Editor's Picks

The Glaring Differences Between Uber And GrabCar, And Why I Chose The Latter

This article originally appeared on Vulcan Post

After a day full of hard work, you need to get home—and quick—and you have quite a few options to do so. You could choose to hop on the LRT and stare down weird people from the corner of your eye (if you find any), you could find your way through a tired and eager crowd onto a fully packed bus (and I mean, fully packed) during peak hours and have the joy of breathing down oxygen that’s made its way through someone’s pits.

You could walk—really? After a hard day of work? I don’t think so.

Or drive perhaps? Well, if you have a car and the patience to weave in and out of stagnant traffic. Why not?

Or you could simply get someone else to chauffeur you around. Services like GrabCar and Uber are all about ensuring that you get from point A to point B, safely. If you don’t already know Grabcar is the service that’s being offered on the MyTeksi app. In essence, both Uber and Grabcar allows you to request for on-demand chauffeur services.

Now while both of them have their advantages, there are a few things about GrabCar that gives it an upper hand.

What You Need To Know About GrabCar

Image Credit: GrabCar
Image Credit: GrabCar

GrabCar and GrabCar+ are the two services from MyTeksi that’s looking to spice up the way you commute to and from your favourite destinations. GrabCar (Economy) is the cheaper means of transportation and it offers casual rides for daily usage. It’s similar to the uberX service offered by Uber in Malaysia.

On the other hand, GrabCar+ is a premium service for the more sophisticated and discerning passengers who want a more luxurious and memorable experience. Picture yourself being driven around in a Hyundai Sonata while you read a book (I’m guessing that’s what sophisticated people do). This service is parallel to UberBLACK.

Isn’t It Just The Same As Uber?

Image Credit: http://www.moneymax.ph
Image Credit: http://www.moneymax.ph

While to those familiar with Uber, GrabCar may sound like a knockoff but it’s so much more. There are clear differences between the way the two operate and charge their customers. Uber charges a base fare and they charge a fare based on the distance that you travel and the time that you take to travel whereas GrabCar charges a fixed rate basis which does make it a cheaper option based on traffic.

This means that before you confirm your ride, the estimated price is already calculated based on the base fare, distance between the two points, and estimated time taken to travel that distance. Even if you get stuck in traffic and the clock is ticking, you don’t have to worry getting a fare shock when you reach your destination. Additionally, there’s no midnight surcharge either.

Image Credit: GrabCar
Image Credit: GrabCar

Another key distinction between Uber and GrabCar is that GrabCar doesn’t implement the practice of surge pricing—you don’t pay double the price during peak hours. And in my opinion, this is definitely a neat feature, as I don’t have to shell out double the amount of cash every time I need to travel to and from work, which occurs mostly during the peak hours between 7am to 9am and 5pm to 8pm.

Uber has been operating in Malaysia for a longer period of time than GrabCar. In order, to compete on the same plain as Uber, GrabCar has dropped its prices significantly to make it one of the most affordable modes of transportation in the Klang Valley especially in Bangsar, Mont Kiara, Hartamas areas and the KL city centre.

Image Credit: GrabCar
Image Credit: GrabCar

The base fare for uberX is RM1.50, and the base fare for GrabCar (Economy) is RM2.30. However, GrabCar has just lowered their base far to RM1.40, which brings them to their lowest base fare since they first started in May 2014.

Finally, another difference is that GrabCar offers rental services. If you’re planning on going cruising through Klang Valley or taking a day trip out of town, you can opt to rent a GrabCar either by the hour, half a day or for 8 hours. It’s quite handy if you’re interested in taking the wheel all by yourself but you don’t own a car.

While both Uber and GrabCar have their advantages, your decision to use either one of the services has to come down to the availability of drivers on both services. If the drivers of one service are unavailable in your location, you could always resort to using the alternative.

Personally, as someone who often needs a ride during peak hours and since I know the possibility of getting caught in traffic is very high, Grabcar offers the services that I need to ensure that my fare doesn’t increase to an unsightly amount—best part is GrabCar is 100% Malaysian.

 

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