Three taxis in one week

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I am not usually a big user of taxis, but because of this week’s work commitments I’ve needed to travel early in the morning and late at night on a few occasions so I’ve opted to use taxis. However, these weren’t just any taxis, they were Gett taxis. I decided to document my experience of using Gett.

Uber is most obviously causing a stir in the transport market, but with Uber yet to launch in Edinburgh, I’ve not had the opportunity to give it a go. I hear (from one of my taxi drivers this week) that they actually got the licence to operate in Edinburgh in May but there has been no launch yet. This delay could be interesting because in the meantime Gett (formerly known as Get Taxi) have launched their app and seem to be growing quickly.

Before Gett I generally used Edinburgh’s City Cabs – via their app. This let me book a taxi quickly and conveniently. I much preferred not having to ring, with the inevitable requirement of having to spell out my address and name. The City Cabs app was great but I’m afraid after only three uses my allegiances have swapped to Gett!

Here are the highlights of my Gett experience:

Tracking – Both apps (Gett and City Cabs) are good for tracking where your vehicle is. As regular readers will know, I’m a bit of a worrier about being late so, for me, being able to track the vehicle that is coming to collect me is great reassurance of knowing that my taxi is on its way.

Price – All of my taxi journeys this week were from home to the train station or vice versa. With a regular black cab this averages out at about £10. It’s a trip of around 3 miles. The majority of my taxi trips are work-related and I always feel a slight pang of guilt about ordering one and putting it through expenses (particularly when I already have a bus pass sitting in my purse). With Gett, there is currently a promotion so that certain trips are capped at £5. Luckily for me, my home-station trip falls within the boundaries. Now I feel like I’m saving the company £5! Mentally, that price difference makes a big impact. If for some reason work were unable to pay for my taxi and I had to pay myself, I think the £10 fare would push me to use the bus. On the other hand, I’d happily pay the £5 fare myself.

Payment and receipts – It’s a big bonus that the Gett app can store your card details and then automatically takes the fare at the end of the trip. You can even set the level of tip you want to give the driver. No more worrying about having cash on you. Initially I was worried that automatic payment would mean that I might not be able to get a receipt to submit to for my expenses claim. In actual fact, even this process has been improved. I no-longer need to feel awkward asking the taxi driver for a receipt (which is usually a hand-written / scribbled note). Instead it is automatically emailed directly to you. Perfect! No hassle there.

Driver Info – It’s not a big factor really for me, but you get told who your driver will be and you can see their photo. You also get told the registration number of the vehicle, which was definitely handy for one of my three journeys when there seemed to be a sudden swarm of taxis all around me. Knowing the registration number meant I could quick find the right car and driver.

Earning credit – When I joined Gett I got £10 free credit – nice ‘hook’ there. You can also get additional free credit if you refer a friend who then goes on to use the app. This is a definite bonus, but I am yet to refer anyone.

Any downsides? I’ve only used Gett three so far, so not too much to pass judgement on. One negative was that me two morning taxis were both early. You get a notification from the app telling you the driver is on their way and then a second one when they’ve arrived. Can you imagine my shock when the first booking I made had arrived 20 minutes early!? The second one was 10 minutes early. If I’m getting up earlier than usual in the morning, I generally don’t leave myself much spare time to get ready. However, at the same time I didn’t like to keep the taxi drivers waiting. I ended up rushing and being out of the flat at least 5 minutes earlier than I had planned. This didn’t make for the calmest start to the day but I’d prefer they were early than late!

Side note: I wonder if this timing issue has something to do with how drivers ‘accept’ individual jobs?

Overall – Already Gett is making me change how and when I use taxis. I think this is a combination of price and experience. The app definitely makes taxis easier to use and at £5 per trip I find them much more appealing. I’ll be interested to see how my use changes again when the £5 promotion ends. I should also say that the benefit of Gett doesn’t seem to end with us customers. The taxi drivers that I’ve spoken to are also finding that its good for the; bring more custom; a higher quality of customers; and less hassle from customers asking to stop at cash points on their way home.

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