Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Better than a Taxi: SnapCar!

If you're a regular reader here, you'll note that it's rare for me to promote products via my blog. I'm typically pretty skeptical and I don't like putting something out there for someone else if I wouldn't use it myself. I took a test drive of this service, and highly recommend, read on to find out why :)

As much as I love Paris' public transport, frankly, it's unreliable. (And stinky, and apparently full of hoboes who kick and insult friends of mine.) Especially the damn buses. (Thirty minute wait after 6pm?? Come the fuck on!) 

As a result of shoddy availability, I end up taking taxis a lot more than I want to admit, usually because I'm running late and need to be somewhere. Waiting around for public transport just doesn't cut it when everyone is waiting on YOU to arrive, en fin.

But, you know, even taxis can be unreliable. When you call them, the meter runs until they pick you up in Paris (god knows how long that will take), which can run you an extra 10-15 euros easily. If you have to drag your ass all the way back across town at the end of the night like me, then that means it can get really expensive really quickly. Then there's always the risk that they don't show at all or take their sweet ass time. So, the service you get is hit or miss (usually miss), and it's not cheap.

When SnapCar approached me to try their service, I was intrigued as someone who's taken a fair amount of cab rides that felt like throwing good money in the toilet. I wondered if it would be more expensive, and if it would be better than taxis.

I'm willing to invest in something if I feel like it was worth it, and in this case, I really did feel like the SnapCar test-run I took was WAY better than the average taxi ride! On top of it all, the cost was pretty much the same, and in some cases could be even cheaper.

Top reasons why I liked it:
- I could estimate my cab fare. Wow, this is suuuper nice. I can actually see if the trip is worth it before I get stuck with the bill!
- Reserving my car was really simple via iphone app (Android coming this fall), took about ten seconds.
- I got a message from the driver and could see on a map right where he was with an ETA!! This totally beats the typical French taxi of showing up 15 min early or late and letting the meter run until I notice him outside!
- Pick up time was about ten minutes, faster than usual taxi pick ups
- Meter doesn't start until you've gone over the minimum amount (see below).
- The car was very nice, clean and didn't reek of B.O. -- I could've cried rainbow unicorn tears of joy for this alone.
- The driver knew exactly where he was going and I could track my fare as we went along! Also, he did not drive like a complete PSYCHOPATH ON CRACK COCAIN. He made me feel relaxed and drove well!
- I could also share my trip with others, so they too could watch on a map to see where I was and my ETA!
- When friends get Snapcar on your recommend, they get 5euros credit and so do you!

The only con I can come up with is that it's 15eur minimum, so  if you're going next door it might not be worth the cash. Quite honestly, my cab rides are usually a 15eur minimum anyway, so this service makes total sense for me.

I'll be testing it again from the airport to see about a couple of things and I'll report back to you with a compare/contrast post in detail. (Rides to the airport are never less than 40 or 50eur for me, so I'll let you know what the verdict is.) 

Also, tune back in for a special offer for anyone else who wants to try out this new service! Yay discounts! Back with more soon...

** UPDATE ** I took a pre-launch test-drive, service begins in September!


  1. I will be flying into Orly in late September so will be interested in hearing about your experience from the airport.

    Thanks for sharing this info

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