6 Popular On-demand Taxi, Private Driver & Rideshare Apps

Get a Car to Come Pick You Up with a Tap of Your Smartphone

Taxicabs have long been a regular transportation choice for getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Now that smartphones are owned by almost everyone, a whole bunch of new mobile app-based car ride services have been moving on in -- changing the way people summon, share and pay for car rides.

Despite becoming such a popular alternative to using regular taxi companies, app-based rideshare and private driver services have been causing quite a bit of commotion among customers and the cities they operate in due to a variety of issues including lack of regulation, surge pricing, problems with the drivers, improper vehicle inspection and inadequate insurance coverage. 

Still, a ton of people absolutely swear by some of the big favorites out there like Uber and Lyft, and the trend will undoubtedly continue. Take a look at the following list to find out more about these services and see which ones are available in your area.

1
Uber

Rideshare & Private Driver Apps
Photo © Jutta Klee / Getty Images

Uber is the big shot of the app-based rideshare and private driver world. It operates in 200 cities across the globe, allowing anyone who has the app to be picked up by a private driver, pay for it and even split up payment between multiple people. UberX is a cheaper version that lets prescreened drivers to use their own cars pick-up people. I've taken Uber a couple of times in the past when it first came to my city, and you can read my full review of the service here

2
Lyft

Uber competitor Lyft is the other big rideshare service that lets you call a car ride from your smartphone. Unlike Uber's worldwide presence, Lyft only operates in some of the largest U.S. cities. The cost between using Uber and Lyft is comparably similar, although each offers their own variety of premium options, types of ride credits and in-app features. Neither one is really better than the other, but trying both Uber and Lyft out if you have the chance would be the best way to decide for yourself.

3
Sidecar

Another popular rideshare app Sidecar claims to be one of the best money-saving alternatives as the only one that lets you select a ride based on its price. When you choose a shared ride with other people heading your way, you can expect to pay even less -- up to 50 percent in savings on rides. And of course, like both Uber and Lyft, all payments and ratings are made through the Sidecar app. In addition to its availability in five Californian cities/locations, Sidecar also operates in Seattle, Chicago, Washington, Boston and Charlotte.

4
Gett

Gett is a black car service that began operating in a few big international cities before expanding to New York City in 2014. Download the app, set your pick-up and your luxury car will be on its way. In Central Manhattan, Gett rides are $10 any day of the week. The service ensures that passengers never have to worry about surge pricing -- something that Uber has been widely criticized for. All payments are made through the app, and you can finalize your tip at the end of your ride.

5
Flywheel

Flywheel is a taxi-hailing app that's a nice and simple alternative to some of the other competitors on this list. And because the service partners with taxis in your city, all drivers are fully licensed professionals. Like Gett, Flywheel says no to surge pricing so you're never surprised by any unexpected costs. Flywheel is currently available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Seattle, with expansion to more cities expected in the future.

6
Hailo (Available internationally but no longer in the U.S.)

Hailo unfortunately pulled out of the U.S. in 2014 because of the intense competition it faced against Uber and Lyft, but it still operates around the world in other major cities like London, Barcelona, Tokyo and others. The app helps people link up with city cabs or luxury cars -- with all drivers licensed by the local authority where they operate. Like all the other services on this list, Hailo provides fare quotes and payment processing through its app.