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5 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.

Uber may be the name on the tip of your tongue when you think about inexpensive rideshare services, but it's not the only name out there connecting drivers to riders for cheap via an app in Australia.

All across the nation, new services are adopting Uber's approach to booking a ride and entering the space.

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.

1. Ola

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.

2. DiDi

DiDi, a ridesharing app specialising in commutes throughout China, launched in Melbourne in June 2018.

With over 1.5 million registered taxi drivers and 300 million users in China, DiDi is the largest taxi hailing service in the country. 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 or hitch a ride with drivers on a similar route to you.

  • Where: Geelong and Melbourne.
  • 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.

3. GoCatch

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.

4. Taxify

Based in Tallinn, Estonia, but offering cheap lifts throughout the world, Taxify is one of the newest rideshare services to enter the Australian market. To try and woo over new clients, it offered deep discounts for the first month of its national launch and smaller discounts (which were still cheaper than Uber) after that.

  • Where: Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Cost: Similar to Uber, there's a $9 minimum per ride and a $1.45 per kilometre + $0.40 per minute fee. You can read our comparison guide here.
  • Benefits: First-time users can score a free ride credit.

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5. HOP

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.

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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 Taxify and Ola are priced the same as Uber.
  • What rideshares are in Sydney? Popular alternatives to Uber in Sydney include Taxify, Ola, GoCatch and Shebah.
  • What rideshares are in Melbourne? Popular alternatives to Uber in Melbourne include DiDi, Ola, Taxify and GoCatch.
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