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:
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]