Review: Best Taxi Cabs in India – Bangalore, Delhi & Mumbai

This is an aggregate of my experiences using various taxi cab companies over the last couple of years in Bangalore and Delhi (where I’ve lived) and Mumbai (where I’ve visited frequently.) Based on my personal experience (and not public perception), this is how I would rate the cabs:

1. Uber: The Classiest Option

Despite what happened in Delhi, Uber cabs are my favourite. This is why:

  • Cheapest – Yes, it is! While the taxi wars are on between Uber and Ola, we the consumers get great discounts. Discounts so good that it makes Uber (mini) cheaper than an auto ride. Don’t believe me? Check out their promotions! For instance, download the Uber app and use the Uber promo code “tanvis42” (no inverted commas) and you’ll get your first ride free (up to Rs 600 Rs 300! May 25, 2015: Back to Rs 600! June 18: down to Rs 250.) That’s pretty awesome! March 4, 2015 update: Uber Go at Rs 7/km and Uber X at Rs 8/km — cheaper than autos! 35 kilometres in Rs 350 — unbelievable!)
  • Cleanest (and best condition vehicles) – Uber cabs are very, very clean and tidy. The cars are in very good condition (unlike Ola — which are usually scruffy and worn). And if the driver keeps the vehicle clean, for me it implies he cares about his job and what he’s doing. Automatic bonus points.uber india review
  • Coolest app – The app is simple and works well. There is an element of coolness associated with everything Uber does (the black colours, the clean cabs, the courteous drivers).
  • Safest – Despite Delhi, Uber gives me the most confidence if I were to travel alone as a female anywhere. Sure, I’d still be cautious, but Uber drivers are generally more courteous than other companies I’ve encountered.
  • Making payments can be PAYnfull – To use Uber, you have to have a PayTM wallet setup. You cannot use cash because of some RBI regulations with them being a foreign company with bank accounts in foreign lands, la, la, la. I’m bored. The thing is – PayTM is awesome! If you start using it, that is. I was reluctant to use PayTM for the longest time, but when I did, I fell in love with it! Especially for (airtel) mobile recharges. Why do I love it so? Because it works. It works in the quickest and simplest way possible. You have to try it to believe it.
  • Update March 1, 2015: Uber Go now at Rs 7/km and Uber X at Rs 8/km in Bangalore. Wow!!

2. Ola: (Sometimes) The Cheapest Option

  • ola appCheap – During Republic Day, Ola was running a promotion which made Ola cabs cheaper than Uber cabs. Unfortunately, that promotion is over. Nonetheless, if you sign up for Ola and use the promo code “7NP2HW” (no inverted commas) you will earn Rs 100 Rs 50. Not great, but not bad! July 21, 2015: Now get Rs 200 Ola Money by using the promo code.
  • Almost as  cheap as an auto – I recently travelled 10 kilometers using an air-conditioned, pollution-free Ola cab today. It cost me Rs 155. I returned by auto, swallowing gallons of pollution, taking a slightly longer route (11 kilometers) and it cost me Rs 153. Do the math!
  • Rates for Ola Mini = Rs 100 for first 6 kms and after 6 kms Rs 10/km. Sedan = Rs 150 for first 8 kms and then Rs 13/km. Prime = Rs 200 for first 5 kms then Rs 18/km. (Rates are for Bangalore; Delhi & Mumbai rates differ).
  • Book an auto – Bangalore has changed. No longer do grumpy auto drivers tell you to go to hell when you ask them to go by meter. No, now they offer to go by meter without a moment’s hesitancy. Why? Because if they say Rs 200 for 2 kilometers, you tell them to go to hell. Of course, while pulling out your phone, opening your Ola/Uber app and booking a taxi or even an auto who will go by meter! Yep, this is real change my friend.
  • Easy to pay – Pay using your credit, cash, debit card, however, you want!
  • Crappy App – Yeah, the app SUCKS. Big time. Sure, it get’s the job done, but only after spewing thousand errors.ola crappy app You open the app and you get ‘error, error, error’, you find a cab and confirm it (this part works well), and then cab driver calls you for directions (he will never look at the GPS for directions!) and then you try ‘tracking the ride’ and you get ‘error, error, error’, ride ends and you get ‘error, error, error’ and then the next time you open the app you can see how much the last ride costs while giving feedback and dismissing all the accrued ‘errors, errors, errors.’
  • Dusty, worn-out taxis in general – yeah, the cabs are usually scruffy, dusty Indicas. Not well maintained at all.
  • Made in India – Before Uber achieves world domination, let’s give our Indian crappy app Ola a fighting chance. Call me nationalistic if you have to, but I’m voting for Ola. (I wish they’d kept the cabs a little cleaner though!)
  • Ola Auto – We’ve used it a couple of times. While the auto driver accepts the booking promptly, it’s often difficult to explain to him where you are (and it takes time for him to reach your destination). It’s often easier just to get into an empty auto that passes by you. Bonus: no haggling and pay by the meter!
  • Ola peak hours surcharge – While Uber also sometimes charges a surcharge, Ola does so without fail during peak hours. Want a cab in the morning or evening? Then be prepared to pay Rs 50 extra so that Ola can ‘make cabs available for you during peak hours.’ This is even if there are 10 cabs waiting idly outside your home. Ridiculousness.
  • May 25, 2015 Update: I had my first almost-accident with the most idiotic Ola driver possible last week. The driver drove on the wrong side of the road and drove straight into a lady on a scooter, missing her by an inch. The lady swerved and fell hard on the ground to avoid our idiotic cab. Luckily she was okay, but got up and screamed at the Ola driver and then screamed at me for ‘not telling my driver to drive carefully’. This guy had almost hit another scooterist when taking a u-turn right at the beginning of the journey, sent me flying over a speedbreaker mid-journey, and was a driving liking an idiot throughout. He clearly has had no training — and since I value my life and the life of others, I’ve sworn: Never again Ola!! (Wrote a complaint to Ola, they said sorry, we’ll take it up. But if the accident had been worse, what apology would they have given?)

