Change in Uber & Ola usage in last 2-3 years: BHPians share experiences

The quality of cabs has significantly deteriorated. Half the cars I get now are junk, rattly, smelly and toward the end of their life.

GTO recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I work from home. Up until 2022, if I had to step out during the day, Uber & Ola were my default commuting tools, despite having multiple cars of my own down the house. Reason = I can work during the commute, and most official work was always in areas with impossible parking.

However, since the last 2 – 3 years, I have observed that:

  • The quality of cabs has significantly deteriorated. Half the cars I get now are junk, rattly, smelly and toward the end of their life. 40% of cabs are just about okay, and only 10% are in good condition. In a lot of Ubers & Olas, the AC is no longer powerful enough (presumably due to poor maintenance).
  • The quality of customer service from drivers has significantly deteriorated. This is especially the case with Uber, which has suffered such driver shortages that the pendulum of power has swung from customers -> drivers. Neither Uber nor drivers care about ratings anymore. Drivers now call asking about the location, payment method etc. and cancel frequently.
  • Availability of cabs, waiting times & trip cancellations have become perennial problems with both the app providers.
  • Despite the above, in my experience, Ola has emerged as the superior provider. Earlier, I used to fire up Uber exclusively, but now, I find Ola Cabs to provide the better experience.

Considering the above, here is how my Uber / Ola usage pattern has changed since 2020:

My usage of these cabs has drastically dropped. Now, in order of priority:

  • I call for a driver from DriveU, had taken their Black membership for priority service. Only in the rough & tough Thar though, not the soft & delicate Bimmer.
  • I drive myself if there is parking available.
  • Uber & Ola are now the last resort.
  • Earlier, in late nights for a dinner or party, I’d call for an Uber / Ola. Now, I only call for a temporary driver to drive my car on the way back from the restaurant. The entire party mood goes away while commuting in a smelly, worn out cab.

I have moved from being a customer multiple times a month, to opening up the app perhaps once or twice a month now.

What about you?

Here’s what BHPian speedmiester had to say on the matter:

I had stopped using Ola and Uber long before the pandemic and it continues.

If I need a cab, I rely on the local cab operator who provides a cab within an hour and pricing is on par and sometimes cheaper. I am assured of clean cab and a safer driver since I am a regular. customer.

My travel requirements in other cities are taken care by our office, so never felt the need of these apps.

Here’s what BHPian ValarMorghulis had to say on the matter:

Ola/ Uber usage has become negligible now.

  • For airport/ station runs, I use a local cab who provides excellent cabs on competitive (if not cheaper) fares.
  • Use personal cars for other errands/ outings.

For example, had to use the cab yesterday from home (HSR) to Bellandur [Bangalore]. Started booking cab from 9:15am (both Ola and Uber) and finally got an Ola at 10:00am. Good that I wasn’t in a rush.

IMO, Ola/ Uber = Unreliable.

Here’s what BHPian Eddy had to say on the matter:

Uber is now my last resort.

I have switched over to Blu-Smart Electric Cabs whenever there is predictability about my travel time.

  • They are newer, drivers are far more professional and the rates are at par, if not cheaper than Uber.
  • No surge pricing
  • I was told by one of the drivers that there is no cancellation button available for the drivers, so they cant cancel a ride. I am not sure if this is true.
  • Boot space in electric cars is more compared to CNG cars.
  • Available for rental too.
  • Lesser carbon footprint.
  • I don’t know if it is by design, but my wife sometimes (25-30% times) gets a lady driver assigned to her when she books using her phone.

The downsides:

  • Only hatchbacks and sedans are available.
  • Need to book in advance as last minute slots are generally not available.
  • Still expanding their network to cover all areas (in Delhi at least).

Overall – Well done Tatas, Ambanis and other investors! Let’s hope it can maintain the standards and does not go the Uber way.

Here’ what BHPian airguitar had to say on the matter:

Ola/Uber almost never in the last year or so.

  • I never get a cab/auto from the apps when I need the most ( to work and from work : peak hours). NEVER! The app keeps you waiting as if you are at a sarkari bank with absolutely no engagement. To top it when you try to cancel, the app lies through it’s teeth that “your trip has just been offered to a driver, do you want to wait until he accepts or do you want to cancel” – 1 star rating just for this lie of a message.
  • Smelly, dirty vehicles, most of them don’t even turn on ACs these days. You have to ask them to turn on.

