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Old 11th May 2016, 16:24   #16
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Could it be that the taxi operators categorize the vehicle as Premium ('Prime' in case of Ola), only if it is a top-end variant?
And these 'Premium' taxis get better financial packages from the taxi operator?

If true, it may only be a smart investment for a higher return.

Last edited by GTO : 12th May 2016 at 11:58. Reason: Typo
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Old 11th May 2016, 16:55   #17
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

For me the logic is simple. A lot of the aggregators now offer the "Prime" option. It would require certain basics like an A/C and music system. For an individual cab owner, the minimal difference in EMI for the top end version justifies it since they don't have to spend money upfront from their own pocket getting these options installed (it is part of the loan) and they can then hopefully get better returns on the vehicle. For cab fleets, the base or mid version makes more sense since the additional cost of say 1 lakh or so difference for like a 100 cars adds up to huge money.
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Old 11th May 2016, 17:48   #18
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I was talking to an uber driver and he sorely wanted automatic transmission. The general sense was that if you have to spend such a long time in the car, you need some of the niceties.
Drivers are humans too
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Old 11th May 2016, 18:31   #19
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I'd think these are exceptions. Among the cab drivers in my previous company, there were a bunch of enthusiasts / car lovers. Some would jazz up their car nicely & others would keep their car spotless (almost). Am sure these are the guys who would go for such variants.

Otherwise, these guys would be the ones who get repeat business from some big shots and such people would love the extra niceties. In the cab world, reference works big time if you are good @ your job & have a well maintained ride too. And if I am a car driver with repeat business from well endowed families, I'd happily keep a top variant to please them.

Edit:

I remember my regular cab guy's OVRM being smacked by another speeding car & he was so sad. This happened @ 10 PM. Next day, 12 PM during pick up, I noticed he had a spanking new OVRM in place. Guess it costs him 450/- or so, but he didn't cut the cost. His car was always clean & never smelled stale either, though the windows were always rolled down. Very presentable chap & matured behaviour + driving too.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 11th May 2016 at 18:36.
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:09   #20
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotirajendra View Post
I was talking to an uber driver and he sorely wanted automatic transmission. The general sense was that if you have to spend such a long time in the car, you need some of the niceties.
Drivers are humans too
The last several UBER Cab Drivers whose services I have used, all without exception said they would love to have an AT, especially in the evil Bangalore traffic.
And all of them roundly and soundly cursed our traffic, our roads and our Karnataka Politicians and Bureaucrats and Government Agencies too.
They are exactly like anyone else who drives a car in these beautiful environs here in Bangalore and they feel the same pain and frustration as well.
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Old 12th May 2016, 12:01   #21
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Just taking Bangalore as an example, one commute to and from work stresses most of us out. Cab Drivers spend 12-16 (just an assumption) in high traffic/stressful conditions. I am sure a better loaded car will help mitigate that stress a great deal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotirajendra View Post
I was talking to an uber driver and he sorely wanted automatic transmission.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
The last several UBER Cab Drivers whose services I have used, all without exception said they would love to have an AT
Rajeevraj's post made me think of an AT, and there are two subsequent posts on that.

I'm sure as diesel ATs become more commonplace (across models), we'll be seeing some cabs with ATs. Or perhaps, cheaper AMT diesels?

It'll surely make for a smoother drive for passengers, especially with a torque-converter or CVT. No jerks from poor clutch & accelerator co-ordination.
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Old 12th May 2016, 13:48   #22
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Might be OT here but I remember, a few years back, many high-end car buyers took it on yellow plate to evade road taxes and some other benefits. They knew it's illegal but took the risk as they were confident that no one would check the papers unless any accidents or similar happens. I hope the some of the above cases are not anything similar.
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Old 12th May 2016, 14:36   #23
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amit_breakfree View Post
Recently I booked a cab in Hyderabad over a weekend and when the guy turned up, he was looking well educated and his car was in perfect condition.

Out of curiosity, I started a conversation and I came to know that he worked as a software developer with an MNC and he loved driving.
Does this mean that a private number plate car can be used as a Uber or Ola taxi?
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Old 12th May 2016, 14:45   #24
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

The other day I decided to travel via Uber pool in Bangalore. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Renault Duster allotted to me. As I boarded the vehicle it smelt fresh and looked well maintained. During my 1 hour of ride with the courteous driver, I was enlightened that these drivers prefer to purchase the top variant as it gives them better features which the drivers themselves and a lot of customers demand(music system, power windows, etc). Also I was told by him that due to their frequent highway drives they prefer to go for safety features. When I enquired about the cost, he told me that since the vehicles are registered with an yellow board, the lifetime tax he paid was less and the government gave a subsidy of 35k. He seemed to be pretty happy with the deal he got. He also added that he and his peers would ideally run any vehicle for 4 years and would then exchange it for another and get some offers on the same.
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Old 12th May 2016, 14:59   #25
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amit_breakfree View Post
....So he drives his own car from Uber over the weekends .......
But i guess the rule of Uber in India is that the car should be yellow plate and the driver should have commercial license.

