Are you better off catching Ubers or taxis when in a foreign city?

Are you better off catching Ubers or taxis when travelling?

SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her next dream destinations include Cuba and Morocco.

Italy is the latest country to say arrivederci to Uber, with the ride-sharing service banned after taxi unions filed complaints about unfair competition. Italy isn’t the first place to take action with Austin, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Vancouver also blacklisting Uber.

Regardless of where you sit in the Uber / taxi debate, the bans are a real downside for not only residents but also travellers. Here’s why Uber is a godsend when in a foreign city:

It’s easy to order
Never mind trying to hunt down a taxi or work out if they’re free if the lights are on or off, simply log on to your existing app and book a car to your current location. Trying to communicate your destination isn’t an issue either as you’ve already entered it in the app.

uber app and driver

It’s harder to get ripped off
While local taxi drivers in most cities have a reputation for seeing foreigners coming and charging them extra, Uber’s pricing is all done through its app. You receive an initial indicative fare, meaning unless they drive around in circles it’s much harder for them to take you for a ride so to speak! Incidentally, if they do take a ridiculous route you can see this on the map in the app and submit a complaint or request a refund.

It’s safer
Unlike a taxi where you have no idea of the car or driver’s details, Uber tells you who your driver will be, the vehicle type and the number plate. While, of course, there’s nothing to necessarily stop some stranger sitting behind the wheel instead, at least given the car and journey details are captured you have far more information than if you got in a random taxi.

You don’t need money
Physical money that is! No cash, no problem. Uber automatically deducts the amount from the payment method attached to your account, so no need to try and scrounge together enough local currency to pay for your ride.

It’s cheaper
The main reason Uber is facing so much hostility is because it offers the same service as taxis for less money. Living in London, Uber is a complete saviour as I cannot afford to catch black cabs.

Averaging a trip about once a month, I can confidently say from experience that Uber is a far better option than taxis when travelling. Not only will it cost you less, you’re less likely to worry about getting ripped off or fearing for your safety – issues that, particularly as a young girl – I had experienced more often than not with taxis.

Unfortunately, there are many cities that don’t yet have Uber or have banned it. However, if you find yourself in a foreign place, try to open the app to check if the service is available. Both your bank account and sanity will thank you at the end of your trip.

Have you used Uber while travelling? Where do you sit in the Uber vs taxis debate?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    1st Jul 2017
    We were in Istanbul a few years ago. The taxi drivers are total crooks and even when we agreed on a price before we got in the price was different when we arrived. NEVER get into a taxi in Istanbul. User Uber if available.
    I am surprised that Italy has banned Uber. I keep getting offered rides through Bla bla which is an Uber look alike. Not surprised though as monopolies are the same all over the world: the right to rip off consumers.
    1st Jul 2017
    We just came back from South America. Twice we were double charged by taxi drivers.
    Uber was much more reliable. We could pin point our starting points and destinations. Other advantages were cheaper fare, clean & tidy vehicles, friendly drivers, didn't need to speak their languages (which lead to confusions), didn't need to bargain, and didn't need to select which taxi to take (there are bad taxi companies that scare you).
    1st Jul 2017
    Uber in South East Asia is not much cheaper than taxis. However there is GRAB, another ride sharing company from Singapore which offers prices 30% cheaper than Uber. I have used them in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, and they also have the advantage that you can pay cash if you wish, rather than giving your credit card details away. Go for GRAB!
    2nd Jul 2017
    as a female I love Uber - safe and secure all hours and don't have to try and find taxi number in a strange city - and cheaper !

    Tags: travel, news, tips

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