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New £15 Uber sign-up code available as UberTAXI launches

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There was a major protest in Central London yesterday by black cab drivers.  They believe that Transport for London should not have licensed taxi app Uber because only black cab drivers are allowed to charge passengers using an in-car meter which balances both time and distance.  Uber argues that the fares are not calculated by an in-car meter and so they are within the rules.

Uber has not taken this quietly, although I admit I was pretty surprised by their response.


Yesterday Uber announced the launch of UberTAXI.  This allows you to call a black cab via the Uber app.

Is this a joke or not?  It is difficult to tell.  An ‘UberTAXI’ option has appeared in the Uber app albeit no cars are currently available.

One thing that makes me think it is not a joke is that I found a trade article which said Uber is only charging 5% commission versus the 10% taken by Hailo.  However, as most black cab drivers consider Uber to be their sworn enemy, I’m not sure than an additional 5% will make much difference.  It is difficult to imagine many black cab drivers signing up for this.

(To put this in context, when Hailo applied for a minicab licence recently to allow it to offer executive cars alongside black cabs, a large number of Hailo drivers quit in disgust.  These drivers have presumably been picked up by Get Taxi.)

The irony is that the main loser from all of this is probably Addison Lee.  The fact that AddLee is rarely mentioned these days is a symbol of how it has fallen.

The founding family cannily sold out for a reported £300m to private equity house Carlyle in 2013 and the company is presumably now carrying a substantial amount of bank debt.  We stopped using AddLee before that – after regularly spending £300 or so a year with them – because they decided to stop carrying child booster seats.

A new £15 sign-up code

As part of its PR offensive yesterday designed to rub sand in the eyes of the protesting black cab drivers, Uber launched a £15 credit via HFP for new members.

If you download the Uber app on your iPhone or Android device and use the promotional code HEADFORPOINTS your account will be credited with £15.  This is enough for a decent ride in one of their UberLUX vehicles or a couple of trips in an UberExec or UberX car.

If you already have an Uber account, you could open another for your partner.  Remember that you will need access to a unique mobile phone number as they send a confirmation code as an SMS.  Mobile phone numbers which have already been used by Uber are not accepted.

Comments (43)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Czechoslovakia says:

    I get the message, that my phone is not capable of running the app. Drat. Off to London for a few days next week too.

    • Robert says:

      Just load the app on your ipad / tablet for the moment then to get the account set up – that’s what I’ve done. The confirmation sms came to my phone and no problem setting it up

      On the app store it’s iphone only but that doesn’t stop the install on ipad

  • layz says:

    There’s at least one UberTaxi as I’ve tried moving the start point around London and finally found one. I can’t see it being too popular though, ones that choose to use it will probably be bullied by their non Uber using colleagues. Look how many drivers have removed their Hailo signage.

  • Paula says:

    I added the promo code but can’t find anywhere in the the app to show if it’s ben applied?

  • ADS says:

    For a regular route that Wheely charge their minimum £9 fare – Uber are quoting £14 – £17

    Will use up my £20 sign-up bonus (thanks for the code) – but looks like I will continue to use Wheely.

  • Sully says:

    The sooner those Addison Lee cars are off the road the better. Their drivers are the most incompetent I’ve ever come across, and are probably the most dangerous too!
    Won’t be long before one of them kills their passengers, and whoever is unlucky enough to be the in the other car involved.

    • Chris S says:

      Thanks for this. It was well timed for a trip from IC Westminster to Heathrow terminal 5 today. Happy with a bill of 17 pounds.

  • JC says:

    I won’t be using UBER again.

    I prefer a cab that knows where he is going, and can use a bus lane. Happy to pay 20% extra for that.

  • PD says:

    for registering on uber, if I give overseas number and use the promo code METRO, will it give me £ 20 credit available for use in london or it will give me local credit to be used in my country??

  • Rob says:

    Yes, it works on any of the 3 services (if not going too far, take a LUX for the novelty) and the £20 is automatically used first with your card charged for the balance.

    • pd says:

      Thanks. So, will i be able to use it in greater london for e.g stanmore tube station to mercure watford hotel?

      • Rob says:

        I just tried for you – there was an Uber Exec car available near Stanmore tube as of now (2.30pm on a Monday) but no UberLUX or UberX.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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