Is Driving for Grab and Uber a Viable Alternative Part-time Job for Me?
With the recent inception of ride-hailing apps or taxi booking apps such as Grab and Uber, it has caused quite an uproar in Singapore and has disrupted the public transport industry in many ways. Taxi drivers are being forced to choose sides, younger drivers who are more tech-savvy flipped while the older generation drivers who have brand loyalty are still working for the traditional taxi companies.
One major difference between driving for a taxi company versus a ride-hailing app is having the luxury to stop driving intermittently and taking a break or even having meals at your own convenience by simply switching off the driver’s app and there will no longer be any customers pushed to you. Whereas for regular taxis, they are not able to do that because the vehicle itself is being branded in such a way where they are obligated to pick up customers who are seen hailing.
The very next question that will come to your mind, since driving for a traditional taxi company is out of the picture, which rides hailing app should you drive for? And is it even worth it to drive for either Grab or Uber as a part-time job?
Before we compare the difference between these two companies from a driver’s perspective, here are some things you may not know about the two companies.
Being a Singaporean himself, Grab’s CEO Anthony Tan would very well know what suits a local and what doesn’t. Singaporeans are always after discounts, getting something at a cheaper rate, being cost effective, value for money. Part of why Grab’s inception was successful not only in Singapore but throughout Southeast Asia was understanding both the local drivers and passengers well enough. Marketing was done heavily and you are able to see Grab’s advertising no matter where you are, in-app promotions is being given to users from many different points such as new sign-ups, consecutive rides, referrals, and not forgetting leveraging on the festive seasons. The key here is local knowledge as quoted by the man himself. Knowing what both drivers and passengers sought after is always the key to success for every business.
Whereas for Uber, in terms of scalability, it went soaring sky high the moment the app launched officially, Uber did not understand or prior adequate market research was not done for the countries that they were penetrating into. Following through a string of controversial scandals, it was decided by the investors that Uber’s Co-Founder Travis Kalanick needed to step down to not further tarnish Uber’s reputation any further from its current state as it is.
Upon the announcement of Travis Kalanick stepping down, Dara Khosrowshahi was appointed Uber’s incoming CEO. With Dara Khosrowshahi onboard, taking over the helm of Uber, he has to rebuild the confidence of the investors and the public, fending off competition and make Uber a profitable company once again.
Here are some of the points that are being commonly surfaced from local drivers driving both Grab & Uber.
COMPARISON TABLE BETWEEN DRIVING FOR GRAB & UBER FROM A LOCAL DRIVER
DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE ON GRAB
Grab is being modelled to better suit Singaporean’s taste buds when it comes to public transportation. It not only prioritizes its passengers by offering tons of discounts but also takes good care of its drivers. By allowing drivers the freedom to choose their customers based on their drop off point, based on the price that they will be receiving after drop off, the cash incentives are ever changing to entice new drivers and motivate current existing drivers.
One of major downside to Grab’s app interface is that extra miscellaneous charges are not factored into the total amount upon drop off. Drivers have to manually key the figures before submitting the total amount to be deducted. This would be a hindrance to some drivers, affecting their productivity and performance at some point.
DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE ON UBER
Uber on the other hand, does not give their drivers the luxury of choosing their customers based on drop off points or prices. Their cash incentives are only given when the driver clocks a certain number of trips during a given time. In this case, Uber prioritises its passengers convenience first, than their drivers. For Uber, they have their ongoing surge and cash king incentive which rewards their drivers as long as they completed a number of trip, and it is personalised to every different driver. Cash king will be offered to drivers twice a week and this is only eligible to drivers who have at least 80% acceptance rate to qualify.
But one thing is for sure, many would agree that Uber’s app interface is more convenient and user-friendly. It auto calculates the ERP toll into the total amount for deduction and drivers are able to pick up ongoing jobs if they are completing their current job request soon, increasing productivity for drivers.
CASH INCENTIVES FOR GRAB AND UBER DRIVERS
If you are a driver with Grab, they will send out personalised EDMs (pictured above) to your email frequently to show you a list of their incentives that you are eligible for. Keep a lookout and pre-plan your driving hours beforehand.
Otherwise, you are able to use Grab’s revenue calculator to calculate how much you can earn based on your driving style.
Source: Uber Singapore
Uber recently introduced earnings boost which guarantees that if you drive within that hotspot (area) pick up and drop off point, they will guarantee you a fixed multiplier of boost on top of your normal fare.
Source: Uber Singapore
On top of their existing Cash King incentive and surge based on peak/non peak period & demand, Uber has introduced Earnings Boost under its incentives page found on their website, this would seem much enticing to some drivers if they are always around CBD areas or places which has a huge amount of passengers. Do note that Earnings Boost will only kick in if their surge incentive is lower in terms of earnings for drivers.
DRIVERS’ SUPPORT BETWEEN BOTH GRAB & UBER
Support from the respective companies is very important to drivers. Not only will they feel a sense of belonging, they will also know that they have someone to rely on when any disputes were to arise between passengers and drivers, or if any technical difficulties surface upon the usage of the app.
Although Grab offers many ways for drivers to contact them, it will be a hassle to travel all the way down if the dispute involves a couple of dollars or cents which is insignificant to drivers. On the other hand, most of Uber’s internal processes are automated, that includes their standard replies to drivers if any calculation of the fare were to be wrong. If a dispute were to be successful, refund would take up to 1 to 2 weeks at least.
As Grab reveals the amount to drivers beforehand, and it gives drivers the flexibility to pick customers based on location and price, there is nothing much to dispute about. Fixed fare amounts will be calculated backend before presenting to the drivers, it is as simple as if the fare is right for you, pick up the passenger, else move onto the next passenger.
CONCLUSION – PART TIME OR NOT?
Driving with Uber will yield a lesser earning as compared to Grab-based on average earnings. However if a driver is able to complete Uber’s Cash King Incentive, their earnings will be slightly more or comparable to Grab. However for Grab, you are able to earn more based on per hour. But their loyalty rewards is not easily achievable depending on the timing that you are driving.
Joining Uber or Grab Part-time, is totally up to every individual. Some may prefer having a seamless GPS, convenient app interface, rather than more promotions, flexibility to choose customers based on price and location. When it comes to part time, drivers should try out both ride hailing apps as they are only able to commit to a minimum amount of hours on the road, depending if it is the wee hours, or the early mornings or the afternoons, drive with both apps to see which incentives are easily achievable based on your driving schedule.