6 apps like Uber you should take for a ride in Australia
These on-demand car booking apps are an alternative to Uber than can take you around the world.
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If you're finding Uber's prices too steep, can't find a driver in your area or are simply searching for some cheap (or potentially free) rides with an alternate rideshare service, these apps may just have the ride you need.
Alternatively, if you haven't tried Uber yet, you can give it a go with this first-time credit code.
DiDi, a Chinese ridesharing app specialising in commutes, launched in Melbourne in June 2018 and quickly expanded to other cities in Australia.
With over 31 million drivers and 550 million users globally, DiDi is one of the largest taxi hailing service operating in Asia, Australia and South America. Its users are so loyal, the only way Uber could enter the Chinese market was to merge with it. DiDi lets you order taxis and private cars.
- Where: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Geelong and Sunshine Coast
- Cost: DiDi offers a similar pricing structure to Uber in Melbourne but with cheaper rates. Its minimum fare is $6.98 (Uber's is $7.50) and time fare is 30 cents per minute (Uber's is 35 cents). Its base fare is $1.98 (Uber's is $2) and its distance fee is $1.08 for the first 7 kilometres. This drops down $0.98 cents after. Uber's distance fee is a set $1.10. Cancellations are charged at $6 while Uber charges $10.
- Benefits: DiDi is approximately 10% cheaper than Uber. It also has a generous $20 referral fee for anyone who shares the app. It's also offered 50% off rides for the first month in most cities. You can get 50% off rides in Sydney until 15 April 2020.
Ola, India's most popular rideshare service, entered the Australian market in early 2018 and has been growing rapidly ever since. Now available in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Canberra, it strives to provide affordable rides, lean fares and quality rides.
- Where: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Canberra.
- Cost: Ola has a like-for-like pricing structure with Uber. You can read our comparison here.
- Benefits: Ola offers launch fare discounts when it opens up in a new city as well as first-time rider deals.
Book a rideshare, taxi or taxi van within minutes using the GoCatch app, and you can even earn Qantas points for your ride.
GoCatch is one of Uber's biggest rivals. It allows you to book taxis and private drivers and doesn’t charge surge pricing during peak demand periods like Uber does.
- Where: Throughout NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Adelaide and Perth
- Cost: Can be cheaper than Uber as it doesn't have surge pricing.
- Benefits: First-time riders can score a free ride credit. GoCatch also promises no surge fares and lower fares overall.
The newest ride share company on the scene is Scooti. The company offers rides as a motorbike passenger and claims to be quick, cost-effective and carbon-neutral.
As it's still new, service is limited to just Melbourne and Sydney and between the hours of 5am and 10pm.
- Where: Melbourne (within a 10km radius of Melbourne Town Hall) and Sydney (south of the Harbour Bridge).
- Cost: Not listed online, but Scooti claims to be cheaper than other ride share services.
- Benefits: Less likely to get stuck in traffic, carbon-neutral rides and cheaper than other ride share services.
The only all-woman rideshare company, Shebah strives to offer safe and secure rides for women by women. Women, women with children and men travelling with kids are permitted to ride, and men aren't allowed to ride shotgun.
It's also the only rideshare service that allows unaccompanied children to ride in the cars and offers child seats and boosters if needed.
- Where: Across Australia
- Cost: Minimum fares are $11.66
- Benefits: The only rideshare service allowed to transport unaccompanied children, extra security for female passengers, accommodating to those travelling with young children.
HOP is an Aussie startup similar to Uber that uses Hertz rental cars.
New kid on the block, HOP supports drivers by paying them higher rates compared to Uber and doesn't charge them high commissions. Drivers also don't need to own their own vehicles as Hertz supplies vehicles for as little as $6 per hour.
- Where: Eastern suburbs of Sydney.
- Cost: 40% cheaper than taxis.
- Benefits: Cars are no more than 18 months old and drivers undergo background checks and licence record reviews.
Travelling outside of Australia?
The world is not short of rideshare services. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the more popular localised ones around the world:
- Grab: When in South-East Asia, Grab offers one of the most widespread networks of taxis, rideshare services and coaches. It's available in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
- Lyft: An American powerhouse, Lyft was born out of San Francisco and offers rides across the US.
- Easy Taxi: Available in 30 countries and 420 cities, Easy Taxi connects passengers with taxis through its easy-to-use app. It predominantly services North and South America but is also available in Hong Kong, Jordan, Egypt, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
- BlaBlaCar: This is a modern carpooling app that connects drivers on their daily commute with riders on similar routes to make use of their spare seats. It's available in countries worldwide including the UK, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, India and Mexico.
Frequently asked questions:
- Which rideshare apps are cheaper than Uber in Australia? DiDi is the major player in this department having cut its fares permanently by 10% in late 2018 to make it cheaper than Uber. Most other rideshares such as Ola are priced the same as Uber.
- What rideshares are in Sydney? Popular alternatives to Uber in Sydney include Ola, GoCatch and Shebah.
- What rideshares are in Melbourne? Popular alternatives to Uber in Melbourne include DiDi, Ola and GoCatch.
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