Nixdminx
The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
App review: new UbiCab app brings together local London cab firms, is it any good?

Those of you that know me will be aware that I rely heavily on cabs and am expert in seeking the best deals and quality cars for getting around town when public transport won’t do. I don’t own a car and don’t plan to as I hate driving and think we pollute the world enough as it is. I use Eco friendly cab services where I can and could probably dedicate a whole blog to my life in London cabs, but I won’t bore you.

This review is about a new cab app which brings together a collection of local cab companies in London to help them service us Londoners with a minimum of fuss and lots of incentives.

ubiCabs, is one of several to hit London recently and I’ve been trying it out by road testing the service.

ubi logo

Once you’ve downloaded the app you can set up an account, pay by credit card or just plain old fashioned cash, and it’s really easy to book. You can also earn £5 credit for you and a friend by recommending the service, so it’s a great way to save and be generous at the same time. The booking service is really good and you get email and text confirmations which is reassuring.

How does it perform against other services?

I use Green Tomatoes and Addison Lee apps to book cabs usually because of the GPS feature, which works better on Ubi. I’ve not yet tried Hailo because I’ve heard bad reports about it, I try and keep my use of Black Cabs down as much as possible unless its on the daytime 1 rate, after 8 or 10pm when the meter is set to 2 or 3 it can be worrying watching the price get higher and higher.

Addison Lee

Possibly the biggest licensed privately owned cab network in London, Lee has thousands of cars. they’re used by busiensses so expensive; you can book for cash and credit card payments and I use them if its late at night and I need a fast, reliable and safe company to use. Account bookings are around 25% more expensive, plus you pay a monthly handling fee and VAT ON TOP, so I stopped using that as it can make for a hefty bill at the end of the month. They quoted me a trip to Gatwick airport for £150, while i ended up getting another one for £75, the train is a fraction of that.

Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes is great and reasonably priced, the Eco cars have free wifi too but they sometimes can’t get me a car so I use them for bookings where I can give notice of an hour or more. They are also the least temperamental of fleets; drivers are courteous and aim to please which means you can have a stress free journey.

Ubi

If found ubiCabs easily undercut both Addison Lee and Green Tomatoes for local trips which cost £7.99 in the same postcode. My local cab companies are probably cheaper but the quality of the cars is rubbish and the drivers tend to be unconcerned about the customer experience – I made it a point never to use one again after a driver shouted at me for asking to use a cashpoint so I could get money out to pay him; during his rant he called me a beggar and a thieving cheat while pummelling his wheel with very large fists, not a pleasant experience when you’re on the way to the theatre.

I did compare ubiCabs’s quote with Addison lee and Green Tomatoes for a journey into town and it came up slightly more expensive for a cash booking (20p if you must know!). I asked for an explanation and their Marketing Manager, Alex Mugan explains:

“I had a look at the W4 to W11 quotes we’re outputting and the reason for the more expensive quote you saw is that we’re showing the maximum quote, from a range of companies (within the acceptable price limit). It will normally be cheaper than that, often considerably, because we quote based on several companies and then the final price comes from the accepting company. Addison Lee and Green Tomatoes meanwhile, only have one price to work with.”

I was also keen to find out more about how the referral and rewards programme works, he went on to explaing: “This is the web address for the refer a friend programme ubicabs.com. You can login and refer friends online, or do it through the account section in the app. You just send friends the communication, they sign up and get £5 credit to try ubiCabs. When they complete a booking, you get £5. You can recommend and be paid for as many friends as you like.”

When you complete your journey, you’re prompted to rate how you found it, I really like that option and Alex said, “We use the ratings to prioritise companies for jobs, so companies with a higher user rating will be given the chance to accept jobs first. The ratings enable users to promote companies they have a good experience with, which in turn encourages the companies to prioritise customer experience.”

ubiCabs is a really well thought model and hopefully not too complicated for the every day user. The app has a great user experience, and using the refer a friend discount feature would also whittle down the price of the journey.

My verdict? What a refreshing change and a great way to give the little guy a competitive edge. ubiCabs is a great addition to my cab apps so would definitely recommend you give it a go.

Thanks to ubiCabs for letting me use their service for review purposes. You can download iPhone and Android apps here.

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2 Comments to “App review: new UbiCab app brings together local London cab firms, is it any good?”

  1. That is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look ahead to looking for more of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  2. Steve robb says:

    All very good but what about the drivers who earn less every year as the prices are reduced but overheads increase.Would you be happy to earn less each year.

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