Ride-hailing services are becoming an increasingly common solution for South Africans looking to get around.
The two major players in the local market are Uber and Taxify – with the latter recently rebranded as Bolt.
Both of these platforms are popular in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and they deliver competitive pricing and wait times.
We compared the price of an Uber ride versus the same trip on Bolt for five trips, including routes in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town. The results are below.
Bolt vs UberX
|Sandton City to Rosebank Mall||R53-R65 (R59)||R58|
|Hyde Park Corner to Wits University||R78-R95 (R86)||R93|
|Menlyn Park to Sandton City||R344-R421 (R383)||R450|
|Cape Town International Airport to Canal Walk||R145-R177 (R161)||R206|
|Two Oceans Aquarium to Camps Bay Beach||R77-R94 (R85)||R88|
The standard UberX and Bolt rides prove evenly matched, although it should be noted that Bolt does not provide a fixed fare price.
To properly compare the price of a Bolt ride to an UberX, we listed the average estimated ride fare for each Bolt trip in brackets next to the fare estimate provided by the app.
Both UberX and Bolt rides can carry up to four passengers, and Uber allows riders the ability to split their fare with others from within the application.
The price comparison for standard ride fares were both conducted at the same time, during off-peak traffic hours on a weekday morning.
These figures show that the average fare for a Bolt ride is slightly cheaper than the same route using Uber, with this gap increasing as the length of the ride grows longer.
The same was true for a 15-minute route tests conducted by MyBroadband last year.
Bolt Comfort vs Uber Black
|Trip||Bolt Comfort||Uber Black|
|Sandton City to Rosebank Mall||R95-R116 (R106)||R103|
|Hyde Park Corner to Wits University||R143-R174 (R159)||R157|
|Menlyn Park to Sandton City||R502-R613 (R558)||R730|
|Cape Town International Airport to Canal Walk||R175-R214 (R194)||R330|
|Two Oceans Aquarium to Camps Bay Beach||R91-R111 (R101)||R148|
In addition to standard rides, both Uber and Bolt offer high-end experiences in more luxurious cars.
These options are branded as Uber Black and Bolt Comfort, and are priced higher than standard rides.
It should be noted that Uber offers other ride options in addition to this, including Uber Van and Uber XL – which can transport at least seven and six passengers respectively.
When comparing Uber Black and Bolt Comfort over the same routes as before, Uber Black is considerably more expensive than Bolt on all but the shortest routes available.
It is important to note, however, that the weighting for Bolt’s fare estimate is unknown and the price of an average ride may be closer to the higher estimate than the lower one.