Are You Ready to Drive for Uber? | BOLT Insurance

difference between uber and taxi

What Is the Difference Between Taxis and Uber?

Getting from place to place can be more complicated than ever. Not only are there more people on the road, development in cities and towns is spreading at an accelerated pace which puts important destinations far away from each other. People needing to get somewhere in a hurry have traditionally had only one option if they did not want to or could not take their own private vehicle. Taxies have helped generations of people get from place to place and until quite recently there was no major competition facing these vital service providers. Today services like Uber and Lyft give people an alternative to traditional taxi services, but how is Uber different from taxi services? Understanding the difference between Uber and taxi services is actually very important if you have considered becoming a driver for this company. Prospective drivers should be sure to have adequate insurance coverage before turning on their service light.

Regulation Versus Non-Regulation

Taxis are organized service providers that typically contract with cities and municipalities to provide door-to-door pick up and drop off within a set area. They charge a fixed rate and are required to post these rates visibly in multiple locations- usually on the side of the door and on the inside of the cab. Drivers are licensed as taxi operators and must register with relevant agencies. Drivers are dispatched by a central call center that customers can call to request a ride. Taxis are also allowed to operate at airports, transportation hubs, hotels, and other venues relevant to the transportation industry. Most metropolitan taxi services operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

While taxi drivers are employed by specific businesses, Uber drivers are more akin to freelancers. They partner with the Uber service provider and then utilize their own private vehicle to give rides to people needing driven from place to place. Although Uber drivers are increasingly seen at airports and train stations, the areas in which they may solicit business can vary depending on the laws of specific municipalities. Many Uber drivers drive in regular circuits waiting for their smart phone to alert them to a passenger requesting a ride. Rides and drivers are connected via the Uber app. Rates are not regulated, which has led many riders to complain about undisclosed surge rates. Because Uber does not employ drivers, customers may have difficulty resolving concerns about individual drivers or about their ride experience. However, the personable nature of an Uber ride has helped make this a very popular service, especially in areas where taxis do not operate.

Break It Down

The key differences between taxis are Uber rides are:

  • Taxis have regulated prices
  • Taxis are driven by company employees
  • Uber vehicles are privately owned
  • Uber drivers are independent contractors
  • Taxi drivers must be registered
  • Anyone with the right insurance and driving record can become an Uber driver

Now that you know what is Uber driving service, you can speak with a member of Bolt Insurance about proper coverage. Insurance is an important consideration for anyone aspiring to make money driving with Uber or any other ride-share program.