Uber Manila: Everyone’s Private Driver

For some months now, I’ve been trying to install the GrabTaxi app in my Xperia smartphone but the installation process would always conk out in the middle that I never got to finish it.

This taxi booking app is supposed to be the answer to my katamaran to commute to and from work through public transport (i.e. PUJs).  You see, I don’t drive and I don’t want to learn how to.  I have a very, very bad temper and sigurado lagi lang ako mapapaaway with the traffic enforcers and buwis buhay motorcycle riders.  So I rather be the passenger, not the driver.

Thus, whenever AJ or my dad cannot take or fetch me to / from work, ang laki laki ng problema ko, hehe!  Although I know how to commute through PUJs, I still prefer taking the taxi because travel time is shorter, the vehicle is air-conditioned and it’s much safer (you don’t have to worry about snatchers being your co-passengers).

Unfortunately, the safety component of riding in taxis appears to have been compromised alreaday, what with the many stories about poorly maintained taxis, careless drivers, tampered meters and worse, drugged passengers.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.  That’s why I’m really interested about GrabTaxi, or any taxi booking app for that matter.

But then arrived UBER Manila, and after experiencing its services two (2) weekends ago during the ZAP Crawl event at Greenhills, I totally forgot about the taxi services that I’ve been wanting to try.  In fact, I’ve declared UBER Manila’s service car as “my” 3rd car, next to AJ and my dad’s cars, hehe!

Uber is a non-demand technology company.  It is a smartphone app that provides users with an on-demand, private car service that takes them safely and comfortably from one place to another at the touch of a button. Uber is now available in over 60 major cities around the world –and now officially in Manila!


Aside from riding in stylish and clean cars, what I like about UBER is its cashless and convenient payment system.  Once you arrive at your destination, your fare is automatically charged to your credit card on file – no need to tip.   The receipt is then emailed to your registered email address.

Installing the UBER app in your smartphone won’t take more than 15 minutes.  Don’t be surprised if they ask for your credit card number; after all, you will be benefiting from their worry-free payment method.  And with this kind of arrangement, you need not worry anymore when you only have P500 in your wallet and the driver only has P300 in his wallet (or so he says) and your fare is just P90.00.  Di ba ilang beses na yan nangyayari satin?  When in a rush, you end up taking the P300 change (when it should be P410.00), leaving the driver with P110.00 tip!

Clear pricing is also one of UBER’s strengths.  You can get a fare quote for your trip using the app (or through their website), and then opt to change your destination if you feel it’s a bit steep.


Uber’s Fixed Rates:


How to request an UBER:


I was given a free P300 credit that I used for my first UBER ride during our ZAP Crawl event at Greenhills.  After enjoying the freshly brewed coffee at Department of Coffee in Wilson Street, I “hailed” my first UBER ride by opening the app, then after a while my phone’s GPS has automatically detected our location and connected me to the nearest available UBER car.  I only have to tap the button “Request Black Car” and that’s it!   Our car’s on the way!


Yup, I was lucky that night and was assigned to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class car without even requesting for it!

Eto na sha, in immaculate white color.  Astig!


Sarap lang mag-pose hihi!


Of course, with this kind of service vehicle (and a luxury car at that!), expect to pay higher fare rates.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind paying these transport rates for convenience, reliability, safety and comfort!


Our destination was the Torch Restaurant at Connecticut Street, and given the mild traffic we encountered on our way there, I find the fare computation of P140.00 as reasonable.


And goodness, what’s there to complain when your service car has a moon roof?!  Grabe, my companions AJ, Iya (of ZAP Philippines) and Katryn’s (of A View from the Leftie) shouted with glee at the sight of this:


Thanks to my free P300 credit, my 1st UBER ride was technically free, and none was charged to my credit card.

1streceipt_uberMy 1st UBER experience was so memorable and was so worth its price.  I was looking forward to my 3rd UBER ride (3rd because I rode UBER 2x while at Greenhills), and I got my wish last Saturday – with Juvvy this time.

