Uber vs Taxify – It’s closer than you think

Uber recently announced a 5% price hike for its UberX and UberXL fares, effective from 7 December 2018.

The ride-hailing app’s biggest competitor in the South African market is Taxify, which has so far not increased its standard fares.

Following the news of the Uber price hike, we decided to test both Taxify and Uber in a race to a destination.

By having one person taking Taxify and another taking Uber to the same destination from the same start position allowed us to compare the price, duration, and pickup time of both services.

The race

The test saw us ordering rides from Waterfall to Rivonia and back, beginning both trips at the same time.

The Uber account used for the trip had a promotion applied which discounted trips by R20, but we excluded this discount when comparing the base prices of the services.

We also excluded any tips paid to drivers in the app, as Uber prompts riders to tip after their ride is completed.

The time it took for the driver to reach our destination after ordering the ride was also timed, and we noted the driving safety, car quality, and politeness of the drivers we encountered.

Uber race legs

Waterfall to Rivonia

Despite calling for an Uber at the relatively deserted Virgin Active Gym in Waterfall, a driver arrived in three minutes and immediately set off to the destination.

The same was true for Taxify, with the pickup time only being a minute longer than Uber’s.

Ride times were very similar between both applications as were the base prices, although Uber was slightly more expensive.

Below are the results for the first part of the Uber and Taxify test.

Service Pickup Time Base Price Duration
Uber 3 minutes R78 13 minutes
Taxify 4 minutes R72 14 minutes

Taxify screenshot

Rivonia to Waterfall

The return leg of our experiment began in a far more populated area, with a larger number of vehicles showing up on both applications.

The pickup times were slightly lower than before, reflecting the increased activity in Rivonia.

Prices were also slightly higher than before, with the Uber base price higher than the price in the Taxify trip.

The time taken to complete both trips was around 15 minutes, and once again the Uber ride was slightly more expensive.

Below are the results for the final part of the test.

Service Pickup Time Base Price Duration
Uber 2 minutes R83 15 minutes
Taxify 2 minutes R75 15 minutes

Uber Arrival time

User experience

According to the test, Uber was slightly more expensive, but we found the app’s interface easier to use and offered more features – such as the ability to add multiple stops, text your driver, and split the fare.

Conversely, Taxify’s application is not as user-friendly and does not provide many of these features.

The drivers for both platforms were polite and friendly, and drove safely while getting us to our destinations.

The first Uber driver was particularly friendly, quickly engaging in conversation about the area surrounding our destination. The second was more formal and asked whether we would like air conditioning, a smartphone charger, or for him to take a particular route to the destination.

Our first Taxify driver played music softly and remained silent until we initiated conversation, after which he was friendly and talkative. The second Taxify driver was polite and made conversation throughout the return trip.

It is interesting to note that Uber’s recent price increase may account for its slightly more expensive base price compared to Taxify, but the discounts active on our account resulted in a lower base price.

This was somewhat counteracted by the app prompting riders to tip their driver afterwards, something the Taxify app does not do.

Now read: Uber hikes prices in South Africa

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Uber vs Taxify – It’s closer than you think