Top 10 UK Ride-Hailing Taxi Apps

  • Vinay Jain
  • January 10, 2024
Top 10 UK Ride-Hailing Taxi Apps

Top 10 UK Ride-Hailing Taxi Apps

The Startups of London publication features a review of the foremost taxi and ride-hailing services in the UK for the year 2023. Despite previous challenges with licensing, Uber continues to lead the market. Rivals such as Bolt, Ola, and Free Now stand out with their unique services, ranging from high-end rides and electric vehicles to eco-friendly options. The article advises customers to choose a provider that aligns with their individual needs, be it Wheely for its luxurious experience and professionalism, Gett for its commitment to sustainability, or Taxiapp UK for its local know-how.

Additionally, the piece examines how practices like social distancing, wearing masks, and enhanced cleanliness have affected the ride-hailing sector. According to a 2020 study from ABI Research, there was a drastic 59% decrease in the market in the initial half of 2020, following a 14% growth in 2019. Even prior to the pandemic, the financial viability and operational strategies of ride-hailing companies were topics of discussion, with Uber still maintaining its global dominance despite these challenges.

By August 2021, the UK's ride-hailing app market includes nine functioning services. Uber, which started in the San Francisco Bay Area, has often been at the center of various debates. Although it once lost its license to operate in London, Uber later reclaimed its right to operate there. Additionally, the company has encountered legal issues in multiple other nations, such as Turkey, France, Denmark, Hungary, and Bulgaria.

Top 10 Ride-Hailing And Taxi Apps in UK

Despite facing various hurdles, Uber and similar ride-hailing platforms continue to be favored by customers, who see them as a more convenient and frequently less expensive option compared to conventional cabs. Below is a list of some of the widely-used taxi applications in the UK:


1. Bolt

Originating in Tallinn, Estonia, Bolt emerges as a strong contender to Uber across Europe. The enterprise caters to customers in over 40 countries and 300 cities worldwide, providing a broad spectrum of ride-hailing services.

Facing similar regulatory challenges in London as Uber, Bolt, initially known as Taxify, experienced a major roadblock in 2017 when Transport for London forced it to stop its city operations. Despite this, Bolt rebounded, reestablishing its presence in London in June 2019, where it continues to operate.

In response to the pandemic, both Bolt and Uber branched out into food delivery. Yet, their foothold in the UK food delivery market differs markedly. While Uber Eats has risen to prominence as a leading food delivery app in the UK, Bolt Food is still striving to gain a foothold in this area.


2. Ola

Based in India, Ola has gained popularity in London as an alternative to Uber, especially during times when Uber encountered operational issues. Serving over a billion users in more than 250 cities, Ola stands as a strong competitor to Uber, not only in the UK but also in markets like Australia, New Zealand, and India.

Ola's strategy expands beyond the standard ride-hailing offerings. The company is branching into diverse areas, including electric scooter services, shared rides, vehicle rentals, and business travel solutions. This strategy reflects similar expansion efforts by Uber and Bolt, though Ola sets itself apart by steering clear of the food delivery sector.

A notable similarity between Ola and Bolt is their dedication to environmental sustainability. Both are focusing on increasing the deployment of electric vehicles and reducing their ecological impact, indicative of a broader shift in the ride-hailing sector towards more eco-friendly business models.


3. Via

Originally known as ViaVan and headquartered in New York, Via promotes itself as revolutionizing public transport by shifting from traditional, fixed-route and schedule systems to a dynamic, on-demand network. The service is utilized by commuters in over 400 cities across more than 20 countries for their travel needs.

Via operational approach differs from the previously mentioned companies. Essentially, Via collaborates with local transit authorities to improve public and urban transit systems. Its app utilizes an algorithm to coordinate rides for multiple passengers traveling in the same direction, allowing them to share a single vehicle. While not the most ideal option during pandemic times, it represents a more environmentally friendly choice.


4. Wheely

Specializing in high-end, luxurious transport services, Wheely primarily serves clients in London, Paris, and seven Russian cities as of August 2021. Established by Anton Chirkunov and Pavel Bocharov, the company targets a specific market segment, focusing on providing top-tier vehicles and skilled chauffeurs. Contrasting with other ride-hailing services that aim for broad expansion, Wheely’s objective is to sustain its exclusive, upscale offerings.

Wheely is ideal for those desiring a refined and elegant mode of travel, featuring professional chauffeurs behind the wheels of a selection of luxury Mercedes cars and vans. This focus on opulence and professionalism distinguishes Wheely in the ride-hailing landscape.

Moreover, Wheely's offerings are not limited to individual clients but also encompass corporate services. These include a range of vehicles for business needs and executive airport transfers. Based in London, Wheely is dedicated to accommodating clients who prioritize a more sophisticated and comfortable travel experience.

In their latest 2023 review, Startups of London has highlighted the evolving landscape of the UK's taxi and ride-hailing industry, showcasing how despite previous challenges, Uber continues to dominate the market. Key competitors like Bolt, Ola, and Free Now are not far behind, offering an array of services from luxury rides to eco-friendly options. The review also touches on the significant impact of social distancing and enhanced cleanliness practices on the industry, noting a market shift in 2020. Noteworthy mentions include Wheely for its high-end services, Gett's commitment to sustainability, and Taxiapp UK's local expertise. Additionally, the review suggests considering solutions like Grepix Infotech for those interested in launching their own taxi app in the competitive UK market, emphasizing the importance of understanding the strategies and services of global market leaders to stay ahead in the industry.