#1 is the biggest reason why I don’t take the cabs. I drive myself and the family to every required place. Thankfully, parking is not always a problem in Bangalore. Exceptions are when I don’t feel like driving ( 1-2 times a month ) where I hire an auto (yes, you guessed it right, at the price of an uber cab ) or take the metro.

Here’s what BHPian ninjatalli had to say on the matter:

No change.

I hate driving the car within the city, and was using a mix of two wheelers, public transport (metro, etc if available) and Uber/Ola. The availability of the vehicle used to be always a coin toss for me, so I don’t see a difference now. Also I use Ola/Uber autos a lot more than their cabs; and that have not changed in any manner (eg condition). However I do agree – I rarely see new / well maintained Uber/Ola cars but that never really impacted me.

Here’s what BHPian ashis89 had to say on the matter:


Instead of having two demons, I chose to keep one and so I have Uber only. I know that I will get a cab after waiting for 0.5-1 hr and hence I plan accordingly. And I have started using auto too to reduce my wait time, which I never preferred as I felt it was unstable.

We also got a two wheeler now to reduce our dependency on Uber further. If it’s any longer than a one time 5-10 km drop, I reach out to my trusted travels guy and pre-book a cab. He might be slightly more expensive but is super reliable, has a clean fleet of cabs and good drivers.

With this, our Uber usage is less 10 trips in a year unless I am traveling outstation without my car.

Here’s what BHPian drsachin had to say on the matter:

In Delhi NCR avoiding OLA/uber is difficult but now options are available.

Although services of OLA/Uber is becoming unreliable day by day this is despite increased prices.


  • Almost 50-70% drivers cancel ride after accepting.
  • Some don’t move towards your location and you are forced to cancel yourself inviting cancellation charges.
  • Toll charges included even when their is no Toll. I stay in Noida. Their is toll booth when entering Delhi from noida but their is none when entering noida from Delhi. But don’t know why Toll charges still included. There used to be a big issue with Uber. When booking from Noida expressway towards Vaishali Ghaziabad, double toll tax used to be pre- included as the route selected by the app based on shortest time passes through Delhi even while the shortest route was through UP itself without any tolls. when customer forces driver to pass through UP only, OLA used to reduce fare but not uber. Now it’s the other way round OLA still charges Upfront fare shown(Inclusive of Double Toll) but uber after repeated complaints have sorted this issue.
  • Surge pricing as much as 50-70%.
  • Previously the surge pricing used to be applied before you started your ride. So atleast you know the expected fare. And final fare used to close to the upfront fare shown. Now surge pricing is applied even while on the ride.
  • Many cab riders have now started demanding extra over and a above fare shown or they don’t move to your destination.
  • No confirmed pre-booking for a particular time. Even if you pre-book the availability of cab is not confirmed.

I have started using other options such as Indrive and Blue electric.

Indrive is really good:

  • Cancellation are rare as driver who has accepted your ride knows destination and fare beforehand.
  • You can choose the type of cab from among all those who have accepted your offer. So i can choose a sedan or better cab at the same price as hatchback.
  • Fare is almost 10/20% less than OLA/Uber for short distance and 30% less for longer distance rides.
  • You can choose your surge price. It’s not forced on you. If none of driver accepts your offer, they would provide their offer or you may revise your offer. But in most cases despite such surge prices it’s still far cheaper than that shown on OLA/Uber, since more drivers accept your offer on Indrive than on OLA/Uber.

For pre-booking you can choose Blue Electric.

Here’s what BHPian Hayek had to say on the matter:

I knew my Uber usage had dropped but I didn’t realise how much! Checked my Uber app. Used Uber several times in Tokyo recently. But as I scrolled down the trip list (which included several cancelations), I very quickly started seeing trips in New York dating back to February 2020. Incredibly, I have used Uber only 7 times (and attempted to use it 3-4 more times which were canceled) since Covid started. Scrolling down further, I realised I used Uber at least 2-3 times a month before that.

Didn’t use Ola much either in the past or recently – can see only one trip in my history (don’t know when they delete trips from the log).

RIP Uber at least in India.

Chek out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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