Sick of Waiting Around For a Taxi? These Two Third-Party Booking Apps Just Might Solve That Problem


Jeff Cuellar



There’s nothing frustrating than trying to hail a taxi when there are plenty of them driving right by you! Yeah, I know what game you’re playing buddy. Don’t think I don’t know that you’re just cruising around waiting for someone to book a cab because you’ll earn a bit more.

*Sigh* OK, I won’t blame taxi drivers too much.

They are trying to make a living after all – even if most of them do stick to the centre lane and cruise around with their “shift change” lights on (yeah right, shift change my ass).

Anyway, it’s times like these that I refuse to play their game by booking with the ComfortDelGro app or some other “official” app for that matter. That’s when I go third-party just to get my revenge.

Here are two apps that are great alternatives for the days when you absolutely cannot hail a taxi under normal circumstances:


#1 uber (More Specifically, uberX)

Since arriving in Singapore early 2013, the international “private chauffer” app known as uber has been steadily growing in popularity. While it may not have as many cars on the road as its competitors, that’s more likely to change as it acquires more and more drivers.

Seriously though, uber is popular because it’s easy to use, it gives you an accurate range of how much the cab ride to your destination will cost and you can pay for your fare without having to mess with cash because the fee is simply deducted from your account and your receipt is mailed to you.

That’s pretty convenient considering we’ve all run into the trouble of cab drivers having a NETS machine that mysteriously “broke” or went out of service the moment you entered the cab.

Recently, uber came out with uberX, which is a low-cost option for riders that’s offers competitive pricing when it comes to cab… err, I mean private chauffer rides during off-peak hours.

Click here to check out Uber’s website and app info.


#2 GrabTaxi

OK, so maybe I broke my word a little when I said that this article would feature apps that don’t rely on taxis. The truth is that uber is probably the only decent app out there that allows you to book a private chauffer without having to pay some ridiculous amount.

However, GrabTaxi is so damn good that it deserves to be on this list. In fact, GrabTaxi is so popular – it’s basically eating ComfortDelGro’s “lunch”, to quote a certain politician.

What’s great about GrabTaxi is that it’s also easy to use, gives you an accurate price range of the cost of your ride and shows you how many GrabTaxi-affiliated cab drivers are nearby.

Not only that, this app easily matches you with a driver and gives you the opportunity to call the cab directly if you need to (an especially handy feature if you want to give your driver details on where to pick you up).

If you work in the Central Business District (CBD), this is a must-have app.

In terms of availability of taxis, ComfortDelGro still has a larger network of cabs, but GrabTaxi is growing fast as more and more cab drivers join its network.

Click here to check out GrabTaxi’s website and app info.


Your Ride Just Might be Cheaper Too

We all know that booking a taxi from one of the “big” taxi companies can cost you big time. If you end up booking with an app, that’s already $3.20+ you’re paying for the booking fee in addition to the $3 to $5 base fare (aka flag-down fee) you’re paying.

That’s $6+ you’re paying even before you pay the first $.22 to $.33 per 400 metres (and 350 metres after that).

I know… the fee structure is confusing as hell, so you might want to check out this well-done infographic by everyone’s favourite newspaper.

Anyway, let’s just compare the 3 shall we?

App Booking Fee Base Fare Cost Per 400 Metres
ComfortDelGro App $2.30 to $3.30 (Peak) $3.20 $.22 per 400 Metres
uberX App $0 $3.50+ and $.20+ per minute (depending on “surge” periods) $.12+ per 400 Metres (depending on “surge” periods)
GrabTaxi $0 $3.20+ (depending on the taxi you book) $.22+ (depending on the taxi you book)

As you can see, there’s a reason why people are avoiding the “official” booking app like the plague. The truth is that you’ll end up saving more money using either uberX or GrabTaxi just on the booking fee alone.

Of course, that also depends on when you book – as uber fares can fluctuate higher depending on “surge” periods.

I don’t know about you, but the prospect of saving $2.30 to $3.30 on getting a taxi is definitely worth freeing up some extra space on your phone’s hard drive.


Final Note: These are great apps to have. However, I’ve got to warn you that when it comes to uberX and GrabTaxi, there might be some question marks in regards to the maintenance of service quality and the absence of adequate insurance coverage might prove to be a concern for some riders.

Of course, in the end, it’s still your choice. Just make sure you have adequate insurance to cover you in case something does happen.


What taxi/personal chauffeur apps do you think are worth downloading? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook! For even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!



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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.

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