Uber is the most popular ride sharing platform in Australia, but from our research it's also the most expensive, with other platforms offering a similar experience at a more budget friendly price.
Today we're taking a look at the best Uber alternatives, from Shebah which offers a service for females only, through to ultra affordable Didi and Ola.
We also look at backpacker friendly, Hop Hop Ride.
All these platforms offer great deals on airport pickup and dropoffs and a recent trip from Melbourne CBD to the airport could be had for as low as $40-$50, compared with $80-$100 for a taxi using one of the many companies.
Best Uber Alternatives In Australia
Didi is a company that specialises in transportation services, with headquarters based in Beijing. It has a large presence in Asia with 550 million users worldwide. In Australia, the service is available in Melbourne, Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Perth, New Castle, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Geelong.
Depending on the location, the minimum fares will vary. In Melbourne using the most affordable option, there is a minimum fare of $6.98 with distance fees at $1.08 for the first 7 kilometres and $0.98 afterwards.
There is also a time fee charged at $0.30 a minute. The first 3 minutes of waiting are free but a charge of $0.55 is applied afterwards for up to 10 minutes. There is a cancellation fee of around $6.
All Didi drivers are said to be pre-screened for security purposes. Only cashless payments are available and credit/debit card details are required before a ride can be placed.
Due to Covid-19 concerns, there is a Didi Care option available at an additional price. Didi drivers are now required to wear masks and disinfect their rides regularly to provide a safe space. Feedback can be added to show if a driver is rude or did not comply with safety guidelines.
Ola is India’s most well-known rideshare company with current availability in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Gold Coast. Fares vary across cities and states. In Sydney using the cheapest ride, Ola has a base fare of $2.5 and a minimum chare of $9.
There is a time charge at $0.40 per minute and distance charge of $1.45 per kilometer. The cancellation fee is priced at $10. Compared to Uber, costs seem to be the same. Ola only accepts cashless payment through cards and details need to put in beforehand as well.
There is a Prime Sedan option for 4 people maximum and Prime SUV option for 6 people maximum. There is a Luxury Sedan option that is exclusive to Sydney customers.
To accommodate Covid-19 health precautions, all riders and drivers need to input details about contact with those who have or had have Covid-19. Ola recommends drivers to disinfect cars and perform hand hygiene frequently.
Ola also has the right to prevent customers from riding if they have symptoms and give a 2-week ban from the app. Ola drivers can refuse the right to drive international travelers who do not wear surgical masks as well.
Shebah is an Australian rideshare service, available country-wide that is targeted at transporting children and female passengers. All drivers are female and are required to hold valid Working with Children Checks and Police Checks.
This service is mainly used to children to and from school and other activities. Parents and guardians can have child seats and boosters booked as well. There is also an option to choose a specific driver.
It is currently the only rideshare service legally permitted to transport unaccompanied minors. Costs will vary from state to state but the general minimum fee is at $11.66. The same amount is charged as a cancellation fee.
In Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia, the base rates will range from $3.30 to $3.96 depending on peak times. In New South Wales and A.C.T, base rates range from $4.13 to $4.95. Child and bolster seats cost $11 for each.
Shebah is exclusive to transporting children and women but adult men are allowed to ride if in company with children or adult women. Men are prohibited from riding shotgun. This is an ideal service for busy families as children can be safely dropped off or picked up at school.
4. Hop Hop Ride
Hop Hop Ride is a service with presence mainly in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. It is also offered in South Australia and Tasmania as well. This rideshare service is aimed at backpackers and tourists who want to travel and visit national parks and other Australian attractions.
Hop Hop Ride works by drivers posting advertisements, displaying the dates, regions and seats available. Travellers can look at the advertisements and decided for themselves. Travellers can also post advertisements looking for rideshares as well.
There is no minimum cost as fares are dependant on agreements between drivers, the distance travelled and the dates as well. Riders and drivers can also choose to share the cost of petrol.
This is suitable for those who want to take road-trips rather than everyday use to schools and offices. Trips need to be planned beforehand as advertisements are usually set a week before.
Festivals and events are regularly updated in the website to show what is happening in what region. Security is provided through the message system which does not require sharing social media and phone numbers.
Members also have the option to fully hide personal information on profiles.
5. Uber (The Original Ride Share)
Uber is the most recognised rideshare service with drivers available nation-wide but with a large presence in cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Uber has cars accommodating 1-6 people as well as more luxurious cars available.
The minimum fare can vary from city to city but with the most affordable option in Melbourne, it costs around $7.50. The base fare is at $2.0 and distance charge of $1.16 per kilometre. For cancellations, a flat fee of $10 is charged.
Peak times will also change the total cost of the ride. There is a fee estimate available but the final charge may be different due to distance, time and tolls. Uber only accepts cashless payments through cards and details are required to be placed before a ride is placed.
Cash can only be given for tips. This rideshare service can accommodate pets as well. Additionally, people requiring additional assistance can have certified drivers booked for expert accommodation.
There is also the option to deliver parcels directly through Uber as well as food. With Covid-19, there is the option to have a contactless delivery by leaving it at the door. Drivers offer hand sanitiser to customers and regularly disinfect seats.