This Versus That

Grab vs Ryde vs Tada vs Kardi vs Filo Ride vs Urge – Which Ride Hailing App Is Cheapest?

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Eugenia Liew

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Since Uber’s unceremonious exit from Singapore in May, Grab promo codes and Grab rewards have been getting shittier by the day. But in the last 3 months or so, at least 5 newcomers have crept up on us to give Grab a bit of competition. (Woohoo!)

So, how do Tada, Ryde, Urge, Kardi or Filo Ride prices stack up against Grab‘s?

To compare the prices, I’m going to use a journey from Chevron House in the CBD to Bishan St 22, a typical heartland district (approx 13km) at 6:15 pm (peak hour).

Ride-hailing app Cost estimate
Urge $11.63
Kardi $12.80 to $14.10
RydePOOL (per pax) $13.30
GrabShare $14
Filo Ride $14.40
RydePOOL (per trip) $16
Tada $16
RydeX $20.60
GrabCar $21

Overall, it seems like the more established the ride-hailing app, the more expensive it is. Let’s deep-dive into the various apps to see if any one of them is promising enough to stress Grab out and bring back their promo codes.

 

Grab

  • GrabCar is the most expensive right now
  • GrabShare is affordable but expect long detours
  • Prices exclude ERP
  • Has the lion’s share in the ride-hailing and private car hire market, so there’s never a long wait
  • $5 penalty for 3rd cancellation onwards within 7 days
  • Can opt for same gender drivers

To be honest, I was once an ardent fan of Grab. For almost 2 years I had to shuttle between Bukit Batok (home) and Changi (work), and I don’t know how I could’ve done it without GrabCar and GrabHitch.

I was won over by the generous promo codes that crept their way into my email and SMS inboxes, and felt like royalty whenever I could redeem $10 off my journey (which was pretty damn often).

But all that changed after the big Uber acquisition. Prices seemed to rise overnight, and the Grab Rewards scheme was revised (and not to our benefit).

In July 2018, the Competition & Consumer Commission of Singapore called Grab out for playing dirty, but nothing much has changed since.

 

Ryde

  • Originally an underdog, but RydeX prices are close to GrabCar now
  • RydePOOL can be charged per person (cheaper but possible detour) or per trip (expensive but faster)
  • All prices include ERP
  • No cancellation fees/penalty
  • Substantial pool of drivers, so there shouldn’t be a long wait
  • Has RydePET (pet-friendly option) and RydeSEND (for picking up forgotten items)

Ryde is the closest competitor to Grab, with one of the largest suite of services. Unfortunately, since Uber’s exit, RydeX prices are now on par with GrabCar ones.

The saving grace is that ERP is included. (I’m that girl who dozes off in the car and wakes up to an unwelcome $6 ERP surcharge…)

One thing to note is that RydePOOL has 2 options. Individual riders who don’t mind sharing the ride with a stranger can opt to pay per pax. If you pay per trip, it costs more, but there won’t be a detour to pick up anyone else.

There’s also a very cool service called RydeSEND, a peer-to-peer service for transporting small articles – great for parents who need to send their kid’s forgotten homework to school (AGAIN).

I’ve used Ryde a couple of times and didn’t have to wait long for my rides. I assume it’s because Ryde’s been around long enough to get a decent fleet of drivers.

Ryde’s cut from the driver’s earnings is also smaller than its competitors’ (10% for RydeX and 5% for RydePOOL) so that’s incentive enough for those behind the wheel.

 

Tada

  • Blockchain-based app that plans to sell users’ transport- and traffic-related data to third parties in the industry
  • No cancellation fees/penalty
  • No surge pricing (yet)
  • No carpooling / ride-sharing option
  • Options for toddler car seat and child booster seat available

I know that Tada (by the Mass Vehicle Ledger Foundation) is the talk of the town and everyone is hyped up about this promising ride-hailing service…

But I’m sorry, everything about Tada just seems dodgy to me.

First of all, Tada is a run-of-the-mill “taxi” service. Why must they use scammy-sounding buzzwords like “blockchain” and “cryptocurrency” everywhere?