5. FreeNow

Based in Germany and functioning under Daimler, Free Now operates in over 100 European cities. The company was formed from the merger of "mytaxi" and Hailo, a leading UK ride-hailing service. Demonstrating ambitious growth, Free Now acquired Kapten in 2020. It provides users with the choice of either flagging down a classic black taxi or booking a private vehicle

In the UK, FreeNow serves passengers in several cities, including London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Derby, and Leicester. Recently, the company expanded its offerings by launching e-scooter sharing in select London areas, aligning with the movement towards varied and eco-friendlier urban transport solutions.


6. Gett

Originating in London in 2010, Gett began as a ground transportation management service for businesses and has transformed into an app that integrates corporate fleet, ride-hailing, taxis, and limousine services in one place.

Distinct from other ride-hailing applications, Gett doesn’t provide private car hailing. Instead, it offers a quick and easy method to book a black taxi in London with just a few clicks. This unique offering differentiates Gett in the competitive ride-hailing landscape.

A central part of Gett ethos is its dedication to eco-friendly practices. The company ensures that all its UK rides are carbon-neutral, reflecting its commitment to reducing emissions and fostering sustainable methods.

In 2016, Gett broadened its reach by acquiring Radio Taxis and two other brands under the same parent company. Among these, Xeta is another black cab company, and One Transport is a logistics platform providing vehicle rental services for corporations. This expansion underscores Gett’s strategy to diversify and reinforce its role in the transport industry.


7. Addison Lee

Established in 1975, Addison Lee stands as the most seasoned player in the ride-hailing and private car service industry on this list. The company’s services extend from private passenger transport to delivery solutions for both individual and corporate clients.

Addison Lee addresses a wide array of transport demands, offering everything from everyday rides and business travel to airport shuttles and exclusive first-class services. This extensive range caters to the varying needs of different customers.

Recently, Addison Lee broadened its business reach by forming a partnership with ComCab, a black taxi operator. This strategic move elevates Addison Lee to the status of London’s largest firm in private hire and taxi services, a significant milestone in its longstanding presence in the transport sector.


8. Taxiapp

Established and managed by taxi drivers, Taxiapp sets itself apart in the ride-hailing industry. This non-profit venture was initiated as an alternative to the more corporate-focused taxi and ride-hailing services, aiming to protect the iconic status of London's black cabs from fading into irrelevance.

One of the notable aspects of Taxiapp is the exceptional knowledge of London's streets possessed by its drivers, famously known as "The Knowledge." This requirement, integral to becoming a licensed taxi driver since 1865, involves an in-depth understanding of the intricate layout of London’s roads. Taxiapp drivers, proficient in this knowledge, provide a navigational edge and superior route planning capabilities compared to GPS-reliant services.


9. Lyft

A significant contender in the ride-hailing sector, Lyft is especially prominent in the United States. As of the latest information, it hasn't extended its operations to the UK. However, Lyft operates on a model akin to other ride-hailing services, providing an easy-to-use interface for arranging transportation. In regions where it is available, Lyft offers a range of services, such as private car hires, carpooling options (enabling passengers to share a ride with others headed in the same direction), and upscale travel choices. The app includes features like driver ratings, fare estimates, and integrated payment options, streamlining the process of booking and paying for journeys. Lyft is notable for its dedication to the community and the welfare of its driver partners, often setting itself apart from rivals with various initiatives focused on driver support and community involvement.


10. Arro App

The ARRO app revolutionizes the taxi service experience, making it significantly more convenient to hail and pay for taxi rides. Compatible with both iPhone and Android devices, Arro serves users in a wide range of locations across the United States and the United Kingdom. The app excels in quickly linking users with the nearest available drivers, thus minimizing waiting times and improving the effectiveness of city travel. With ARRO's innovative E-Hail feature, users can effortlessly summon a taxi with a single tap, receiving immediate information on fare estimates, a preview of the route, and the expected arrival time of their taxi. Additionally, the app's E-Pay function streamlines the payment process for rides not initially booked via the app, enabling users to connect their journey to the app for hassle-free automatic payment at the end of their trip. These intuitive features establish ARRO as a significant contender in the digital ride-hailing sector, offering a combination of ease, efficiency, and simplicity for its users.


To effectively tackle these challenges, it's recommended to consider off-the-shelf taxi software solutions such as Grepix Infotech and an Uber Clone Script. Utilizing these pre-developed software options can greatly minimize the time and financial investment required to establish your own taxi business.

Staying competitive in this market necessitates a thorough understanding of the world’s leading taxi app companies, as they are the trendsetters and standard-bearers in the industry. Gaining insights into their service models and strategic approaches can be invaluable for your taxi business venture.

For those planning to launch a taxi app in the UK, looking into options like Grepix Infotech, known for its effective taxi booking software, would be a prudent move. Dedicating time to assess such options might turn out to be a strategic and beneficial decision for your business goals.

Looking out to start your own venture like Bolt? Try out our HireMe Taxi Bolt Clone, the easiest way to kick-start your taxi business.

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