How UK Taxis Can Win Business Travellers Back From Uber & Company

This blatant disregard for the law and consumer’s personal safety must stop!

It’s up to those of us who work hard to keep their businesses afloat, while doing everything the law requires of taxicab drivers and owners, to take back what Uber and it’s under-paid, under-insured, unaccountable drivers have taken away from us over the last few years.

Uber ride
photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Uber hurts everyone…

Uber has been slighting the UK taxi industry for far too long now. It’s an epidemic that not only hurts the hard-working qualified drivers who’re required to go through background checks and to register (using fingerprints) with the local authorities; it also hurts the customer, whether they know it or not when they plunk their location into the app and wait for a ride.

Horror stories abound regarding dangerous driving, obscene behavior from drivers, egregious over-billing from the company itself, and then there’s the downright unforgivable. No one should have to consider an inscrutable assault or murder at the hands of their driver as a risk they’re taking when spending their hard-earned money in exchange for transportation.

Many Uber drivers are illegally operating their service…

Worse, many of these Uber drivers use personal vehicle insurance to operate their “business” when UK law specifically prohibits this kind of shortcut. This further puts both the rider and society at large, at risk if something should go wrong during the ride.

Local Taxi Companies need to adapt their business to the modern consumer’s need…

Whilst much of the above sounds more like a whiny little harangue than a solution, local taxi companies shouldn’t be taking the Uber invasion here in the UK sitting down. After all, if a business doesn’t change with the times, it doesn’t survive. They need to adaptive and responsive to change.

Let’s take Amex Cars, for example.

Knowing that whingeing on and on about the problem will not make it go away – and for now it seems, Uber and their price-gouging service is here to stay – Amex Cars takes a different approach to the inevitable change. website screenshot

Here’s what they do: They completely restructured their taxi and airport transfer service to make it as easy as humanly possible for regular and business travellers here in the UK to hire a taxicab from anywhere they operate in the South-East of England.

They’re ready when the customer is, with easy online bookings using a mobile-friendly website. They can make a pickup and get travellers where the customers need to go fast. Best, all Amex Cars’ drivers are vetted as per UK taxi driver laws, and the vehicles are registered and commercially insured for passenger protection.

Combine that with over 25 years of service to our customers, Amex Cars is making it near impossible for customers to choose Uber over them.

The good news is, any legitimate UK taxi service can do the exact same thing. You just have to get your online presence in place to accommodate mobile users. And learn how to sell your business in an age where any old wanker fresh off a bender can hop in their car and get paid to give someone a ride in their old Riva or Trabant and get away with it.

Top 3 ways a local taxi service does it better than Uber…

In order to best educate your customers, we’ve come up with this simple list of the 3 most important selling points you should use to pitch your service:

Beautiful woman riding in a car with chauffeur

  1. Local taxis charge predictable fixed fares – Registered local taxis have fixed fares. Uber charges according to how busy they are and whether there’s a special event happening that they can cash in on. Sure, Uber may charge dime-store prices at the best of times, when they aren’t getting many calls. But, why should customers have to pay more because there’s a One Dimension concert happening in the area, or because the weather isn’t great outside?
  2. Local taxi drivers know where they are going – Obviously, when your full-time job is to transport people from A to B, you’re going to know exactly where you’re going. Uber drivers are simply driving around trying to make some pocket change, and may have no idea where a customer needs to go; including the fastest and safest route to get them there.
  3. Local taxi drivers are accountable and trackable – What if something should happen whilst a customer is taking a ride with a stranger? Will the authorities be able to determine who that driver is and where they are before they’re out of the country, never to be seen again? Local taxis are registered and their equally-registered drivers are easy-to-track. By law, you have to know which drivers are in your taxis at any given time and give that information to the authorities as soon as they request you do so.

Main takeaway for UK taxi companies and personal and business travellers…

Laws exist for a reason. They’re put in place to protect all of us.

Requirements such as the need for a driver to possess a DVSA in most jurisdictions. Laws that demand taxi owners register their vehicles with their local Taxi and Private Hire office, and that their drivers be vetted and registered with local authorities for their passenger’s protection.

Uber and their drivers have skirted the law for far too long. Fooling the public into thinking that it’s perfectly safe to accept a ride with just anyone. Effectively creating a paid “hitchhiking” app – when most of its users would never dare stick their thumb out on a roadside for fear of the unknown.

There are still ways to beat Uber and the other ride-sharing services in their own game. What you need is an open mind, acknowledging that changes are inevitable, and a competitive edge.

Are you ready to take back your business from Uber?