Rather than chasing a taxi down your street or call and wait for about an hour for a car service, you can simply hail a car from any location, using a ride-hailing app, and have a car ready in minutes.
At the moment, Uber and Bolt(formerly called Taxify) are the two most popular ride-hailing apps in Nigeria – Most especially in Lagos. Of course, there are also some other ride-hailing apps.
Also, both Uber and Bolt provide the average citizen the opportunity to be a driver on their platform. That means if you have a suitable car for ride-hailing service, you can be a driver on Uber or Bolt. This has brought an increase in the number of drivers and cars available, making it easier and faster for customers to get a ride within minutes.
Both Uber and Bolt make use of modern technology and mobile applications to assign drivers to customers. They have both made structural changes to the personal transportation industry by making it possible to secure a car or taxi from your smartphone from any location.
In this article, we make a comparison between Uber and bolt, because you may find it puzzling to choose between the two, especially as a new driver or customer in Nigeria.
|Uber is an alternative to traditional taxi service and the driver does not have to be a “professional” taxi driver. This startup, created in San Francisco now has more than one billion users worldwide. Uber has also been present in Nigeria since 2014.||Bolt is based on the same principle as Uber (anyone with a valid driver’s license can be a Bolt driver). This Estonian-created startup has been operating in Nigeria since 2016 and competes with Uber through an aggressive pricing policy.|
Cities of operation
|Uber currently operates in Lagos, Gulu, and Abuja.||The Nigerian cities Bolt operates include Calabar, Owerri, Lagos, Umuahia, Kano, Warri, Ado-Ekiti, Bauchi, Akure, Kaduna, Jos, Makurdi, Asaba, Onitsha, Aba, Enugu, Ilorin, Abeokuta, Zaria, Ibadan, Portharcourt, Benin city, Uyo, and Abuja.|
Verdict: Bolt operates in more cities in Nigeria than Uber. Therefore, drivers and customers can make use of Bolt ride-hailing app in more places than Uber.
|If you cancel a trip, Uber charges a cancellation fee. This amount will be added to your next trip fare.||Bolt will only charge you a cancellation fee If you cancel your request more than 2 minutes after the driver has accepted.|
Also, you will be charged if the driver cancels the trip request after waiting for you for more than 4-8 minutes, depending on the market.
Verdict: Uber charges a cancellation fee when you cancel an order while Bolt will only charge in some cases. The cancellation fee is a plus to the driver and a loss to the customer.
Which is cheaper?
|Based on several reviews, we can conclude that Uber charges higher than Bolt.||Bolt is more deliberate about making transport fares more affordable for its customers. Therefore, making its prices cheaper than Uber. Bolt also sends its customers promotional codes to make them enjoy amazingly cheap offers.|
Verdict: Comparing the rates of both Uber and Bolt, it appears that Bolt’s transport rates are usually cheaper than Uber’s rates. This is an advantage for both customers and drivers.
Which pays drivers more?
|Uber takes between 20% and 30% of the amount paid for every successful trip. That implies that the drivers would have 70% to 80% of the amount paid.||Bolt takes only 15% to 20% of the amount paid for every successful trip. This implies that drivers have between 80% to 85% of the amount paid.|
Verdict: It appears that Bolt drivers would get more cut than Uber drivers.
Which is the safest?
Safety features are designed into the Uber app, so you can tell your loved ones where you are, and so there’s help if something unexpected happens. Uber also provides access to 24/7 support directly through the app should in case you have a quick question or an incident to report.
Uber also provides a two-way rating system to help keep both riders and drivers safe. Also, all Uber rides are tracked by GPS from start to finish, so you can follow your ride and see exactly where you’re going. You can get to know your driver before you step into their car.
Furthermore, Uber has a RideCheck feature that involves using sensors and GPS data to help detect if a trip has an unexpected long stop. If so, Uber customer support will check on you and offer tools to get help.
On the Uber app, you can also verify your ride with a PIN to help make sure you’re getting into the right car with the right driver. Other safety measures Uber offers include Driver hour limits, speed limit alerts, vehicle inspection, and thorough driver screening.
Bolt verifies the identity of each driver that operates on their platform through their first-of-its-kind verification portal, in partnership with YouVerify. The verification process includes cross-matching all information and documents provided by drivers against various government databases.
When requesting a trip through the Bolt app, you receive the driver’s photo, name, car make/model, and license plate number. With Bolt’s Share your ETA feature, you get an additional layer of safety as your loved ones can see your trip’s progress in real-time on the map as well as the driver and car details in full.
Every trip with Bolt is insured with rider trip protection that insures you and your possessions from the moment your trip begins until it ends. Bolt also provides you the feature to rate drivers for their service.
Verdict: Both Uber and Bolt have intelligent safety features, but in comparison Uber seems to have more safety features than Bolt has.
In the case of a lost item
|When you have contacted the Uber driver about your lost item, and confirmed you left it in the vehicle, Uber may charge you a return fee (amount varies by location) once your lost item is returned to pay the driver for their time and effort.||In the case of a returned missing item, Bolt only encourages you to be mindful of the effort and time spent by the driver to return your item. Therefore, the compensation payment is discretional.|
Verdict: Uber charges for returned missing items while Bolt allows compensation for the driver based on your discretion.
Requirements to be a Driver
|1. Phone(Android/iOS) with a valid email address.|
2. Valid Nigerian driver’s license.
3. LASRAA card.
4. Valid LASDRI card (Lagos only).
5. Minimums of 21 years of age.
6. Driver profile photo.
7. Safety screening and virtual info session.
8. Meet Uber’s standard vehicle requirements.
|1. Hold a valid driver’s license.|
2. Attend driver training for service quality and use of the Bolt driver application.
3. Additional Documents for Lagos: LASDRI Card, Driver Badge, and LASRRA Card.
Verdict: It appears that it takes a more tedious process to become a driver on Uber than on Bolt.
Basic vehicle requirements
|Model year 2000 or newer|
Good condition with no cosmetic damage
A working radio
Vehicle inspection report
A valid Hackney permit
Proof of Ownership
Certificate of Road-Worthiness
Minimum of 4 door
Excellent working condition
AutoGenius Vehicle Inspection Report
Additional Documents for Lagos: State Hackney Permit and a Vehicle Body Tag for all routes.
Verdict: Uber and Bolt have almost the same basic vehicle requirements, except for some minor additional requirements Uber has.
Additional perks for Drivers
|Surge pricing during high demands.|
Consecutive trips promotions
Vehicle maintenance discounts
|The ability to earn extra from bonuses|
Access to monthly HMO care
Driver shield: A ride-sharing insurance product that covers the driver and rider while on Bolt Rides
Bolt fuel rewards(this is in partnership with Total NG)
Verdict: They both offer additional Perks for Drivers.
It appears that the decision of which is better for customers is based on personal choice. If you are looking for a cheaper ride, Bolt would be a great option. If you are looking for more features, Uber may be an option. For drivers in Nigeria, it appears that Bolt will pay them more than Uber. However, both Uber and Bolt are indisputably the best two ride-hailing apps in Nigeria at the moment.