• Taxify proves to be generally cheaper than Uber in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
  • Johannesburg is the most expensive South African city for ehailing.
  • During certain times, taxi prices can triple as a result of surge pricing. 

Business Insider SA compared the cost of South Africa’s two largest e-hailing companies, Taxify and Uber, across the country’s major cities. Taxify proved to be a cheaper e-hailing service than Uber in every city.

Prices are based on each platform's own fee estimator. 

With Taxify's minimum fare of R20, R7.00 p/km and a charge of R0.70 per minute, Durban and Cape Town proved to be the cheapest cities for e-hailing in South Africa. 

Read also: Taxify first to launch in Polokwane, East London - and now covers more cities in SA than anywhere else in the world

Comparatively, while Uber was generally more expensive across all three cities, Business Insider SA found the cheapest cities to use Uber were Cape Town and Durban. UberX (the cheapest Uber fare option) charged a minimum fare of R25, a charge of R7.00 p/km and R0.70 per minute thereafter in both cities.

UberX in Johannesburg charges a minimum fare of R25, a charge of R7.50 p/km and a charge of R0.75 per minute thereafter. 

Joburg was also the most expensive city for Taxify users: it charges a minimum fare of R20, R7.50 p/km and a charge of R0.75 per minute in that city. 

Here's how Taxify and UberX compared across cities: 

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Uber charges a R25 cancellation fee if you cancel a ride. Taxify does not charge a cancellation fee.

Both Taxify and Uber do, however, have surge pricing during peak usage when demand surpasses supply to encourage drivers to get on the road, which could have a big impact on pricing. 

For example, in Cape Town Uber prices tripled when minibus taxi drivers went on strike and left thousands of commuters stranded. 

Taxify country manager Gareth Taylor says rates differ across cities because coastal fuel prices are cheaper than inland fuel. Taxify also takes the size of a city, average distance, cost of living and operating costs for drivers into account when setting prices. 

According to Uber spokesperson Samantha Allenburg: 

“Each city is unique. We always look closely at our business model, the needs of our rider and driver community as well as the economics in each city and provide the best possible fare and service that is unique to that area.”

Read also: Uber drivers earn far less per trip than Taxify drivers in SA - here’s how they compare

Allenburg also addressed why Uber was generally more expensive than Taxify in each of the three cities, highlighting Uber’s additional safety features as an added expense.

“Uber’s application makes it possible to focus on safety for riders and drivers before, during, and after every trip in ways that were not possible before and is a first in the industry.”

Allenburg listed features such as 24/7 Incident Response Team (IRT), Share My Trip, GPS tracking and a third party mobile emergency app available to drivers, all of which contribute to the application’s higher service cost.

Meanwhile, in partnership with the South African free emergency response app Namola, Taxify introduced a new in-app safety button earlier this year. 


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