Uber vs Amber: the road war

This week, Uber celebrates its two year anniversary since it first arrived in Leeds. The app service has been popular across the city, but the huge influence has had an effect on other companies like Amber Cars, established in Leeds in 1986.

“I’ve been an Uber driver since it was introduced in Leeds, it’s a really good company to work for, we all get ratings from our passengers and the top three people with the most five-star ratings get a bonus on pay day,” said Ramzan, an Uber driver from Leeds.

The Uber drivers are given their pick-up jobs from a computer, the system finds a driver who is available and who is closest to the pick up destination. Prices surge at busy periods as more drivers are needed on the road, the customer is warned of the surge price when logging on to the app.

Someone using the Uber app on an iPhone.

Ordering Uber with the app

Asbar, an Uber driver said “Amber is our biggest competition in Leeds, they have a really similar app system which makes it hard to compete with”.

A Uber car in Leeds

An Uber car in Leeds

Even though Amber has recently provided customers with an a app, the company work on a telephone basis where passengers book over the phone and receive a text with details of the vehicle that will be arriving.

“I think people prefer Amber because we don’t surge our prices when we get busy and also you can order an Amber by ringing up so for people who don’t have a smartphone its the best option. With Amber you can pay cash or card so it’s more flexible for the customer,” said Atif, an Amber driver in Leeds.

Photo of a phone running the Amber application.

Ordering an amber with app

“It’s annoying when Amber drivers do not go by meter after a night out. It’s usually around 2-3am and they’ll charge £10-£15 for what would usually be a £5 journey,” said Casey a 22 year old student at University of Leeds.

By Lucy Bannister and Charlotte Jatana

About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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