as fast as they can, and sink the whole god-damned boat-load of us in the process! Don’t participate in mass stupidity! Baaaaaaaah!

  7. And just wait until the insurance mafia gets it’s hooks into this.

    There is no way to insure the VEHICLE any more, with an unknown number of drivers with unknown numbers of risk factors assigned to each driver.

    You will be mandated to insure YOU, and it will not be cheap.

  8. Another thing – people choose different cars for different uses. Some people use minivans to transport familites. Some single people drive BMW’s to attract a superficial chick. Some like and use pickups and some prefer SUVs. Will ride sharing programs have different types of vehicles to acommodate motorists tastes. they may or may not. It will depend on market as well. I think that the whole idea is a lump of crap. The wear rates on these cars will be different. It’s time to dispense with the rental notion. Only an idiot rents furniture, and since cars are a lot like that, the same applies.

    • When I pick you up be sure to lay flat in the bed, government outlawed that so you needed another pickup….and loan (bank handout)and insurance (bank handout). Notice a habit here?

      Everything that’s been done for the last hundred years has been for the money controllers. “Subprime” mortgage ring a bell?

  9. Brownout solution:


    EV and Electricity Storage Market Interactions
    Notably, EVs which are connected to the grid could be used in lieu of or in conjunction with electricity storage in emergencies or extreme supply shortages, to supply power to the grid. This application is known as vehicle-to-grid or V to G. So, though challenges remain, it is possible that EVs could be a non-trivial electric supply resource during rare times when the grid is undergoing an emergency. Further, EVs may complement or compete with electricity storage.

    “Emergencies.” So now the marketing point that actually makes some sense (charge it overnight and have a full battery every morning), goes out the window. Instead of being reasonably sure you could get 200 miles or so you might jump in and find out you can only go 150 instead because the grid ISO decided they needed to get some peak power from your vehicle. I’m sure if this takes off you’ll have the option of not allowing the grid operator to do it, much like flying coach for $99 or 1st class for $1500 on the same plane.

  10. That’s a very good point. The cost of car maintenance is no joke. Brakes and rotors will be replaced once a year. Timing Belts/Water pumps, Struts maybe every year and a half. Radiator fluid. Transmission fluid. Alternators every 150,000 miles. HVAC systems – every 2 years under a 100,000 miles per year use. All of this probably adds up to about $7500 per year. I can feel the fees going up to $20.00 per ride.

    • This could really be a boon for the bozo clown civil judge TV show. I can only imagine the clusterfucks caused by the simply stupid. Cars with not only empty tanks or charges but ones left with interiors you wouldn’t get in wearing a Hazmat suit.

      Those people who take an animal with explosive diarrhea or worse to the doctor or hauls 20 lbs of mud bugs in a cooler that breaks after they forgot about it and they steeped in the hot water the ice had become.
      Not to mention human funk and the cologne drenched crowd and the snotty hand crew not to mention one that’s been damaged. .An infinite number of reasons to keep you out or get incarcerated for something a previous occupant had done like the day I flipped the visor down on a company pickup and a Crack spoon full of half burned Crack or ice or whatever it was fell out.

      Of course it would never work in rural areas. The geniuses who came up with this idea might be the source of that Crack in the pickup. I’d rather take my chances on a crazy mare riding through a field of ratters.


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