Car-hailing or ride-sharing is a transportation system that involves an arrangement between the rider and the driver. Typically, the driver is the owner of the car. The passenger books the driver online for a drop at a fixed rate.
In Australia, Uber has been dominating but more competitors are starting to emerge. For over a decade, Uber has been holding down the car-hailing market in Australia. With the entrance of new players like DiDi and Ola, the market is open for more explorations.
In this article, I discuss the top five (5) brands that offer car-hailing services in Australia, as of 2022.
By default, car-hailing services are meant for individual use, meaning that only the passenger gets to enjoy the ride. But with the increase in demand, more services have been rolled out to satisfy the needs of the market.
Bridj comes to the rescue by offering “group ride-sharing services.” Why take a ride alone when you can travel along with colleagues, family members, and friends?
Beyond the group traveling services, Bridj offers a couple of other amazing services. For example, passengers are allowed to choose from a plethora of options. You can decide to book a van, a bus or even a car.
Bridj also offers disabled-friendly services, ideal for passengers who have special needs. This is in addition to the in-app directions to help passengers navigate to the pickup point.
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It wouldn’t be out of place-to-place GoCatch side-by-side with Uber. Indeed, the brand has distinguished itself as one of the Aussie-owned car-hailing brands to beat Uber in terms of adding new features.
Here are a few of the features that make GoCatch’s car-hailing service better than other brands in Australia:
Hail & Pay
Ordinarily, you need to log into your car-hailing app, turn on your location and place an order for a ride. It is then up to the platform’s algorithm to tune the availability of drivers in the area to make a match for the ride.
On the contrary, GoCatch doesn’t want you to wait that long or end up having your trip canceled because the driver didn’t show up. with the Hail & Pay feature, passengers can hail or stop any of the GoCatch drivers on the street.
The Hail & Pay is best maximized if you see a driver on the street or you are at the taxi rank. Note that the service is only effective for drivers who have the GoCatch account. So, confirm that the driver is registered with the brand before starting the trip.
No Surge Pricing
It has become a practice among popular car-hailing brands to increase the price of their fares once the demand is higher. This also applies to peak or rush hours, when more persons would be on the lookout for a ride.
GoCatch has so far, refrained from implementing the same. The brand sticks to normal fares starting anywhere between $7 for standard bookings and $20 for advanced bookings.
Ola is an Indian car-hailing brand that made its way into the Australian online taxi market in 2018 and has since refused to go away, literally. The brand is also a strong competitor to Uber, especially in the areas of real-time tracking and reduced costs.
On the one hand, you can use the mobile application to track your ride in real-time, as well as save your recent trip locations for future rides.
On the other hand, Ola can reduce the fare or cost of your trip, especially if it is your first time using the service. The discounted fare is also available for passengers in the new area or location where the brand opens a new destination.
But that is not all there is to ride with Ola. Here are some of the other amazing features worth gushing over:
Ola covers some of the popular locations in Australia. A few of the areas covered are:
- Gold Coast
- Sunshine Coast
DiDi is a Chinese car-hailing brand. It entered the Australian market in June 2018 and was quick to focus on serving the Melbourne area. But that was soon to change, as the brand expanded to offering ride-sharing services to other parts of the country.
DiDi was able to steal a considerable car-hailing market share because of one strategy – reduced fares! The company prides itself on being the “lowest ride-sharing brand” in Australia. This marketing strategy paid off as over 550 million passengers are signed up on the platform with over 30 million drivers catering to the transportation needs.
DiDi is available in most coastal parts of Australia including but not limited to Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Newcastle. The brand also offers flexible ride-booking features, such as contacting the driver via in-app messaging and telephone calls.
I saved the best for the last. Despite the huge competition in the Australian ride-sharing market Uber still dominates. The brand is leveraging the first-mover advantage, as well as excellent service delivery.
Uber Features Riders Love
Riders prefer booking their next trip around Australia with Uber because of these reasons:
You can schedule your trip ahead of time. This makes it easier to do other things, without having to bother about getting a ride when you are set to leave.
Taking a ride with someone else but your budget cannot pay for both of you? Not to worry because the split-payment feature by Uber allows both parties to share the fare.
Different Ride Options
Riders have different preferences when it comes to comfort when riding with Uber. This informs the reason for Uber’s introduction of different ride options.
The Uber Pool Chance is ideal for riders looking to share the fare with other riders. The pool matches you to others traveling in the same direction as you. By splitting payments, both of you get to save more money.
The Uber Pet ride-sharing option is ideal for pet owners who want to take their cat or dog for a ride.
Looking to pay per hour rather than for the distance covered in the ride? Go for a vehicle with the Uber Hourly Drive so your fare will be calculated per hour.
Wrapping Up: Ride-Sharing Apps are Popular in Australia
Mordor Intelligence valued the ride-sharing market in Australia at a little over $2.4 million as of 2020. This was in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the pandemic almost over and lockdowns relaxed, we expect the 2026 forecast to put the market’s valuation around $2.7 million at a CAGR of 9.61%.