You've probably heard about Uber, the smartphone app which lets you hire a private car in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Geelong, the Gold Coast, and Auckland and Wellington at near taxi prices.
Now here's a great incentive to try the unique Uber service for yourself.
You can sign up to Uber for free using the special Australian Business Traveller invitation code of uberAusBT and get $25 in credit towards your first ride.
(Disclaimer: we'll also pick up $25 of Uber credit when you take that ride, so it's a win-win.)
Read our review of Uber Sydney
How Uber works
Uber connects you with any available private hire car driver in your area, at rates which are around 15-20% more expensive than a taxi.
Uber doesn't actually employ the drivers or own the cars. The company is just a go-between, linking drivers who have some downtime between booked jobs with people seeking a quality ride that's a cut above a cab.
You can get a fare quote for any trip at the Uber website and on the smartphone app.
This is one wrinkle with Uber – as hire cars don't run a meter you won't know how much the trip has cost until you arrive at your destination and the drive shows you his own smartphone, running a special driver's edition of the Uber app, and taps a button to calculate the fare.
But no money changes hands. Your Uber account contains your credit or debit card details, so once you accept the fare it's automatically debited from your card (with Uber taking a slice of the transaction for being your hire car matchmaker).
Using the Uber app
Ready for your ride? Open the Uber app and set your pickup location.
This can be done automatically with the help of your phone's GPS, by tapping the map, entering an address or choosing from a list of specific locations nearby.
The app shows the location of Uber cars in your area and the approximate time to a pickup.
You can also get an on-the-spot quote on your trip before you click to book your car.
Because Uber is an on-demand service you can't book a car in advance, so don't tap that button until you're good to go.
Having booked a driver you'll receive an SMS message with an ETA and can then see the car approaching on the map.
In most cities Uber offers its standard UberBlack service – your car is typically a Holden Caprice, although you can luck out with a Mercedes-Benz S-class or a BMW 7-series.
Depending on the city Uber also offers higher-end UberLux limos, taxis (which cost the regular meter rates plus a $2 booking fee, but with no credit card surcharge) and a limited Low Cost fleet comprising of economical cars such as a Toyota Prius, Honda Civic or Holden Cruze.
Get your free $10 Uber credit
And don't forget: if you join Uber using the special Australian Business Traveller invitation code of uberAusBT you'll automatically be given $10 in free credit towards your first Uber ride.
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