Media Release

Uber winning the fare fight despite surcharges

  • Recent legalisation of Uber in NSW may have Aussies fearing price hikes
  • The popular ride-sharing service still approximately 30-40% cheaper in study
  • National survey reveals only 4% of Australians prefer taxis over Uber

December 18, 2015, Sydney, Australia – Following Uber’s recent legalisation in New South Wales, one of Australia’s biggest comparison sites,, can reveal that more than one in two Australians prefer the ride-sharing service over taxis.

The national survey by also highlighted that, in stark contrast, just 4% of Australians that prefer taxis over the new ride-sharing service.

The most important factors cited were the cleanliness of the car and the overall cost of the trip – cited by 51 and 50 percent of those surveyed.

This was followed by no extra charge for using a credit card (43 percent) and friendliness of driver (42 percent). Currently all New South Wales taxis charge 5 percent extra to use a credit card, while taxis in Queensland charge 10 percent. This means that any trip in a taxi over $10 in QLD or $20 in NSW will still have a more expensive surcharge than the newly introduced $1 charge on Uber customers.

But, says Consumer Advocate Bessie Hassan, the recent legalisation of Uber has many worried that prices will soon increase.

“A study of popular travel routes in Sydney found that UberX is 30 to 40 percent cheaper than hailing a taxi. For example, travelling from Sydney Airport to Circular Quay in an UberX would cost you $24.64, whereas the same route in a taxi would set you back $40.40, or 39.47 percent more.

“While some passengers may be concerned about future price increases now that the service has been legalised, they have nothing to worry about in the short term. More choice in the market leads to better value, especially when Uber may help some Australians fund a much-needed car.

“In fact, it will be interesting to see how taxis respond to this news. There’s already some speculation that taxis may reduce – or chop entirely – credit card surcharges to remain competitive. Either way, low fares are expected to remain in favour for passengers.

“That being said, there are still some features that Australians prefer that Uber does not allow. For example, 25 percent (4.5 million) of Australians want to be able to pay cash for their trip, while 22 percent (4 million) Australians want to be able to hail a car from the street. These are both things Uber do not currently facilitate, which leans in the favour of taxi drivers.”’s Sydney study of Uber vs. Taxi fare prices (full findings here)

RouteUberXTaxi (Hailing)Savings % with Uber
Sydney Airport to Central Station (6.8km, 17 mins)$19.16$33.0241.97%
Sydney Airport to Darling Harbour (8.9km, 23 mins)$24.61$40.9839.96%
Sydney Airport to Circular Quay (10.3km, 18 mins)$24.64$40.7039.47%
Sydney Airport to Sydney Opera House (10.2km, 17 mins)$24.09$39.8039.47%

Source: Sydney Uber study national Uber vs. Taxi survey insights:

  • 52% of Australians (or 9.36 million) prefer Uber cars over taxis
  • Only 4% explicitly prefer taxis over Uber cars. This works out to be 720,000 Australians
  • Uber services preferred by 13x more Australians than taxis

What Australians care most about in their Uber or taxi drivers:

  1. Cleanliness of the car: 51% of respondents cited this as one of the most important features of their trip.
  2. Cost of the overall trip: This was highlighted by 50% of those surveyed as being important to their trip.
  3. No extra charge for credit cards: 43% of respondents believe no extra charges for credit card charges was important in their drivers (note: currently all NSW taxis charge 5%.
  4. Being able to pay cash: This was cited by 25% of respondents as being important to their trip. Currently, paying cash for an Uber trip is not a valid payment option.
  5. Ability to hail a car from the street: 22% of respondents cited this as important to their trip – interestingly, this is not something allowed through Uber services.


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