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Uber bringing smart hire cars to Canberra

By 8 January 2014 25

Australian Business Traveller reports that the controversial hire car /taxi service to the nerds Uber (wikipedia page for context)is planning an Australian expansion that includes Canberra:

The Uber car hire service could be available in Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and other Australian cities this year.

“In 2014 we plan to bring Uber to many more Australian cities” the company spruiks in its latest marketing campaign.

“We’d like your help to spread the word to your friends all around Australia” Uber says. “We will prioritise launching cities with the most pre-registered users.”

Already running in Sydney and Melbourne, plus several major cities in the USA, Europe and Asia, Uber essentially lets you use a smartphone app to hire any nearby and available private car at near-taxi prices.

We gather that in many techy cities in the US they’ve become a real alternative to car ownership.

(And not, confusingly, to be mistaken for Canberra’s own Uber Global)

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25 Responses to
Uber bringing smart hire cars to Canberra
eq2 9:43 am
30 Jan 14
#1

I’m a Canberran now living in the US and this was great in Sydney and over here. Their uberx (non-black private cars) option is often cheaper and more available than taxis.

Use the promo code “uberushi” or https://uber.com/invite/uberushi to get $20 off your first ride!

pierce 9:52 am
30 Jan 14
#2

So it’s a taxi service with an app but it costs more than other taxis?

frankie 1:35 pm
01 Jul 14
#3

6 months later and Uber is still not in Canberra. Gosh darnit.

frankie 1:43 pm
01 Jul 14
#4

pierce said :

So it’s a taxi service with an app but it costs more than other taxis?

https://www.uber.com/cities/sydney

Base fare: $2.50
$0.40 per minute
$1.45 Per kilometer

You could probably make a decent haul if you use Uber to find a select group of faithful customers at first, then provide your services off of Uber’s records thereafter to avoid their large overhead fees.

justsomeaussie 4:24 pm
01 Jul 14
#5

The BIG advantage with Uber is that you rate the cabbie. So they are forced to provide good service and actually turn up compared with normal taxi drivers.

They’ve got some legislation battles ahead but it’s certainly the start of the death spiral for traditional taxis.

The smartest thing taxi companies could do right now is release an app that lets you book where and when, lets you rate the cabbie and shows you how far away it is.

dungfungus 5:58 pm
01 Jul 14
#6

Do they pick up drunks from Civic in the early AM?

Pork Hunt 6:04 pm
01 Jul 14
#7

So, you join Uber and people contact you and you drive them to their destination and they give you money? Is that legal?

frankie 12:18 pm
28 Sep 14
#8

Pork Hunt said :

So, you join Uber and people contact you and you drive them to their destination and they give you money? Is that legal?

Apparently not in NSW, at least. See the Passenger Transport Act 1990 (NSW).

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/nsw-cracks-down-on-uber-ridesharing-20140617-zsabx.html

But it should be, especially in rural areas where there aren’t any taxis whatsoever, and people need to contact each other.

Insurance companies and cabbies are obviously the losers with Uber, and the ATO wants to know where all the money is flowing from these new fangled internet ventures. I take it NSW will have to fight AirBNB for exactly the same reason.

Anyway, it won’t stop me from getting lifts from my mates, making copies of music, or finding short-term non-commercial accommodation in the meanwhile. And ride-sharing in the ACT is still legal, last time I checked.

Claire 12:44 pm
20 May 15
#9

Uber should have the same expenses as the regular taxi service.

GST on every dollar earned, plus Income Tax on net receipts.

Cars should be registered at the same exorbitant rate as taxis.

Pay for extra insurance to cover paying passengers.

Cars inspected regularly and be declared unroadworthy for the slightest little defect.

Drivers need a Working With Vulnerable People clearance before they can pick up children, etc.

Cost of a compulsory uniform.

And a lot more

Solidarity 1:37 pm
20 May 15
#10

Uber isn’t in Australia.

Uber provide an infrastructure, the drivers all work for themselves, so it’s the onus on the driver to be registered with a ABN, etc. That’s how they get through the loops.

vintage123 2:08 pm
20 May 15
#11

Pork Hunt said :

So, you join Uber and people contact you and you drive them to their destination and they give you money? Is that legal?

