Bolt now plans to let drivers set their OWN fares after Uber announces a 10% price hike

  • Bolt will trial giving drivers  ability to set their own fares within a limit set by firm
  • They hope to decrease the number of driver-related job cancellations.
  • Multi-apping is a strategy used by drivers to increase their profits and get better deals.
  • However, customers might find a minicab and then have to give up on it in exchange for a better one.
  • After Uber announced plans to increase prices by 10% in London, Move follows. 

Bolt, a ride-hailing company is allowing its drivers to decide their fares to cut down on cancellations.

Estonian-based start-up, which wants to challenge Uber in the minicab app market. It said that the company will begin testing the scheme this week. 

This comes just weeks after Uber announced plans for a 10% increase in fares.

Bolt claims that allowing drivers the ability to determine fares within the limits set by Bolt will help reduce cancellations. This is called multi-apping.

MailOnline previously reported that Uber drivers were using several apps at once, including Bolt, Bolt, and FreeNow in an effort to obtain the most affordable fares.

However, customers will find themselves with jobs that are accepted but cancelled minutes later. It can cause longer waits. 

Ride hailing firm Bolt is planning to allow its drivers to set their own fares in a bid to slash the number of cancelled bookings. The Estonian start-up, which aims to rival Uber in the mini-cab app market, said it will trial the scheme from this week

Bolt, a ride-hailing company that allows drivers to determine their own fares to reduce cancellations, is introducing a pilot program to let them set their own rates. Estonian-based start-up Bolt hopes to be a rival for Uber’s mini-cab market. It will begin testing the scheme this week.

Bolt believes its new plan will decrease cancellations of trips, allowing drivers to verify that their jobs are viable before agreeing.

Analyse: What does Bolt’s move for customers? 

To recover lost money from last year’s Covid lockdowns, driver have been requesting higher fares at ride-hailing services like Uber or Bolt in order to get their cash back.

The company also claims that Uber has changed its own charges from 20% to 25%, making some jobs unprofitable.

MailOnline has previously been told by drivers how multi-apping is increasing. Drivers use several ride-hailing app to compare fares.

Customers are seeing their wait time increase as drivers find better offers.

Bolts believes that allowing drivers to choose their own fare, with a maximum amount, will reduce cancellations. Drivers will then be able to agree on a fair price before taking up the driver’s job.

This could cause drivers to price out jobs that aren’t profitable, such as short-distance journeys due to traffic. Drivers will set higher prices in order to avoid this job.

Customer benefits include lower prices for more lucrative jobs, such as short trips and easy travels. Drivers can also bid less to secure the company.

Bolt’s scheme, which unions accuse of creating false pretences of driver control will drive down prices and incentivise drivers to accept lower offers.

They are urging Bolt to set a minimum price rate of £2-per-mile.

Bolt’s Manager for Western Europe Sam Raciti said that drivers have asked for Bolt to allow them the freedom to determine their prices, so they can make sure that a trip is financially viable before accepting it.

“These changes will reduce the waiting time on Bolt’s app, and there will be fewer cancellations by drivers. This allows customers to get to their destination faster and safer after an increase in demand.

“We built our company around giving drivers complete flexibility.

“These changes are part and parcel of that philosophy, and will improve the functioning market.”

Drivers will soon be able to select their own price in several UK locations starting this week. This is ahead of an expected rollout throughout the UK before Christmas.

Bolt offers two options for drivers: they can choose to set their own prices or Bolt’s standard pricing that varies depending on the supply and demand.

Also, a feature that allows passengers to choose their driver from an existing list will be introduced. 

The union bosses were unhappy about this move because they feel it will reduce the cost of drivers.

A spokesperson for the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ACDU) said: ‘Bolt’s new pricing model is a desperate attempt to avoid accountability for worker rights for their workforce by creating a false pretence of driver control in price setting.

‘In reality, Bolt’s work allocation algorithm will quickly profile and prioritise drivers who are prepared to accept ever lower prices for their work allowing Bolt to expand market share at worker’s expense. Bolt’s worker status will be the subject of an ongoing legal action by ADCU.

“This program raises serious safety issues associated with an increase in workload. As drivers are required to assess work and make offers while they’re on the road, this programme is also dangerous.

‘If Bolt want to proceed with this plan, they must set a price floor of £2.00 per mile and allow drivers to set prices higher that this if they wish. 

“In London, Bolt must provide a quote prior to a trip being booked. Customers will have certainty of pricing and the security that a simple model of pricing is in place. 

It comes as rival firm Uber (pictured: Library image) increased its prices in London by 10 per cent last week in an attempt to attract more drivers

In an effort to draw more drivers, Uber (pictured in Library image) has raised prices in London of its rival Uber.

“This initiative weakens the regulatory system and essential consumer protections.”

It comes as rival firm Uber increased its prices in London by 10 per cent last week in an attempt to attract more drivers.

Bolt stated that it has grown rapidly in the UK after launching in London, 2019 due to its commission rates which were lower than other companies.

The company boasts more than 65,000 drivers, and 4 million customers in 14 English cities.

Uber will increase London’s prices 10 percent for the first-time since 2017. It will also raise peak hour airport fares 25 percent 

Uber will raise its prices by 10 percent for the first time since 2017 to try to encourage drivers back onto the app.

According to taxi drivers, the company will increase peak time fares at airports by 25 percent.

It means Londoners face higher costs for even off-peak daytime journeys because the minimum fare in the capital will rise from £5 to £5.50, the Evening Standard reported. 

For those who travel via Heathrow/Gatwick, there will be a significant increase in transport prices. There will also be a 15% rise during peak periods and a 10% blanket rise.

Uber will push 'peak time' fares for airport trips up 25 percent, drivers were told on Wednesday evening (file image)

Uber will increase ‘peak hour’ prices for airport rides by 25 percent, Uber told drivers Wednesday night. (file photo)

The base fare, which is currently £2.50, will be set to £2.75, and the per-minute and per-mile rates will rise by 10 percent.

Last time that the base price was raised by taxi app, it was 2017.

This is because a lack of custom in the pandemic caused countless drivers to quit ride-hailing apps.

An Uber Spokesman said: ‘We’re making these changes to help provide a better rider experience, by signing up more drivers to meet the growing demand. 

“We are aware that Uber is used by many people to get safe and affordable travel around London. This small increase in fare will reduce waiting times. Riders will receive a fare estimate prior to booking.