From Uber to black cabs to minicabs, CBR gives you the best apps to help hail your way home.
Headline-grabbing Uber has brought e-hailing to the forefront of public opinion. Facing lawsuits and out-right bans in some countries, Uber has still retained its crown as the number one taxi app.
Looking past the over turned cars in Paris and the $7.3m fine in California, Uber delivers a car to your door in minutes.
After downloading the app, GPS identifies your location and you tap to set your location and request a driver. After the driver has accepted, you input the address of your destination and are quoted a fare price and ETA.
Pros: The service being cashless reduces the risk for the driver, while also being convenient for the passenger. A sense of security is given due to the fact that passengers are provided with a picture of the driver, while the journey is also continually monitored from Uber HQ.
The pricing is also clear, with a quote made available at the time of booking, while fares can also be split if you are riding with a friend. You can also see on the app’s map where Uber drivers are, how far they are from you and the progress of your driver to your pickup.
Cons: Aside from the fact that it is banned in some countries, Uber is accused of under-cutting competitors such as black cabbies – a con for the drivers, not so much for those hailing.
There is, however, a point of contention when it comes to pricing for the rider – specifically the surge pricing. At times of high demand, where the number of drivers becomes limited, Uber hikes the prices up. When surge pricing has been seen during bad weather or in the recent London Tube strikes, Uber has been accused of profiteering.
The black cabbies answer to Uber. The majority of black cabbies abhor Uber, but that hasn’t stopped Gett, formely known as GetTaxi, from taking a large chunk of deisgn and feature inspiration from the app they love to hate.
Like Uber, the service is cashless and 24/7, with the service also being very quick with an average wait time of 3 mintues in central London. Users can track their driver and, again like uber, can see the drivers photo, name and license plate number.
Pros: The main selling point of this app, due to sharing many features with Uber, is the driver. Black cabbies are renowned for taking the Knowledge, a test of London’s streets which must be learnt by heart. The Knowledge takes years to master, with one black cabbie I recently rode with telling me it took him 4 years to pass.
All drivers are licensed, taken on a training programme with Gett, as well as having to pass CRB and medical checks.
Cons: The cons all come down to price. Black cabbies are more expensive than their Uber counterparts, with the metered rate far higher than Uber’s lowest rate. However, the app is trying to make some in-roads with price, offering discounts and seasonal offers – for example, prices were slashed to £5 in the run-up to Christmas last year.
3. Addison Lee
Addison Lee is often called London’s favourite mini-cab service, with their current advertising taking advantage of the negative press surrounding Uber’s surge pricing.
Unlike Uber, Addison Lee allows you to book on demand or in advance, but other app features are much of the same – driver tracking, fare quotes and GPS map.
Pros: With Addison Lee passengers have a choice of car – so if you are travelling with more people you can order a people carrier, or if the environment is a priority you can choose an Eco vehicle. There is also a loyalty club, dubbed ClubLee, where you can accumalte loyalty offers, discounts and rewards.
As mentioned, you can also plan a trip and book in advance – a feature that only a mini-cab service, not an uber or black cab, can offer. You can also modify bookings you have made and the ‘Take Me Home’ feature makes it simple to get home fast – no matter where you are.
Cons: You only get Addison lee with this app, so are limited to their fleet and availability. This could be a problem because, as they point out, they are London’s favourite mini-cab service.
Another downside of it being a mini-cab service is the price – not as cheap as Uber, less expensive than a black cab. Although not as cheap as Uber, fares are fixed and not subject to surge pricing.
Another app catering for minicabs. Bounce lets you book a TfL licensed minicab using an interface similar to Tinder, allowing users to swipe through drivers to see profiles and cars available. Other app features are standard – map, location pickup and cashless.
Pros: Unlike others on this list, Bounce gives you 5 minutes free waiting time, time in which you can cancel your cab without being charged. The Tinder-like interface gives you more control of who you will be driving with, while the minicabs and black cabs on affer gives you much more variety and choice than competing apps.
Cons: This app only works in London and there has been some criticism revolving around waiting times and limited driver availability. Again, as a minicab, prices will not be as low as Uber, so expect to pay a bit more for your London journey.
Sold to those wanting a ride as ‘Mighty Minicabs 24/7’, this app boasts a network of over 70 providers and 10,000 cabs in London. Unlike others on this list, Kabbee does not operate its own fleet of vehicles, instead giving you the cheapest quote it can based on your search or needs.
It is essentially a minicab comparison app – searching all available minicab companies and quoting prices.
In addition to the standard features of tracking, real-time location and licensed drivers, this app also gives 24/7 customer service for when the planned journey hits a hiccup. Fixed price fares and 24hr availability come as standard.
Pros: This app claims to give passengers major savings, confidently stating that they are up to 65% cheaper than a black cab. A huge pro is the vast amount of choice you get from this app – the car choice is staggering and you can also request child seats and other extra features depending on your needs.
The app can generate quotes from more than 50 minicab companies based on price, proximity, user rating and other variables. The choice extends to method of payment, with Kabbee accepting card, cash or your account via the app.
Cons: At the moment, this app is London-based only. The only other obvious downside is that as a minicab service the fare prices are not going to be as low as the lowest Uber price.