Uber beware! Cab:app lets you pre-book taxis at 90 locations across the UK and Ireland and earn points towards future trips
Cab:app was co-founded by London taxi driver Peter Schive
It allows you to pre-book a nearby licensed cab, and to pay by cash or card
The app is available in 90 locations across the UK and Ireland
There are numerous taxi booking apps that let you digitally hail a cab, with Uber undoubtedly leading the pack. However, Uber's dominance could be under threat from cab:app.
The free Android and iOS app is available in 90 locations across the UK and Ireland, compared to Uber's 12, it lets users pre-book journeys and passengers can earn points for future trips.
Cab:app is available in major cities such as London, Leeds and Manchester, as well as smaller towns such as Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Limerick and more. The full list is available on the developer's website.
It works in a similar way to Uber.
The app searches for nearby taxi drivers using a person's location, or they can type in a postcode or street. Once a driver has accepted the job, the estimated time of arrival is shown and people can choose to pay with cash or card.
The app also includes a loyalty program based on Cab:miles that are collected on each journey and can then be used to pay future rides, or used to make a charitable donation.
There is a catch, however - cab:app isn't as cheap as Uber.
As an example, in London an Uber X comes with a base fare of £2.50, it charges £1.25 per mile and 15p per minute. The minimum fare is £5. Cab:app's prices are based on the local authority rates in the location of the driver. In London, the minimum cost is £2.40 for the first 254.6 metres. It then costs 20p for every 127.3 metres until the price reaches £17.20. Passengers are then charged 20p for every 89.20 metres. On average, a 3-mile (5km) journey in London in an Uber costs a minimum of £6.25, plus time in the car, compared to cab:app's £9.40, plus car time.
The prices for local authority rates across the UK are available from Yourtaximeter.com. Cab:app drivers charge using the meter for the first 8 miles (13km) after which a discount is applied based on the location.
When a taxi is booked using cab:app it quotes a price and this remains fixed, regardless of time and distance. But cab:app doesn't have as many drivers as Uber, which could make booking a taxi at the last minute more difficult.
'Cab:app draws on the heritage and expertise of the black cab industry and translates it for the digital world,' said the app's co-founder and taxi driver Peter Schive.
Taxi drivers in the UK and throughout Europe have criticised Uber for being 'unfair competition' since the app's arrival from the US in the early 2010s. Transport for London has put forward some regulation proposals, including the requirement of a compulsory five-minutes wait between a ride's booking and its beginning, but the plan has been lambasted by the competition watchdog.
While Cab:app is a clear bid on the part of licensed drivers to challenge Uber in the digital realm, it is not the first of its kind. Hailo, an app founded in 2011 lets users find licensed cabbies and uses a pre-book option akin to Cab:app too. However, Hailo is only available in five locations across the UK and Ireland.
Elsewhere, high-end car service Blacklane also allows pre-booking, and private-hire firm Addison Lee recently added a 'snooze' function that lets users delay their booking from fifteen to sixty minutes