Not having a car can truly seem like the ultimate inconvenience. Public transportation systems can be really helpful for getting around, but when you need to get somewhere fast, sometimes they are not the best option. My car has been asking for maintenance and repairs continuously for over 2 years, and no matter how much money I put it in, it always manages to break down when I take it out for a ride. A friend of mine who knows about my car issues sent me a link with a list of the best transportation apps.
I tested some of the apps on the list and found a few that I really liked. After spending some time with them, I selected my top 3 favourites and reviewed them.
Lyft – Rating: 4.9, Downloads: 10M+
One of the apps I liked the most is Lyft. What I really like about it is that you are only charged for the distance you travel, and not for how long it takes to get there. So, even if you get stuck in traffic you can have some peace of mind that you won’t be charged more to get to your destination. I also found the payment features to be really convenient, as it is significantly cheaper than a taxi and you can easily split fares with your friends at the time of payment. Another plus I found is the rating system, as only the top-rated drivers can offer their services on the app.
The only drawback I found is that Lyft is only available in North America. So, if you are traveling overseas, you will need to use another alternative to find transportation. For these cases, you might prefer my next pick, Uber.
Pros: Distance-based pricing, cheaper than a taxi, split fares, rating system.
Cons: Only available in North America.
Overall: Get the best transportation rates by only paying for the distance you need to travel, but keep in mind that it is only available in North America.
Uber – Rating: 4.2, Downloads: 100M+
My second pick is Uber. Many of my friends use it frequently, but I simply had not gotten around to trying it out. I must say, that after using it the first time, I was surprised by how convenient and easy it is to use. One of the biggest advantages I found with Uber is that it is available around the globe, so you can use it anywhere you go. I also really like the travel options, as you can choose to save extra money by sharing a ride with others, or you can book higher-end vehicles by paying a little extra.
I did find that sometimes the colour of the car was hard to pick out from the pictures. Thankfully, you can use other parameters, such as car brand, model and license plate number to easily identify the car. It also helps that you can track the car on a map so you can view exactly how far it is from the pick-up location.
Pros: Worldwide coverage, multiple travel options, GPS tracking.
Cons: Car colour not always clear from pictures.
Overall: Find travel options anywhere you are around the world, although you might want to rely on license plate number rather than car colour to make sure you are getting into the right car.
Zipcar – Rating: 4.1, Downloads: 1M+
My third pick, Zipcar, provides a different way of finding transportation. Rather than paying for a cab or a driver to take you to your destination, you can easily find a car near you and rent it for exactly the time you need. I really liked the fact that you don’t need to pay for a full day of car rental if you only want to rent it an hour or two. By simply selecting your desired car model, you get many car options which you can sort by available time. Once you make your pick, you get directions to your car and you can unlock it with a tap. I also really liked that all the pricing is clear from the start, so you know exactly what you are going to pay before you get in the car. Another plus I found is that Zipcar is available in many cities across the world, which is great if you are interested in renting cars for a few hours at a time during your travels.
I have used Zipcar several times, and only once did I get in a car to find that it was out of gas. On the plus side, Zipcar reimburses you for any gas you pay out of pocket, so you won’t pay for more than you already agreed to.
Pros: Innovative car-rental options, find cars near you, up-front pricing, worldwide coverage, gas reimbursement.
Cons: Tank not prefilled with gas.
Overall: Rent a car for only the exact time you need, but you might need to fill it with gas before you start your trip and get reimbursed later.
After spending some time with transportation apps, I must confess that I am starting to find them more and more convenient by the day. I personally find myself using Uber the most, but I also really like the car rental options Zipcar provides. If you don’t have a car and are looking for an easy way to get to your destination, any of these apps will sort out your transportation needs in no time!