GrabHitch – An Even Cheaper Way to Grab
Comment on Grab vs Uber Situation
Many people who visit Singapore from other developed cities often comment on how cheap the taxis are. They tend to make this comment before they’ve even tried out Grab – the local “Uber”. For those new to the region, Grab is Uber of South East Asia.
Grab and Uber were slugging it out over the last couple of years, but earlier this year Grab bought over Uber and effectively put an end to Uber’s operations in South East Asia. I recently read a news article stating that the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore intend to take action against Grab. I actually find it to be an interesting read.
They state things that I feel are, for the most part, quite obvious. For example, the fact that the merger resulted in a lessening of competition and has ultimately resulted in increased fares. In what sense would a merger not result in lessening of competition and thus less competitive prices for consumers? I’m no economist or business guru and maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how/why it took this long for such revelations to be made.
Anyway, on to the deal!
Deal Rating: 6/10
It’s a good deal in the sense that it’s not too hard to use and understand, but you’re not saving a huge amount.
I’ve never posted about Grab, or how to use Grab itself, and I don’t feel the need to as I feel a large proportion of the population are quite familiar with its use. Even for those from overseas with experience using Uber will be able to pick Grab up like a duck takes to water.
However, I’ve realised that the concept of GrabHitch can be a bit foreign to some, despite being familiar with the other aspects of Grab.
GrabHitch is a more “organised” form of ride-sharing. If you know where you’ll be going at a specific time, and how many of you will be travelling, using GrabHitch is a more price effective way of completing the trip, relative to “JustGrab”/GrabCar and GrabShare.
- Morning commute from home to work
- Evening commute home from work
- Going to the airport for a flight/to meet someone arriving
- Going home from the airport
- Going to an organised event at a specific time
Advantages of GrabHitch
- As an example, Redhill area to Changi Airport is ~$19 with regular Grab, ~$17.50 with GrabShare. A GrabHitch is $14.
- No upfront payment required – i.e. no financial commitment
- Not subject to “surge” pricing (when fares are higher due to high demand)
- Planned in advance, so a stronger feeling of certainty (but it doesn’t mean the driver or you can’t cancel)
Disadvantages of GrabHitch
- Requires you to book at least 10 minutes in advance, so you can’t really impulsively book a GrabHitch
- Drivers may sometimes ask you if you can leave a bit earlier/later. The reason for this is because they will sometimes try and combine your GrabHitch request with someone else wanting to be picked up nearby, who is also after a GrabHitch to a destination in the same direction
- Keep in mind for drivers, it often doesn’t make sense to accept one GrabHitch request as it means less money for them, relative to accepting a regular request or two different GrabShare requests, so the only way it really makes sense for them is to accept two bookings which requires a bit of logistical coordination. The only reason I can think of a driver accepting just one GrabHitch request would be for the certainty, knowing that there’s a passenger at a particular time wanting to go to a particular destination, which also happens to be near where they wish to end up at that time.
- As a result of the point above, you should give yourself a little extra time buffer if using GrabHitch. Keep in mind you can say no if the timing does not work for you. If this happens, try for another GrabHitch driver if you still have some time, otherwise just book regularly.
- Does not always work – i.e. you will not always have your request accepted. If it doesn’t work, then you can just request a Grab regularly as you normally would.
- You may be sharing with another passenger
- You do not earn GrabRewards points
- Promo codes are usually not applicable to GrabHitch, so if you actually have a promo code, depending on the value, it may be cheaper to book Grab the regular way.
I am well aware that the list of pros and cons above actually does not make very good showing for GrabHitch. However, having a GrabHitch request does not hinder your ability to request Grab in the regular way. I bolded this above under “disadvantages” to emphasise this.
My recommended tactic is to make a GrabHitch request, and if that ultimately fails by the time you require the ride, then just request a regular Grab request as you normally would have anyway!
In summary, I wish to point out that trying to use GrabHitch should be in no way disadvantageous to you. The only effective “cost” is the additional time you need to take to request the ride, but it is otherwise very much in no way disadvantageous and can be used in conjuction with how you would regularly use Grab anyway.
Do you have any comments on GrabHitch? Did I miss something that you feel is important to share?