3. Saavari.com – Car Rentals For Longer Periods

  • I used Savaari.com for an 8 hour cross-bengaluru-country marathon and they were awesome. 8 hours, unlimited kilometers, for Rs 1500. They also do trips between cities (like a Banglaore-Chennai return for Rs 7000). They also do airport pickups. Highly recommended. Read my full post on saavari.com here. 
  • May 2015 update – LOTS of negative reviews by users on Saavari. Read the post above! I just had a lucky day it seems.

4. Easy Cabs – So far so good

5. Mega Cabs – Don’t have much to say

  • I’ve used Mega Cabs for a few airport trips. Good, comfortable, and so on. But radio taxis are just ridiculously expensive, so this is usually a last resort.

6. Airport Taxi

  • I’m not sure what company this is. I see cabs with the words ‘Airport Taxi’ zipping around the streets of Bangalore quite often. Is it the BIAL official taxi? Or is it a company called Airport Taxi. Not sure! Tell me what it is?
  • Update March 1, 2015: It is Meru’s Airport Taxi and I have to say it is very nice for all those unearthly airport drops at 4 in the morning. The drivers are very courteous, well-dressed (uniformed) and the vehicles are well-maintained. It is expensive — costing around Rs 800 for a 35km ride (plus Rs 115 toll I believe). Airport Taxi’s swerve into the closest lane near arrivals in BIAL, which is an added advantage. Sometimes there are long queues from the airport to the city, but an overall reliable option.

7. Meru – Gone to the dog house (But Meru Genie is is magical!)

  • Meh, expensive and not worth it.
  • What can I say? Meru used to dominate the landscape, but something went wrong. Perhaps it was something in their radio taxi model? They’ve been crushed by Uber and Ola in my eyes. I generally only use Meru when I have an early morning pick up and need to book in advance. Otherwise, I refuse to pay the premium.
  • Update: Recently used Meru Genie and it was great! At Rs 10/km it is super affordable and gives competition to the likes of Ola. (Airport drop in Bangalore of a distance of 33 kms worked out to ~Rs 450 without tolls).

8. Taxi (not) For Sure

  • I ordered a Taxi For Sure cab once in my life. And what happened? It didn’t show up!!!! Sorry, no second chances. Especially if your name is TAXI FOR SURE! (In any case, since Ola is buying Taxi for Sure, no point reviewing them here.)
  • Rs 49 for first 4 kms and then Rs 14/km for hatchback and Rs 16/km for Sedan.

9. Kaala-Peela Mumbai Taxis

  • Recent went to Mumbai and I have to say I was unimpressed with both Uber (mostly unavailable) and Ola (I would book, the driver would call to ask where I was going and then say he wouldn’t go, feigning some car trouble excuse). However, the black-and-yellow / kaala-peela taxis of Bombay are pretty good. Since they are quite omnipresent, it’s far easier to hop into one than wait around for an Uber or Ola.

Those are the top 9 best taxi cab companies in India according to me (or at least in Delhi, Mumbai & Bangalore).

 

User Reviews and Comments

  1. Vivek says

    Forgot to mention: great, comprehensive review — thanks! And sorry about my default tendency to complain first, and only later remember to acknowledge the positives! 😐

  2. GaadiKey says

    Hey Great review.

    Good to understand about the service difference between Uber and Ola… It is bad that Uber doesn’t accept cash as payment option.

