What is the Difference Between Uber and A Taxi

What is the Difference Between Uber and A Taxi?

Are you wondering whether you should hire a taxi or go for a ride-sharing model? Maybe you’re not sure about what is the difference between Uber and a Taxi or how much cheaper is Uber than a taxi? Well, whatever it is you want to know about both models, feel free to read this guide till the end.

In this detailed post, we will provide you with a detailed rundown of the differences between both and also a third way of transportation that has the best of both of these models. Interested? Let’s dive right in:

So, What is the Difference Between Uber And A Taxi?

Uber vs Taxi

Taxis have been cruising around on the streets of U.K since the early 19th century, while the concept of ride-sharing apps like Uber was introduced only recently in 2010. The biggest difference between both Uber and Taxi is that the cab must be stopped on the road or booked in advance. Uber, on the other hand, can be booked right when you need to go somewhere, and it will arrive at your location. But besides this, there are many more differences that need to be discussed, some important ones are discussed below:


If you talk about how much does Uber cost compared to a taxi, then it depends. Some cities have cheaper taxis, while in some, Uber puts less stress on your wallet. However, overall, Uber is cheaper than taxis. But it comes with a set of caveats that can really make you wonder, is it worth saving a few quid? Plus, keep in mind, Uber rates fluctuate throughout the day, which they call surge pricing. You may find the prices to be a lot higher than the stable fare of a taxi.

Service Level:

This is something that depends on who’s driving the car when it comes to taxi or Uber. You cannot blame the companies but the drivers. For instance, you may find a taxi cleaner than an uber or vice versa, which is something that depends on how organized the driver is. However, when it comes to speed, Uber does take the crown because of its sophisticated algorithm, telling the driver to take the fastest route available.

Driver Behavior:

This is something where taxis win. Uber has been under the heat for various controversies because of its drivers. The recent example of where a blind woman got refused by 14 drivers is one of the reasons why many avoid going for Uber. Plus, their absurd no-pet policies also make it hard for pet-lovers, who make a huge chunk of the country’s population, travel peacefully. Taxi blokes, on the other hand, don’t really care whether there’s a pet dog or a pet lion with you; just get in and go wherever you want.


Again, Uber has been under the heat, especially in the U.S, for some serious criminal offences by its drivers ranging from theft to even sexual assaults. Although the rating of the driver can help you learn about them in advance, these large corporations cannot keep tabs on every single person driving for them. Taxi companies, on the other hand, are small businesses with a closely-knit team of employees. Everyone knows everyone, so safety issues are not as high as Uber.


This is where Taxi wins again. Yes, you can see Uber cars on the map and find out how far they are, but if you need a taxi, you can book it in advance, and it will arrive at your location right on time. Plus, if you need to go somewhere urgently, you can just walk down the road and catch a ride, no waiting for the Uber to arrive at your address following a little blue dot on the Google map.

Now you know what is the difference between Uber and a Taxi? It’s time we talk a little about the pros and cons of both and then move to some other things like how much cheaper is uber than a taxi, what private cabs are, why they are better than Uber, and how to start your own taxi service, and so on.

Pros & Cons of Uber vs. Taxi:

Although we’ve told you the key differences between both transport models, there are some good and bad sides of both that you should keep in mind:

Pros of Hiring Uber:

  • Different levels of services depending on the price and feature like having air condition or not
  • Sophisticated service with a good car model (only for higher prices service)
  • Advanced tools such as pricing estimator, mobile booking, cashless payment, rating system, accurate maps, etc.

Cons of Hiring Uber:

  • Surge pricing can take a lot more out of your pocket than a regular taxi
  • Not every driver is familiar with all the routes; many students or part-timers drive Uber to make some quick bucks, they’re not professional drivers

Pros of Hiring Taxi:

  • Always available, just get out of the house and onto a busy road, you’ll find a taxi nearby
  • Flat pricing throughout the day doesn’t jump up like Uber
  • Professional drivers who’ve been on the roads for decades know the safety standards and are familiar with every nook of the city

Cons of Hiring Taxi:

  • You’ll be traveling in a black or yellow cab; there’s no sophistication like Uber cars
  • Prices can be a little high; just a few quid than Uber

How Much Cheaper is Uber Than a Taxi?

How Much Cheaper is Uber Than a Taxi?

Well, that’s something nobody can answer for sure because different cities of the U.K have different pricing models for both Uber and Taxis. At some places, Taxis are cheaper or equal to Uber rates, while in most areas, Uber can be cheaper.

That said, if we talk about Portsmouth in particular, then Uber can cost £1.3 to £1.8 per mile (the price can go way up during surge pricing). Plus, for waiting like in traffic or outside your home, the cost is £0.1 to £0.18 per minute. (Source)

If we talk about how much does a taxi cost, then in Portsmouth only, 1km cost is £1.12, and the cost for waiting can go up to £13.80 for an hour, but who stops a taxi for one hour? Seeing this, we can say that taxi might be a better option if you’re traveling in Portsmouth or surrounding areas.

Let’s Talk About Private Taxi Hire Service:

So till now, we’ve been discussing the difference between Uber and a Taxi, but what about a private hire service? If you have no idea what they are, then simply put, private hire vehicles can only pick people with pre-arranged bookings. On the other hand, cabs are hackney carriages that can pick people from the roadside. Now let’s discuss how private hire differs from ride-sharing services like Uber.


Just like Uber, private hire services like Zipcab also have a range of software and tools to get their customers to their destinations fast. From a full-fledged mobile app with cashless payments, booking systems, and maps to GPS tracking, private hire cabs have everything that Uber does.


They are cheaper than Uber. Surge pricing, which is the time when high demand and low availability increases Uber’s prices, is also present in private hire taxis. However, with services like Zipcab, the surge rate doesn’t go over 2.0x the normal price, which is not that bad. And the regular costs can sometimes also be cheaper than Uber.


There are no absurd policies like not allowing pets in the car when working with most private taxi hires. But with Uber and other ride-sharing platforms, this is a problem that these companies are not taking seriously.

Service Level:

Not every driver on Uber is a professional taxi driver, but almost every private hire has a professional taxi driver. This means they will drive safer, follow all traffic rules, and are also familiar with the routes. And having a Google Map with them, like all private hire cars, will get you to your location faster than Uber.

If we think about it, both Uber and private hires go neck and neck when it comes to features and prices. However, private hire takes the crown in convenience and service level. So as a passenger, getting a private hire can be a better choice.

And if you’re a taxi driver looking to switch careers or starting your own business, read this guide on how to start a taxi service business with a private hiring model.

Parting Words:

The gist of this whole ‘what’s the difference between Uber and a Taxi’ debate is that both of them have a few pros and cons, and Uber might be a little better than a traditional cab.

However, private hire taxi has changed the game. It’s exactly like ride-sharing services but managed by professional taxi drivers, so there’s more safety and convenience. If you are interested in starting your own taxi service business please check out this detailed blog post.

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