Using Ride Services to Your Holiday Party Can Save You Thousands
November 18, 2015
With the widespread availability of ride services, such as Lyft and Uber, there is no reason to drive to your holiday party, especially if you drink. Nowadays, with lower limits on blood alcohol levels than in the past, driving while being above the threshold doesn't take much. The cost of driving under the influence can be well over $10,000, and it can also cost you your career. Worse yet, if you seriously injure or kill someone, you can spend time in jail. It's just not worth it-the cost of a ride or taxi service is a drop in the bucket compared to what an alcohol-related conviction can cost you.
Ride sharing services are easy to use if you have a smartphone. All you need to do is download the apps for Lyft or Uber or an app that dispatches to taxi companies. You need to program your credit card information, which makes the system efficient, as no money changes hands and your credit card is billed. You then program in your home or location address and your destination address, and with a push of a button, the first nearby driver to respond will pick you up. The apps typically will tell you about how many minutes it will take for the driver to arrive, and you should get a text message when your driver is approaching. Most systems are transparent; they provide you with your route map and total cost. It also will be difficult for a driver to manipulate the system to charge more. You are also prompted to rate your driver; drivers with low ratings will, in most cases, lose their contract.
There are additional benefits: there is no need to park your car, pay for parking, or park at a distance; these services take you to the front door. In some cases, you can choose to upgrade to a black car or an SUV, such as with Uber; these services typically cost more, but if you want to go in style or have a number of people in your party and need a bigger vehicle, this may be an option. In some locations, these apps offer a car pool system where you share the ride with another party. These are typically limited to two people per party and two parties per car; they use the service to match parties who are picked up nearby and are going to nearby destinations. Those who choose this car pool option pay a fraction of what the actual ride cost due to sharing the vehicle.
With the availability of these services, it is unwise to even think of drinking and driving. At some point, drinking and driving will catch up with you. You already purchased your smartphone; you can now use it to your advantage to safely enjoy yourself, stay out of serious trouble, and easily get around.