  3. Preethi says

    I was totally impressed with the way that you have presented this article,
    good and comparitive information to know about, Thank you for writing this post

  4. hiralal chawla says

    I used Uber registering with them by downloading their application. Used first ride promo code of Rs. 400/- off for journey between Saibaba Nagar Borivai west to Chatrapati Shivaji Airport Andheri east Mumbai. The ride cost me Rs.294/- which was below. Rs.400/- But instead of giving first ride discount, next day Uber sent me bill for Rs. 294/- saying that they have restricted this first ride promo. They renegaded on the discount. Guys do not trust Uber for first ride discount. They will definitely send bill for the first ride. Its a scam

  5. shailendra says

    Easy cabs is the most insensitive cab service. I had booked a cab last morning for today, and 5 mins prior to scheduled time when I called the driver he said that he has cancelled the pick up. When I called easy cabs they said that they will check. Finally they sent me an sms that my booking has been cancelled at my request.

  6. Sapan says

    Nov 2015, Used Uber in Mumbai with the international card payment option and whoa it works fantastic, Great drivers, turn up, no complaints. Ola is horrible, once assigned a driver sitting in East and I was in Bandra West. Didn’t move for another 15 minutes. Booked again, Had a 200 rupee coupon, didn’t work. Gave ola another chance, Driver didn’t move for 15 minutes. Never again Ola.

  7. Thandava says

    Want a Free Ride with Uber, its simple just signup With this code “thandavak7ue” Then you will be credited 250rs in your wallet.

  8. Alina says

    Informative post on best taxi cabs in India. In my opinion, Uber taxi service is the best choice to travel in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. I have also used uber cab service in Chandigarh and my experience was too good.

  9. Kritika says

    Uber is the wast service 2 times i booked uber for emergency purpose, They reached near my home and driver switchd off his mobile phone simply.

    Like this cheap service i never saw. better to book fasttrack before time.

  10. Yashdeep says

    I used Tixilo, a new online taxi booking website. The site has great features and fast and easy booking. The tixilo taxi services launched in Metro cities but soon it will be available in all cities of India.
    The one way taxi service by Tixilo is amazing and have to pay one side if you are taking one way taxi.
    For more features and online booking please check http://tixilo.com

  11. A khan says

    I hired a driver today from diversindia.com, 11th May 2016. Requested for a descent driver and also the one who can fit in my small car. Assured by company that a descent and experienced driver will be sent.
    I found a goon in front of my door as the driver sent by company. He was without uniform and had no company id. During the day he stole 14 litres of petrol from my car. While complaining to company, they displayed their true color. No action/ no reaction/ a typical casual approach taken by company without any result…. only harassment to customer like us
    Pathetic and absolutely risky and unsecured to hire driver from this company
    Since my address is stored wit this company, any harm to me/ my family members/ house happens … it will be the sole responsibility of this company and driver

  12. Natasha Sharma says

    It’s very very shameful that the way Ola app and the Costumer care is working these days. I think Ola people are taking there old customer for granted as mistake can be done once not twice or thrice. And Ola is only focusing on sale rather than marketing and specially when we talk about so called “safety” that to be Women
    Safety in Ola cabs is zero… Last night around 9:30 I board in Ola cab due to there GPRS and App malfunction driver drop me on a highway, even drive has discuss this thing with one of the customer executive, and his words were this is the place “Madam ko wahi Utar do”… I was not able to get any auto from there, anything can be happen with me.And the same thing happen with me last week. And when I complain about this issue they give me scripted apology and even now I am not able to book a cab due to the same reason…

    Ladies now think twice before booking Ola as they can drop you anywhere, they are basically focusing on there business…

  13. Srinivasan says

    There is an Inter City service in Chennai droptaxi.in. Operates in Tamil Nadu Pondicherrt=y and Bangalore. One way charges for droptrips. Pl check it out..

    • T says

      Landed in domestic terminal in Mumbai. First pre-paid company I approached clearly saw me as a cash cow to milk (I am a foreigner) and asked for Rs 1500 to Colaba. Then I tried Cool cab and I paid about 900, including toll for the “fast” approach to downtown and A/C (always kept on). In the end a very long ride, about 1h 30m, so very happy with price. Driver was very quiet and spoke little English but hey we are not in the US or UK. Overall no complains at all and he got a good tip from me in the end. Would use again.

  14. tee says

    seriously today i had a beautiful experience….and ill stop booking that bullshit ola cabs…i suggest everyone to use uber cabs

  15. Mahima Yadav says

    India Tourist Taxi is a leading online car rental service provider in India providing Best and reliable car rental Service in India. We provide Online taxi booking and Cab Booking in India. For Taxi Service in India, call us at +91 8808600013
    http://www.indiatouristtaxi.com/

  16. Deepak says

    We used getmecab.com for outstation family trip and found it good and would like to use again. Easy booking process, transparent terms, online payment, good cab driver. Overall good experience.
    Thanks

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