You should see it in action in Sydney and Melbourne, at the airports and the cba, especially sporting events it is booming. It has really taken the taxi companies by surprise. I can’t see taxis existing much into the future.

vintage123 2:12 pm
20 May 15
#12

dungfungus said :

Do they pick up drunks from Civic in the early AM?

Yes however the early AM rates are quite expensive. As are public holidays and weekends.

vintage123 2:15 pm
20 May 15
#13

frankie said :

pierce said :

So it’s a taxi service with an app but it costs more than other taxis?

https://www.uber.com/cities/sydney

Base fare: $2.50
$0.40 per minute
$1.45 Per kilometer

You could probably make a decent haul if you use Uber to find a select group of faithful customers at first, then provide your services off of Uber’s records thereafter to avoid their large overhead fees.

Only in the scenario where you are close by to pickup and lucky enough for a return trip passenger. Anytime you have a bit of a drive to pickup and no one on a return trip then it’s not worth it.

Zultan 2:21 pm
20 May 15
#14

20-28% of every Uber fair being sent off shore to the Uber Corporation, that doesn’t currently pay Australian taxes. Long term that isn’t going to help Aussie jobs.

dungfungus 2:30 pm
20 May 15
#15

vintage123 said :

Pork Hunt said :

So, you join Uber and people contact you and you drive them to their destination and they give you money? Is that legal?

You should see it in action in Sydney and Melbourne, at the airports and the cba, especially sporting events it is booming. It has really taken the taxi companies by surprise. I can’t see taxis existing much into the future.

I was in Melbourne last week via the XPT service (which is totally clapped out) and after alighting at Southern Cross I went out to the taxi rank looking for Uber but he was nowhere to be seen.
I ended up with Mohammed who got me safely to where I wanted to go in a spotlessly clean cab.
Can’t see why we need this trendy new Uber thing – it’s a bit like the light rail, sexy but unnecessary.

dungfungus 2:32 pm
20 May 15
#16

Zultan said :

20-28% of every Uber fair being sent off shore to the Uber Corporation, that doesn’t currently pay Australian taxes. Long term that isn’t going to help Aussie jobs.

Sounds like the IKEA/ALDI/Costco model to me.
The ACT Government love them so Uber will get a rails run here.

vintage123 4:07 pm
20 May 15
#17

dungfungus said :

vintage123 said :

Pork Hunt said :

So, you join Uber and people contact you and you drive them to their destination and they give you money? Is that legal?

You should see it in action in Sydney and Melbourne, at the airports and the cba, especially sporting events it is booming. It has really taken the taxi companies by surprise. I can’t see taxis existing much into the future.

I was in Melbourne last week via the XPT service (which is totally clapped out) and after alighting at Southern Cross I went out to the taxi rank looking for Uber but he was nowhere to be seen.
I ended up with Mohammed who got me safely to where I wanted to go in a spotlessly clean cab.
Can’t see why we need this trendy new Uber thing – it’s a bit like the light rail, sexy but unnecessary.

Did you actually book a uber vehicle through the app before you got off the train?

Funky1 5:11 pm
20 May 15
#18

Zultan said :

20-28% of every Uber fair being sent off shore to the Uber Corporation, that doesn’t currently pay Australian taxes. Long term that isn’t going to help Aussie jobs.

Doesn’t 100% of your fare go direct to Uber by way of a credit card payment (assumig the driver doesn’t take cash), and then Uber pay the driver their percentage?

And do all Uber drivers actually have a registered ABN?

Sandman 7:50 pm
20 May 15
#19

Funky1 said :

Zultan said :

20-28% of every Uber fair being sent off shore to the Uber Corporation, that doesn’t currently pay Australian taxes. Long term that isn’t going to help Aussie jobs.

Doesn’t 100% of your fare go direct to Uber by way of a credit card payment (assumig the driver doesn’t take cash), and then Uber pay the driver their percentage?

And do all Uber drivers actually have a registered ABN?

Yes, Uber collects all the money. Driver gets 90% from memory.
I don’t think they need an ABN unless they earn a real lot from it. They declare it as supplemental income and pay the taxes based on their total income.

For the record, as a passenger I wouldn’t get into a taxi in Sydney or Melbourne ever again. Uber had the taxi’s beat for convenience, cleanliness , politeness and price. First one I used was an engineer driving a year old BMW who gave us mints. It sold me and every trip since that first has been outstanding.

dungfungus 8:13 pm
20 May 15
#20

vintage123 said :

dungfungus said :

Do they pick up drunks from Civic in the early AM?

