For example, BMW recently launched ReachNow, a car-sharing service in Seattle, which charges 41 cents per minute and 30 cents to park. That roughly equates to 44 cents per mile for the average 10-mile commute -- which is less than what most people now pay for their transportation needs: currently just over $700 a month, or 49 to 78 cents per mile, according to the American Automobile Association.
Of course, as the pay-as-you-go ride-share competition heats up, your car expenses will almost definitely become even lower. Just as you pay for data, minutes, and phone purchase installments on a monthly phone bill, you'll eventually pay for miles, gas, insurance, depreciation, and even software upgrades on a monthly car bill -- depending on how much you drove in that time period.
As for the car companies, they'll enjoy a steady stream of long-term payments, instead of infrequent one-time purchases every few years when you decide to buy a new car.
And shared plans will almost always be cheaper
Just as cellphone plans encourage multiple users within the same circle of friends and family, automakers will provide similar incentives and discounts for your ride-share plan. Instead of paying for every mile you drive, you may be able to split the cost four or five ways. You will also likely have the choice of paying for miles or minutes (see above re: BMW's ReachNow). When it comes to your future daily driver, you should even be able to roll over last month’s leftover mileage or minutes into the next month, again, just like your phone.