GrabCar follows Uber, cuts fares

GrabCar follows Uber, cuts fares
Grab cars. Photo: Grab/Facebook
Published: 7:02 PM, April 18, 2016
Updated: 12:15 AM, April 19, 2016

SINGAPORE – Less than a week after Uber reduced fares for its private-hire car service, rival GrabCar on Monday (April 18) announced that it was lowering its minimum and base fares.

Since 11am on Monday, the minimum fare for rides on GrabCar has been halved from S$8 to S$4, the company said in a press release. The base fare has also been shaved from S$3.50 to S$3, and the per-kilometre charge trimmed to S$0.80, from S$0.90.

Grab said the changes to the fares were “here to stay”, allowing passengers to have “cheaper rides with no hidden costs”.

Mr Lim Kell Jay, country head of Grab Singapore, said: “A top priority is our driver-partners, and we expect this fare revision to attract even more GrabCar passengers. This is part of a larger, holistic drivers’ programme to increase their net incomes in a sustainable way.”

Apart from the fare revisions, Grab announced a string of initiatives to cut operating costs and increase bookings for drivers, among other things. These include a fuel discount programme, allowing selected drivers to enjoy competitive fuel discounts, and a “Passenger Finder” feature to notify drivers of places where passenger demand is high, the firm said.

Drivers may also buy smartphones at a subsidised rate of S$150. Passengers and drivers of GrabCar vehicles will receive increased insurance coverage of up to US$250,000 (S$339,000) per vehicle for death, accidental dismemberment and bodily injuries, it added.

Last Thursday, Uber slashed its fares for rides on its private-hire car service, uberX, by 15 per cent, as part of a trial. The app-based ride-sharing company had said it may revert to the original fares if rider demand fails to pick up and earnings stay the same for drivers.

Following its fare reduction, uberX’s base fare was cut to S$3 from S$3.50, while its per-kilometre charge was reduced to S$0.45 from S$0.50. These fares are, however, subject to Uber’s surge-pricing system, which means fares may go up during periods of high demand.