Side kwento:  We went to Ongpin for some shopping, and rode a ramshackle cab on the way there.  Our fare from Makati to Binondo was P150.00, but all throughout the ride, Juvvy and I were holding our breath – not only because the taxi smelled of cigarette and sweat, but because of our kaskaserong driver who probably thought he’s competing in a race track.  In short, hindi k’me nakahinga sa niyerbyos sa kanya.

So I told Juvvy that we will be riding UBER on our way home.  Thankfully, there’s an available car when I opened my app.


The UBER ride home was a welcome relief for both of us, and even though there was traffic at Roxas Boulevard, we didn’t complain one bit because we’re so comfortable in our Nissan Teana car.  Ang sarap pa ng kwentuhan namin, hehe! 

Our bill came at P379.00.  But because I still have remaining credits from UBER, my final bill was reduced further to P219.00.  Winner!


Not bad, huh?  Given the distance at which we traveled, I think the cost would have been the same had we taken an ordinary taxi.  And if we got our ride through GrabTaxi, I’d have to add P70.00 more.

I’m so happy to have discovered UBER!  Thanks to ZAP Philippines for this opportunity!

Now, here’s the deal:  I want you, dear readers, to experience your own UBER ride too and see for yourself why I am so loving it.  Use my voucher code vla4z when you sign-up at UBER to get P300.00 P100.00 FREE credit that you can use right away!

More over, use my other promo code UBERLOVESTHEBRIGHTSPOT and get P500 OFF your first UBER ride if you ride before April 14, 2014!

How’s that for a free ride?  =)

UBER  |  Instagram: @uber_manila  |  Twitter: @uber_manila  |  URL: https://www.uber.com/sign-up


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  1. says

    Oh, ako naman I have long patience with people (and traffic, too). That’s why I’ve recently enrolled in driving school and is now learning how to drive. Para hindi rin masyado dependent kay hubby (personal decision ko talaga to, hehe). Anyway, this Uber Manila service app is a good alternative when our car is color-coded or pag “commute” naman ang trip namin. Pricey sya pero keri na kung comfortable at safe naman ang ride. 🙂

  2. Annie Lorraine says

    We have the same sentiments, Leah! I don’t drive din kaya problema ko pagumaalis ako especially now that I have Lia already. Ang dami ko ding horror experiences sa cab. Kaya lagi lang ako umaasa sa Papa ko to drive is around, e lagi din siyang busy. Walang problem when my husband is here, may personal driver (hihihi) pero ngayon na he’s back in Shanghai already, ayan naka kulong na naman kami sa house. So ang saya ko when I saw this Uber taxi service nga. Kaya lang may nabasa ako somewhere na parang may certain areas lang sila na kayang iservice? E from Valenzuela pa kami, kaya ba nila magservice dito? Baka yan na ang sagot para makapagmeet na tayo one weekend. Hahahahaa!

  3. Ces says

    So I signed up, downloaded the app but it won’t go through because I didn’t update my iPhone’s iOS. (apparently I have to be on the version 6 or so)

    Is there any way for me to avail of the service? I’m not too keen on updating my iOS (backup reasons). If I can’t, that’s fine but can I revert my registration? Just wary in that they have my credit card information and all.

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Ces, so sorry for the late response!

      If you want to cancel your Uber account completely (you need to do this so that your credit card details will also be deleted), please send a request to support@uber.com.

  4. says

    I know how you feel when you don’t have someone to drive you. I drive but not allowed when it’s all traffic. But my problem with uber is that there seems to be no black cars available most of the time. does my request still get accommodated pag ganun?

    • says

      Hi Val! Lately, I’ve been getting the same message from them too – “All Uber cars taken. Try again blah blah”. I’ve emailed Uber Philippines about this already. I don’t think they have a queuing system so you have to check from time to time if there’s a black car available na.

