In all truth, there aren’t that many differences when it comes to ridesharing and ridehailing apps to travel in Buenos Aires’ metropolitan area, so you’ll get the gist of it quickly. Not only because you can get them at any app store, but also because the basic rules and functionalities are practically the same for every app on this list.
There is no catch except for specific app features and knowing that they actually exist. It’s customary (or just plain strategic) to try many–if not all–of the apps at once; it’s the only way to get the best bang for your buck.
These specific features, however, are part of an international standard for ride-sharing interfaces–or so it seems. And this is what’s going to allow you to comfortably navigate the apps in no time, meaning: understanding surges in supply and demand; tracking via a custom in-app map; using security features; knowing about payment options and address inputs. You should know that all of these apps take cash or debit/credit. Tipping is not mandatory, and rating your driver isn’t, either.
Ever since the popularization of Uber, the ride-sharing pioneer in Buenos Aires, cab rides were comparatively more expensive at first. For this reason, the Government was quick to regulate Uber in our country. Later on, competitors started showing up: Cabify first, then DiDi and Beat. With the competition, Uber was comparatively pricier than taxis, and so there seems to be a peace treaty for now. The list we’ve compiled for you goes from pricier to cheaper (in Buenos Aires, at least): Uber, Cabify, DiDi and Beat.
These are the top 5 Apps for ridesharing and ridehailing in Argentina:
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Uber has set the international standard for scheduling a ride. The cars are professional-looking, there is clear and specific information on cars and drivers when ordering so you know what to expect.
There are plenty of choices for rides: UberX (the least expensive), Comfort (the most expensive, as it selects bigger, newer and better cars) and Flash (for deliveries only), Medics (special discounts for MDs), Taxi and Pool (advertised as “shared rides that include some walking”).
The top of the screen will show if there is a surge in prices (“aumento de demanda”) and how many Uber credits you currently have. The sidebar will show your rating (if you have more than a 4.5 you’ll do fine).
Also read: How to use Uber in Argentina
Cabify is reticent to hand out discounts, so if you’re looking to save on your ride, this app is not the place to look. However, and unlike other apps like Beat, you can add more than one destination to your ride. That is perfect for sharing fees and rides. Keep in mind the starting fee is about 4 US dollars, which explains the fact that, after Uber, it’s the second most expensive on the list.
Cabify does not include functionalities like taxi ordering, and it does not offer cars with a price difference. As for deliveries: unlike other services, you can send multiple packages at once and to various locations.
Well, well, well, here’s where we get into the real deal. DiDi is a Chinese ride-sharing app and the local’s best-kept secret. This is due to more convenient pricing. For one, you can get discounts almost every day for when rush hour inevitably comes; they tend to expire at different times during the day. Another discount is offered if you’re going to get vaccinated (which we doubt, but just FYI).
Word quickly spread about DiDi, which is why surges in prices are quite common. In Argentina, rush hour extends roughly from 4:30 to 7:30 PM. We advise you to stay online and re-check prices every few minutes, as demand can rise and fall spontaneously.
Beat is the cheapest app of them all. You cannot add more than one destination. There is no breakdown of fees, and for that reason we can’t know about minimum fees like in Uber. The best thing about Beat is that it does not sacrifice a reduction in fees for a reduction in the quality of your ridesharing experience.
Other apps: Taxi Premium
Interested in knowing about apps to travel in Buenos Aires and Argentina?
Read about: Apps to Navigate Buenos Aires
While calling a Taxi Premium cab might be old school, the app is efficient enough to order a cab when nothing else works. Taxi Premium’s app combines the most basic features of ridesharing with the safety of a radio taxi (we recommend reading our blog post on the subject! Taxi Premium’s ridesharing app is perfect if you’re spending the New Year, Christmas… you name it.
Premium’s latest update gave the app a complete revamp, so now it looks much more familiar.
Hailing a Cab in Buenos Aires: Bonus tips
Tipping a cab driver is not customary in Argentina. You must know that, although most rates are variable, there are some fixed travel rates, such as going to and from the airport or riding to some metropolitan areas like La Plata. These are usually non-negotiable; they are set by the taxi cab companies in Argentina. Though they may vary slightly, the fare is very similar between “radio taxis”.
During COVID times, apps like DiDi and Uber have their own sanitary safety protocols that include providing hand-sanitizer, ensuring the driver is wearing a mask and that there is a plastic screen in place separating the front of the taxi from the back.
One other thing: for safety, remember to check for the city-issued driver ID (car type, car owner and driver.) If you do choose to travel by a ridesharing app, you can gather the information from the app itself. You can also report if the driver is not complying with safety protocols for COVID-19.
Lastly, don’t forget to give your driver the most specific directions you possibly can; street intersections, the name of the place you want to go to, and other things to avoid going in circles around the city. Most taxi drivers don’t speak English–much less other languages–, so it’s important to be well prepared and know how to use travel-related slang.