Prices For Uber In Australia Are Getting Cheaper

Prices For Uber In Australia Are Getting Cheaper

Uber’s low-cost car hiring service UberX is one of cheapest ways to get around the country’s major CBDs — but how much do you actually save compared to a regular taxi? Personal finances tracker Pocketbook has released a new, in-depth study that provides some interesting answers. According to its figures, the average spend per Uber journey has dropped significantly since 2014 and continues to fall over time. Taxi fares, meanwhile, remain unchanged. No wonder they want to ban the service.

When Uber originally launched as a luxury chauffeuring service in 2012, its prices were roughly comparable to taxis. Since then, the introduction of its peer-to-peer “UberX” arm has seen prices plummet — and they continue to creep down from month-to-month:

According to Pocketbook’s research, this is due to a range of factors, including the rapid growth of UberX and the number of users hailing rides for shorter trips as the service becomes more ubiquitous.

Pocketbook’s own investigative data supports the notion that UberX is a vastly cheaper alternative to regular taxis. The below receipts were for identical journeys in the Sydney CBD using a taxi and UberX car:

Prices For Uber In Australia Are Getting CheaperImage credit: Pocketbook

As you can see, the taxi ride cost nearly double what the UberX driver charged. (It’s worth noting that the average taxi driver only makes the equivalent of about $10 an hour, after costs.)

This is obviously great PR for Uber, which is something the beleaguered company is in sore need of. Last month, Uber was forced to apologise for introducing “surge pricing” in Sydney during the deadly siege incident at Martin Place. It also has a reputation for bad customer service and questionable business ethics; especially in the US.

Nevertheless, if you’re on a tight budget or just a stickler for value, these alleged shortcomings are probably worth enduring. It certainly beats paying through the nose for an inferior service.

The Rise and Rise of Uber in Australia [Pocketbook]

See also: Why We Keep Using Uber Despite Douchebag Behaviour


  • A couple issues with that “identical journey” comparison.

    1) The taxi trip was almost 3km longer.
    2) The Uber trip exploited the $20 “first ride” discount code.

    I think the main difference is, as pocketbook suggested, “the number of users hailing rides for shorter trips”. I think it’s more likely that people will use Uber for short trips around the city, while they are more likely to take a taxi on longer trips for example to/from the airports.

    • I think the point is that the pick-up location and destination were identical in both instances: so the taxi’s longer distance is still a big negative. The discount code is a valid point however.

      • To be fair, when you work them out based on distance travelled they work out to cost around same. I mean, sure the taxi took a longer way around, but there could many reasons for this (e.g. traffic conditions, time of day, toll roads etc).

        • yes – that comparison is far from identical
          – 4 months apart
          – morning vs evening
          – discount code / full price

          $43 vs $48 is hardly a compelling difference.

  • Dear Lifehacker,

    I hope UBER is paying you well to continue slyly promoting their product.

    Kindest regards,

    • You’re right about the sly part… I mean in addition for showing NO sympathy for the income of Taxi drivers, it’s almost like they completely skipped over the bad ethics, negative press and terrible customer service that Uber has been slammed for…

      oh wait…

  • I think you save a lot since normal taxi drivers, always go the wrong way or the long way, Their GPS sometimes does not work yet gets miraculously fixed when you start getting angry. Anyhoo last Uber i got was $27 on New Years Night! Pretty sure last time i did that trip it was $10 more in a normal taxi, then again maybe he just took the long way or got lost.

    • Hardly… How exactly is checking the facts in this article astroturfing? I agree the current set-up we have under the taxi directorate is outdated. Uber is a brilliant idea and I happen to use them often. But the facts stated in this article are not accurate.

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