Uber now legal in NSW, but is it really cheaper?

Kenneth Tsang 17 December 2015

Uber now legal in NSW but is it cheaperWith uberX now legal in both Sydney and Canberra, we investigate to see if it's really cheaper than booking a taxi.

The New South Wales state government has given Uber the green light to operate the ride sharing and private car-hailing app in the state.  As part of the changes, around 5,800 taxi plate owners will be eligible for compensation as a result of increased competition.

In October, the ACT became the first state or territory in Australia to legalise the operation of Uber. While the service has been operating in Sydney since November 2012, the legality of the Uber X service, which enables private individuals to offer rides for hire from their cars, has been disputed with some drivers being fined by the state government.

$20 off your first ride

Get $20 off your first Uber ride.

Show code & visit site20****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Now that the service has become legal, we've compiled a useful comparison of some of the most popular routes travelled by taxi in Sydney and how much you'll typically pay for the journey.  The rates are based on light traffic conditions along the routes and exclude any booking fees for the taxi. (Note that you can take Uber X rides to the airport, but Uber X drivers aren't allowed to pick up from the airport under the new agreement. That said, some drivers will accept bookings for near-airport locations, though this may become trickier with the new rules in place.)

RouteUberXTaxi (hailing)Savings
Sydney Airport to Circular Quay
(10.3km, 18 mins)
$24.64$40.7039.47%
Sydney Airport to Central Station
(6.8km, 17 mins)
$19.16$33.0241.97%
Central Station to White Bay Cruise Terminal
(7.3km, 15 mins)
$19.09$29.4235.13%
Sydney Airport to White Bay Cruise Terminal
(11.3km, 24 mins)
$28.49$42.7033.29%
Sydney Airport to Sydney Opera House
(10.2km, 17 mins)
$24.09$39.8039.47%
Central Station to Sydney Airport
(6.2km, 14 mins)
$17.09$26.7035.99%
Sydney Airport to Darling Harbour
(8.9km, 23 mins)
$24.61$40.9839.96%
Sydney Airport to Four Seasons Hotel
(10.5km, 20 mins)
$25.73$42.0738.85%
Sydney Airport to Sydney Olympic Park
(20.4km, 28 mins)
$43.28$61.8029.97%
Sydney Airport to Potts Point
(13.1km, 23 mins)
$30.70$49.0737.45%

For the routes studied, uberX was around 30 - 40% cheaper than hailing a taxi.  The savings are normally greater when the distance travelled is shorter.

Uber also offers a number of premium vehicle options which costs more than hailing a cab.  UberBLACK and UberLUX uses more luxurious cars while UberSUV offers more seating space.  UberTAXI are ordinary taxis which will incur an additional $2 booking fee and 5% service fee.

RouteUberBlackUberSUV/LUXUberTAXI
Sydney Airport to Circular Quay
(10.3km, 18 mins)
$57.87$84.35$44.74
Sydney Airport to Central Station
(6.8km, 17 mins)
$46.72$67.60$36.67
Central Station to White Bay Cruise Terminal
(7.3km, 15 mins)
$46.17$67.85$32.89
Sydney Airport to White Bay Cruise Terminal
(11.3km, 24 mins)
$66.77$94.85$46.84
Sydney Airport to Sydney Opera House
(10.2km, 17 mins)
$56.58$82.90$43.79
Central Station to Sydney Airport
(6.2km, 14 mins)
$41.98$61.90$30.04
Sydney Airport to Darling Harbour
(8.9km, 23 mins)
$58.81$83.05$45.03
Sydney Airport to Four Seasons Hotel
(10.5km, 20 mins)
$60.45$87.25$46.17
Sydney Airport to Sydney Olympic Park
(20.4km, 28 mins)
$97.16$139.80$66.89
Sydney Airport to Potts Point
(13.1km, 23 mins)
$70.99$101.95$53.52

If you're tempted to become an Uber X driver, check out our account of what's involved.

More great ideas from finder.com.au

Get a life insurance quote
Get a life insurance quote

Find out what it costs to protect yourself and your family

More info...
Refinancing home loans
Refinancing home loans

Choose from offers with rates as low as 3.39% p.a.

More info...
Google Pixel
Google Pixel

Compare plans for Google's flagship Android phone

More info...
Christmas ideas
Christmas ideas

Visit our Christmas homepage for gift ideas, markets, travel & deals

More info...

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback