United Kingdom

Uber DENIES prices are rising as increased costs are put down to greater surge charges

Londoners are hitting out at Uber for 'costing more than a black cab' - but the company insists it has not raised prices in two years. 

Britons have accused the San Francisco-based company of hiking fares to the point where they are now more expensive than taxis. But in spite of these claims, the cost of a typical Uber still appears consistently lower than black cab fares.

The outcry is likely more to do with the increase of demand due to more Britons heading outdoors amid relatively light Covid restrictions and sunny weather. 

At times when demand is high, for instance during rush hour and large events, Uber adds a 'surge charge'. This can see the fare for a journey doubled. 

App history seen by MailOnline reveals a trip from Clapham, south London, to Hammersmith at 9.38am on a Saturday cost £25.22 - while the return journey an hour and a half later cost half that amount at £12.70.  

The same trip repeated the following Saturday cost £20.91 for the outward journey at 11.33am, and £16.80 for the return at 1.34pm. 

The company claims that increasing its prices in this way 'helps ensure that those who need a driver can get one... and it lets the Uber app continue to be a reliable choice'.

Britons have accused the San Francisco-based company of hiking fares to the point where they are now more expensive than taxis. But in spite of these claims, the cost of a typical Uber still appears consistently lower than black cab fares

Social media users have voiced their displeasure with the system recently, with one saying: 'I know I live in London but what is with Uber prices jumping by £10-£15 in the matter of 20 minutes. It's really sick'

App history reveals a trip from Clapham, south London, to Hammersmith at 9.38am on a Saturday cost £25.22 - while the return journey cost half that amount at £12.70. The same trip repeated the following Saturday cost £20.91 for the outward trip at 11.33am, and £16.80 for the return at 1.34pm

CASE STUDIES: UBER PRICES DOUBLE AMID SURGE CHARGE - BUT STAY LOW OTHERWISE 

MailOnline has compiled Uber receipts revealing how typical prices have not increased - but surge charges can see a journey double in price.

Receipts for Ubers from Battersea to Kensington, arriving at 6am, show the following prices: 

But trips between Clapham and Hammersmith, between 9.30am and 2pm, reveal a significant change in pricing, likely due to the surge charge:

Social media users have voiced their displeasure with the system recently.

One said: 'I know I live in London but what is with Uber prices jumping by £10-£15 in the matter of 20 minutes. It's really sick.' 

Another said Uber prices were 'completely out of control in London' during peak times, and it was 'cheaper to take a black cab'.  

But an Uber spokesperson told MailOnline: 'Uber has not raised its prices in London since 2019, and is committed to providing safe and affordable trips.'

More app history seen by MailOnline shows the cost of an Uber from Battersea to Kensington, arriving at 6am, has consistently cost around £11 since November. 

And a MailOnline comparison found that Uber was the cheapest of four options for a trip from Kensington to Heathrow Airport, without surge pricing.

Uber would charge £17 for the journey, while Bolt would be £21, Kapten would charge £33 and a black cab would be £55.  

But Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, told MailOnline: 'Black cabs have always been the most efficient, reliable way to travel in London, offering a high quality, regulated service, at a fair price.

'In contrast, Uber's business model was never sustainable. 

'Its previously low fares were only made possible by its exploitative practices. 

'Since the Supreme Court ruled that its drivers are ''workers'' and owed certain rights, including minimum wage, it's unsurprising that the company has increased fares to pass these costs onto passengers. 

'As we've seen time and again with things like surge pricing, Uber has never been afraid to put making money above all else.'

At times when demand is high, for instance during rush hour and large events, Uber adds a 'surge charge'. The company claims that increasing its prices in this way 'helps ensure that those who need a driver can get one... and it lets the Uber app continue to be a reliable choice'

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