Apps like Uber you should take for a ride in Australia
These on-demand car booking apps are an alternative to Uber that can take you around the world.
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.
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 services operating in Asia, Australia and South America.
Its users are so loyal that the only way Uber could enter the Chinese market was to merge with it. DiDi lets you order taxis and private cars.
- Where: 28 cities in Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Geelong, Sunshine Coast, Central Coast, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour and Cairns.
- Cost: DiDi offers a similar pricing structure to Uber but with cheaper rates. In Melbourne, its minimum fare is $7.90 (Uber's is $8.50) and the time fare is 35 cents per minute (Uber's is 38 cents). Its base fare is $2.25 (Uber's is $2.25) and its distance fee is $1.15 per km during normal hours (Uber is $1.21). There is also a services fee (55 cents), government transport levy ($1.16) and handling fee of 1.5%. Cancellations are charged at $6.10 while Uber charges around $8. These prices change depending on location.
- Benefits: DiDi is approximately 10% cheaper than Uber. It also has a generous $20 referral voucher for anyone who shares the app and offers 50% off rides for the first month in most cities.
Prices were last checked on 12 September 2022.
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, Adelaide and Canberra, it strives to provide affordable rides, lean fares and quality rides.
- Where: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide 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 and refer-a-friend credits.
Book an airport transfer, taxi or private car within minutes using the GoCatch app.
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: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and the Gold Coast.
- Cost: Can be cheaper than Uber as it doesn't have surge pricing.
- Benefits: Earn rewards such as gift cards for riding with GoCatch.
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. 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: It's the only rideshare service allowed to transport unaccompanied children. It comes with extra security for female passengers and is accommodating to those travelling with young children. Cars can come with car seats.
Travelling outside of Australia?
The world is not short of rideshare services. Here's a quick rundown of some of the more popular localised ones around the world:
- Grab. When in Southeast 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 started in San Francisco and offers rides across the US.
- Cabify. Formally Easy Taxi, Cabify is available in 8 countries and 40 cities worldwide. It predominantly services South America.
- 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, DiDi and Shebah.
- What rideshares are in Melbourne? Popular alternatives to Uber in Melbourne include DiDi and Ola.
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