Damn it! No luxury sedans available. It does happen from time to time during busy periods – like the school run and Saturday/Sunday afternoon shopping.
It's Sunday and I want to take my daughter to Central World, and I don't want to risk taking a public taxi.
Luckily, Uber have just launched UberX in Bangkok. So what the heck, let's Uberx it.
But I'll be honest here: I've gotten so used to being picked up in spanking new Camrys, Accords, Mercedes, and BMWs that I have been reluctant to step down to the cheaper service. In fact, I can't remember the last time I got in a public taxi – what a snob, eh?
What The Hell Is UberX?
Uberx is a pot-luck service that can be found under a tab in the bottom-left-hand-side of your app. Basically, you get whatever car is available, but not the slick, brand new sedans you get with the Uber Black service.
This is why it's half the price of the premium service, and not much more than a public taxi – the big difference being that you have the added luxury of being picked up on your doorstep by someone who actually has a driving licence…And seat belts!
Uberx is currently in Beta and only operating in central BKK. It's quite a wide catchment area though, so as long as you don't live too far out you should be able to trial it now. If you do live on the outskirts, the full launch is happening in November 2014.
What Cars Do You Get With UberX?
I was a little apprehensive, imagining a clapped out old banger pulling up outside. But when my driver popped up on the screen and I read the words “Toyota Commuter”, I was perplexed. I thought that was a model of mini van?
The sprog, wife and I were picked up in a 9-seater. For the same price as a standard taxi (there's currently a promotion on).
My first thought was, this guy won't even cover his petrol at that price!
My second thought was, this is way better than expected!
The Commuter wasn't brand new; probably around 4-5 years old, but it was clean, comfortable and well driven by a friendly driver.
And so I put my feet up, began penning this post on my Blackberry (yep, I'm still a die-hard BB user) and enjoyed the ride.
How Does UberX Pricing Stack Up Against UberBlack?
I too a luxury sedan (Uber Black) back from Central World, and here's how the pricing compared…
As you can see, the difference is approximately 72 Baht when using the UberX service, and I traveled a couple more kilometers on the outbound journey too.
UberX Key Benefits:
Undoubtedly I'll still mainly use the standard Uber Black, but UberX is a great side service for the following reasons:
- When Uber Black is giving you the annoying “No Cars Available” message.
- Short rides to places you aren't fussed about showing up to in a classy ride
- For trips to and from the airport – UberX is 5oo Baht cheaper than the Uber Black standard fare of 1ooo Baht.
- For those on a budget who want an ultra-convenient, better than a normal taxi service for pennies on the dollar.
I don't tip usually tip in Uber Black; in fact, Uber tell you that there is no tipping culture within the company, but I did give my Uberx driver a 50 Baht tip this time. I guess I felt a little bad that such an excellent service, and a pretty long ride, cost me just over 2 pounds!
How To Start Using UberX
If you haven't already signed up for an Uber account, do the following:
– Download the app to your phone or tablet.
– Register your payment method and enter this promo code to get 2oo Baht free off your first ride: 2p8ea
– Select UberX or Uber Sedan from inside your app.
– Start being chauffeur driven all over time and enjoy feeling awesome in luxury 🙂
Leave your UberX experience below in the comments section; I'd love to know what kind of cars you get picked up in and what your thoughts on this service vs. the black service.