Isn't it so, correct me if am wrong.
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Old 12th May 2016, 16:04   #26
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadSurfer View Post
Does this mean that a private number plate car can be used as a Uber or Ola taxi?
Apologies for my misleading post. It was a yellow number plate car and the guy was the original owner. He has hired a driver for his car, and has rented the car for an additional source of income. He likes to drive the car occasionally and by chance, I got to travel in his car that day.

Didn't get a chance to get more details but if I get a chance next time then will surely ask some more.

Hope this clarifies Dicky's question too.
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Old 12th May 2016, 17:08   #27
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I am a regular user of Uber and OLA these days. I used to see a lot of drivers who are actually gulf returns, here in Cochin. They were all speaking about the comfort & convenience of cars they used to drive there in middle east and lack of the same here. While I was taking an Uber day before yesterday, the driver who came was a store manager in a telecom company before and he quit to join Uber / OLA. He said he's earning 60-70% more than what he used to get from his salaried job. He also said the only difficulty is the clutch-gear thing in this scorching sun and traffic. As the conversation progressed, he asked me about automatic options in diesel category. What am saying is, the face and profit of the cab industry is moving up these days. Now a days cab drivers won't mind spending that extra couple of thousands on EMI to get a more comfortable car. Customer satisfaction is an added advantage.
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Old 12th May 2016, 19:40   #28
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I'm sure as diesel ATs become more commonplace (across models), we'll be seeing some cabs with ATs. Or perhaps, cheaper AMT diesels?

It'll surely make for a smoother drive for passengers, especially with a torque-converter or CVT. No jerks from poor clutch & accelerator co-ordination.
Torque-converter and CVT cabs may be some time away. But one thing struck me. The most popular cab driver car, the Swift Dzire is available in diesel AMT. In addition the most popular company for cab drivers is probably Tata. They have the diesel AMT in the Zest.

Maybe it's a good business opportunity for both Maruti and Tata to do a marketing and awareness push with the diesel AMTs for the cab drivers. The model is right, the segment is right. Price and mileage are also favorable. Has the potential to become popular. And may help Tata set a trend and get some numbers for the Zest.
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Old 12th May 2016, 23:06   #29
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Having a top end variant taxi pleases the customer & the customer ends up giving higher ratings for their rides. Due to higher ratings, the drivers would get more incentives from the company. It is a win-win situation for both the customer as well as the driver. Being a customer, I would definitely prefer top end variant taxi's rather than a taxi which doesn't even have power windows!

Nowadays, Ola & Uber drivers are focused more towards customer service. Most of the times I have been asked by the drivers to give them a 5 star rating for the ride. But, I give a good rating only if I get good service & I am getting good service most of the time.

Top end variants have features like climate control which may look fancy to the general customer. Once, during an OLA ride got a Nissan Sunny XV (Top end variant). It had all the goodies like music system, climate control, steering mounted controls. This was nothing new to me, however my parents were very much impressed with these features & also ended up tipping the driver!

Also, there are discounts for the top end variant and also some extra money wouldn't matter to the driver-owners. Some of them being well educated know the importance of safety features like ABS & Airbags and thus they end up buying top end variants! However, the yellow number plate is still present to distinguish them
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Old 13th May 2016, 08:28   #30
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I drive with Uber - Mumbai on a full time basis and chose the Ford Ecosport AT - here's why:
1. Convenience, convenience, convenience!! I drive over 200km daily in peak Mumbai traffic so the AT box is an absolute boon!
2. Safety: Ok, so it's a cab, but aren't cabbies humans as well? So why should I compromise on safety features?
3. Comfort: Automatic Ac, power windows, rear charging point all add to the comfort factor and customers are happy! Seat height and lumbar adjustment, arm rest, steering mounted controls etc are features that make driving very comfortable for the driver.
4. Novelty: When looking at car options to run with Uber, I said to myself "How shall I differentiate myself from the crowd?" The answer was to buy the Ecosport AT - a top of the line model plus the one and only Ecosport with Uber Mumbai when I registered with them!
Till date my riders are pleasantly surprised when they get my car and most of them have complimented the same. The effect shows on my rating with Uber as well - proud to say that I've been amongst the top 10 rated drivers in Mumbai on a consistent basis!

To sum it up, buying a top end variant adds to the overall rider experience and is therefore only beneficial to the driver!
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