If you’re wondering if it’s got anything to do with BitCoin, sorry to dash your dreams. Tada riders and drivers can earn rewards points which can then be converted into MVL’s cyptocurrency, MVL Coins. That’s it.

It gets more grim though. It seems that Tada is currently running on a “non-profit” business model of sort, where it doesn’t earn commission from drivers and have no cancellation penalties (these super attractive incentives have already got over 9,500 drivers on board!).

So how is this sustainable, you ask? Well, Tada intends to eventually monetise the business by selling traffic-, transport- and commuter-related data to third parties.

Woah, hold up… I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell feel uncomfortable with having my transport data sold to advertisers!!!!

But if you don’t mind this sketchy premise, Tada’s prices are lower than Grab’s and surge pricing is not yet effective. Plus, it offers a family-friendly option with a child booster seat. It’ll cost you extra though, and no, you can’t use your Baby Bonus to pay for it.

 

Filo Ride

  • Cheap fixed fares, but very new, so always “no car available”
  • No carpooling / ride-sharing option

Filo Ride, by Singapore-based Filo Technologies, only launched last month (and not with a bang) so not much is known about them.

Filo seems to offer the lowest fixed fares (in my experiment, anyway), but what use is that? In 3 of the 5 routes that I tried, there were “no cars available”.

Filo is also the only one with a $2 cancellation fee (Grab’s is only effective if you make more than 2 cancellations in 7 days, which is reasonable).

… #Disappointed.

In their statements, Filo has also promised more features and incentives soon. On the driver’s side, Filo takes a 12% cut (capped at $400).

 

Kardi

  • Singapore partner of India’s ride-hailing company Jugnoo
  • Metered fare (like taxi), no fixed fare available
  • Only regular car option, no carpool/6-seater options yet

If you’ve been monitoring the tech scene, you would have heard of India-based rickshaw operator Jugnoo. They launched in Singapore in May 2018, but very quickly “exited” the scene in Aug 2018.

I say “exited” because they haven’t really left – instead, they’ve partnered with homegrown brand Kardi to operate in Singapore.

Kardi is relatively new platform and there’s just the one KardiX (regular car) option. KardiXL (6-seater), KardiEXEC, taxi bookings and scheduled rides are supposedly in the pipeline, but have not announced exactly when yet. A rewards system is also in the works.

What’s really weird is that they charge by meter and don’t have fixed fares. The base fare is $3, and the rest is calculated based on $0.49/km and $0.18/minute.

Uh, no thanks. A big reason why people turned from taxis to private car hire apps is because metered fares are unpredictable. If I wanted to go broke from a unexpected traffic jam, I’d take a taxi.

 

Urge

  • Only fare estimate shown upon booking, no idea how fare is actually calculated
  • Newest ride-hailing app in Singapore, small fleet of 100 drivers
  • No dynamic surge pricing, but there is a peak hour surcharge
  • No carpooling / ride-sharing option

No, Urge is not an app for locating the nearest public restroom, but yet another ride-hailing app trying to fill the Uber-shaped hole in our hearts.

Urge soft launched in Aug 2018 and is already making the news for having “no surge pricing“, but let me warn you, it is slightly misleading. It doesn’t mean that you won’t incur any extra charges, it just means that the surcharge is a flat fee (not based on dynamic pricing). Yup, just like taxi peak hour surcharge.

Price-wise, it does seem the cheapest (if you don’t get slapped with a surcharge). However, it is just a price estimate. Urge doesn’t tell you how exactly its price is calculated. I don’t like.

What might be interesting is that Urge actually hires full-time drivers. Drivers apparently get a monthly salary of $2,700, along with other benefits like annual leave, CPF and the like.

Will any of these new ride-hailing apps dethrone the playground bully, Grab? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Eugenia Liew

I’m a 90s millennial who’s starting to realise that #adulting is more expensive than it seems on Instagram. When I’m not writing for MoneySmart, I’m usually playing with drain-dwelling stray cats or shopping at Sephora.