Yes however the early AM rates are quite expensive. As are public holidays and weekends.

So are the removal costs of vomit.

dungfungus 8:16 pm
20 May 15
#21

Funky1 said :

Zultan said :

20-28% of every Uber fair being sent off shore to the Uber Corporation, that doesn’t currently pay Australian taxes. Long term that isn’t going to help Aussie jobs.

Doesn’t 100% of your fare go direct to Uber by way of a credit card payment (assumig the driver doesn’t take cash), and then Uber pay the driver their percentage?

And do all Uber drivers actually have a registered ABN?

Some dude from Uber was on TV this evening trying to convince viewers that Uber didn’t provide as service therefore they were exempt from GST.
Nice try dude.

rosscoact 5:14 am
21 May 15
#22

Funky1 said :

And do all Uber drivers actually have a registered ABN?

They do not need an ABN if they are generating less that $75,000. If the driver doesn’t have an ABN the company that pays them should take out tax at the top rate, however Uber is a company that is incorporated overseas. I don’t know what the requirements are from the ATO for offshore companies and overseas remittences.

Given we are part of the global economy, I’m sure this has been examined at length by the tax policy wonks.

dungfungus 8:12 am
21 May 15
#23

rosscoact said :

Funky1 said :

And do all Uber drivers actually have a registered ABN?

They do not need an ABN if they are generating less that $75,000. If the driver doesn’t have an ABN the company that pays them should take out tax at the top rate, however Uber is a company that is incorporated overseas. I don’t know what the requirements are from the ATO for offshore companies and overseas remittences.

Given we are part of the global economy, I’m sure this has been examined at length by the tax policy wonks.

There is another problem as to what status the Uber operator has which will require the ATO to adjudicate on namely, is he/she an employee or a contractor?
I can’t see Uber wanting to have employees doing their work as the on costs would increase the pricing dramatically so they obviously have to be contractors therefore they must have an ABN.
The problem is that as they will be working exclusively for one customer (Uber) they will be deemed to be employees.

dungfungus 8:14 am
21 May 15
#24

Sandman said :

Funky1 said :

Zultan said :

20-28% of every Uber fair being sent off shore to the Uber Corporation, that doesn’t currently pay Australian taxes. Long term that isn’t going to help Aussie jobs.

Doesn’t 100% of your fare go direct to Uber by way of a credit card payment (assumig the driver doesn’t take cash), and then Uber pay the driver their percentage?

And do all Uber drivers actually have a registered ABN?

Yes, Uber collects all the money. Driver gets 90% from memory.
I don’t think they need an ABN unless they earn a real lot from it. They declare it as supplemental income and pay the taxes based on their total income.

For the record, as a passenger I wouldn’t get into a taxi in Sydney or Melbourne ever again. Uber had the taxi’s beat for convenience, cleanliness , politeness and price. First one I used was an engineer driving a year old BMW who gave us mints. It sold me and every trip since that first has been outstanding.

“he gave you mints”
Was he wearing a trench coat?

Funky1 10:28 am
21 May 15
#25

Sandman said :

Funky1 said :

Zultan said :

20-28% of every Uber fair being sent off shore to the Uber Corporation, that doesn’t currently pay Australian taxes. Long term that isn’t going to help Aussie jobs.

Doesn’t 100% of your fare go direct to Uber by way of a credit card payment (assumig the driver doesn’t take cash), and then Uber pay the driver their percentage?

And do all Uber drivers actually have a registered ABN?

Yes, Uber collects all the money. Driver gets 90% from memory.
I don’t think they need an ABN unless they earn a real lot from it. They declare it as supplemental income and pay the taxes based on their total income.

For the record, as a passenger I wouldn’t get into a taxi in Sydney or Melbourne ever again. Uber had the taxi’s beat for convenience, cleanliness , politeness and price. First one I used was an engineer driving a year old BMW who gave us mints. It sold me and every trip since that first has been outstanding.

Sounds like their premium service, Uber Black is it?
Anyone know what their regular service is like?
Also, how do they go about things like insurance etc? I hear that most insurers will nullify a policy if the vehicle is used in a commercial nature.

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