      Sayang sila if they won’t improve (in this aspect). Kung kelan hooked na ako, dun ko naman sila hindi magamit. I might blog about this soon, too.

    • says

      Hi Val! I emailed Uber Manila about our observation and here’s what I learned (buti na lang nagtanong ako!):

      Right now, their focus is at the BGC, Makati CBD, and Ortigas area. Other areas might get a few cars here and there but intensity is focused at the said areas. I was assured that they are working on this, since the goal is to make the service available metro wide.

      So there. That’s something to look forward to! =)

  5. sen says

    I want to try out uber but I have a lot of questions. First, do they just deduct the payment from your credit card when you request for a car or do they have a regular fee that they deduct? And do you get to hire them for the whole day or just for one ride?

    • says

      It’s the actual ride fare that will be deducted to your credit card. Also, when you cancel an already confirmed ride, you will be charged P100.00 through your credit card.

      Uber offers on-demand car service, so yes it works like a taxi and not a car rental =)

  6. pat says

    Hi! I used your promo code and got Php 300 on my account! Thanks so much! My first ride ended up free! And honestly, it was cheaper than Grabtaxi (bgc to new manila is Php 250 with the additional charge, my Uber in Toyota Camry was just Php 223!). Quick question though, medyo nashy ako sa driver ko, do they allow/accept tips? I wish there was an option to add tips after the trip, or is there? I have yet to explore my app. But again, thanks! 🙂

  7. Anna says

    So refreshing to find a younger person who chooses not to drive in Metro Manila. Usually it’s just old dames like moi… My personal rationale: I want to keep my sanity and sanctity…

  8. Sheena Marie Uy says

    Hi leah thanks so much for blogging this. Its good news for me since my offices are located both makati and ortigas and theyre focusing pala on those places 🙂 Question, what if for example they tried to charge on your credit card then suddenly wala ka na palang available balance.hehe. so far ba super safe naman to input ur credit card details?

    • says

      Yes it’s safe to register your credit card details there.

      About your question if wala nang available balance, hmmm napaisip ako dun ah hehe! I don’t know what’s their policy on that but please note that they can ‘ban’ passengers. And a non-working credit card will sure count as a reason for that hehe!

      • Sheena Marie Uy says

        Haha! Thanks 🙂 also,they will just deduct in your credit card after u reach ur destination right? 🙂 i already used your promo code. Thank you 🙂 your blog is helpful. By the way another q, i noticed u guys have been mentioning just “black cars”. But there’s a selection now where u can choose if uberX or black car, was this introduced just recently or before talagang puro black cars lang available? 🙂 and also, black cars are medyo luxury cars right so mas higher fare rates than uberX? Thanks so much 🙂

  9. Val Mendoza says


    Wish to seek your guidance about my queries below:

    1.) We have a 2003 Honda CRV and a 2005 Toyota Innova, are these types of vehicle and year models qualify for the requirements to get accredited as UBER service provider?
    2.) Suppse the 2003 Honda CRV does qualify, can me and my son alternate each other to drive the same car with same UBER account in my name? (am asking this coz my son does not have a credit card yet. In relation hereto, my brother who has a credit card and can register hmself separately, can me and my brother use the same CRV car we alternately using it?

    Hope to hear your from you soon.

    Thank you.


  10. Rolando timbre jr says

    Magtatanong lang po ako..may toyota vios 2014 kami ng gf ko…possible ba kami makapasok sa ganito? Parang marikina…salamat

  11. Mond says

    Hi leah. I just stumbled upon your blog. I already used a friend’s code and i was trying to use yours but uber isnt allowing me to. Can you just use one code, in the initial registration of the account, or can you use multiple codes from different persons? Thanks.

  12. Gem says

    How’s the income of black car service now a days,,Is it worth to use it..nakaka quota po kaya? Marami bang riders na gustong sumakay sa black car.

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