Experiment #2 - Uber / Lyft
Recently went on a three day trip to Hollywood. Two choices, rent a car and deal with parking and loss of time picking it up, dropping it off, finding parking and the nightmare of LA driving or try and survive with walking, public transport and Uber / Lyft.
Apart from the flexibility that having a car can give you, the time saved and convenience of being able to effectively hail a cab using your iPhone and it arriving in minutes is awesome. You get an estimate of the cost. The car is clean, the driver is professional, they get you to your destination and it all is billed to your credit card and there is no guilt over the amount to tip because there is no tip, the price is the price is the price. The driver won’t take you the long way unless you ask and if they do you can query it with Uber and they will refund you the difference. It’s all detailed on your account for later analysis and billing and each driver is rated (by you and everyone before you), you also get a record of the route incase you forget what you need to bill the cost against.
I signed up with both Uber and Lfyt but in the end I was so impressed with Uber that I never gave Lyft a chance. Most of the time I used the uberX service which gets you a driver in a smaller car such as a Prius and they claim they undercut Lyft, which going on the amounts I paid were definitely cheaper than a taxi. I used the ‘black car’ service once for the final dash, from the Jimmy Kimmel taping (which ran late) to swing by the place I dropped my luggage (see previous post on Airbnb) and to the Airport. For the black car service, you get a Lincon Towncar with a professional chauffer and pay about 2-3 times you would pay for uberX.
We made 8 trips in all by Uber over three days and the rest of the time we used our feet. I figured the cost of renting a car runs pretty much $35-50 a day, plus at least a couple of nights parking at $20 a night, plus daily parking after you find it at $5-$20 a location plus all the hassle of finding it and getting out of public parking locations and driving in LA, generally hell.
Let’s just say, I spent far less than the car rental cost+parking, didn’t have to find parking once, wait times were generally 5-10 minutes, and didn’t have to experience LA traffic except as a relaxed passenger, and prices were shockingly low.
Obviously, this kind of thing is only likely to work in city type areas like LA, San Francisco, London, New York, etc…. not when you are out in the sticks so much or if you really need a car for whatever reason. However, if you can do without a car I would definitely recommend it, you’ll probably save money too.
Finally, like the last post, for no good reason other than the fact that if you are interested, you might as well save some dosh, below is the link to do so, you don’t have to click if you won’t want to…..