On September 22, Uber was stripped of its licence and the taxi-hailing service has appealed the decision, but we would rather have a backup plan.
Since we already had a list of potential Uber-successors, we thought we would tried them out. We selected Gett, MyTaxi and Kabbee to save you the trouble of trying them all yourselves.
We all gathered at 1pm on 26 September near East India Quay, east London. The plan was simple: each one of us would pick an app, download it and order a taxi. We would travel to the Southbank Centre, near Waterloo station and record the time our journey took from booking to arrival. Some were luckier than others, read on.
Claire - MyTaxi
Time: 31m 31s
Price: £14.10 with a 50% discount plus a 10% tip.
A MyTaxi ride is cost-effective, but without promo codes, it can get pricey in no time.
They are offering a 50% discount from the 25th until the 30th September. A full-price journey would have costed a dear £23.40.
The driver picked me up 5 minutes after I booked my journey from 110 East Ferry Road. The app was easy to use, with a simple interface and basic booking options as well as a tracking system.
Unlike Uber, MyTaxi uses licensed black cabs to get you where you need to be. It is driver-friendly, and travelling in an iconic black cab on the cheap is definitely a plus.
The journey was pleasant enough. The driver and I had a little chat but he let me enjoy the rest of the journey quietly. No uncomfortable small talk needed.
Overall, it was a standard taxi experience. I was glad there was a discount. I would have opted for a bus ride if the app had been full-price.
James - Gett
Time: 37m 9s
Gett's app has a simple and easy interface — your details are added in and you can choose from a small selection of cabs.
My car arrived promptly, the driver was friendly and the journey was hassle-free, as one would hope. Having used Uber both here in the UK and in the US, my first reaction was to gawp at the price. In Washington, DC, I can travel almost anywhere in the city for under $10 in an Uber, here I was about to spend almost £25 for a not irregular trip.
My conversation with my driver helped quell that unease. What you are paying for, he told me, is not just a guy in a car to take you from A to B - but insurance should something happen and a more secure and fulfilling life for your driver who will not have to go without holidays or work through the night to stay afloat.
But on a journalist's salary, I'm likely to choose the bus.
Josh - Kabbee
The Kabbee interface was very intuitive and easy to use. I had no problem booking my taxi.
I took the cheapest option which, at £17, was not much more than an Uber although the quoted arrival time of 15 minutes was on the long side.
The first alarm bell rang when I received a confirmation text telling me that Swiss Cottage Cars were handling my booking – Swiss Cottage is the other side of London from the Docklands.
Then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. It was more than 45 minutes until the taxi arrived.
I do not know how typical this experience was or how much quicker I would have been served had I not selected the cheapest option. That said, waiting 45 minutes for a taxi in the middle of London on a Monday lunchtime is poor service.