I recently wrote about chauffeur companies in the UK in this article. But what if you want a driver or chauffeur from an airport abroad? This article has the best apps that will cover you across the world.
myDriver by Sixt offers airport transfers and car services. myDriver operates across many countries and cities including Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa, most European countries and the USA. You can order your car on the app or website and get a transfer for a set price. This is particularly useful in cities where you can’t get uber from the airport. I used it recently from Berlin airport. The driver was waiting for me when I came out of customs and had a smart Mercedes Benz, even though I had booked the economy class. myDriver accepts all major credit cards for payment, which you set up in advance, making it all cashless. The app has useful features such as the call driver button which works from an hour before the booking time.
You can find my driver here by clicking on airport transfers at the top. You can get €10 off your first ride with them by using the coupon code: SAVE10UK
Blacklane is one of the largest chauffeur companies and operates in over 230 cities in 51 countries. Countries include most of Europe, USA, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. All of their drivers are commercially licensed and insured, and there is a 24/7 Customer Care team that tracks flights in real time. Blacklane aim to provide a great service without any pretension or an expensive price.
You can book cars from an hour to months ahead of time. You can book using their website or iOS or Android app. You add your credit card to the app and are charged after the ride. All prices are fixed and all-inclusive. On the day of your booking, you will receive two email and SMS updates – one informing you that your car is on its way, and a second letting you know as soon as your driver has arrived at the pickup location.
The ride includes 15 minutes’ waiting time for standard pickups and 1 hour for airport pickups. Even if your driver has arrived early, your included waiting time starts from the time you booked your ride for. There are various options for class of car too, starting with business class which is a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac XTS, or similar.
They even give you the chance to earn frequent flyer miles with Cathay Pacific or Lufthansa’s schemes. I used the service in Singapore and thought they provided a professional service without being ridiculously expensive. The driver was waiting for us in Arrivals and helped us with the baggage. The car was clean and well maintained.
You can find more information here.
If you are going to New York, I would recommend Dial 7 rather than Uber or a taxi when you arrive. Established in 1977, Dial 7 is the oldest and largest car service in the New York with over 600 cars.
The price I paid for my trip to Jersey City from JFK was almost the same as Uber or a taxi, but I got a nice town car rather than a grubby taxi! The price is fixed too. Whilst taxi prices are fixed for JFK to Manhattan, they are not fixed for other destinations. You can either pay cash or set up a credit card in advance.
Dial 7 drivers don’t meet you in the terminal but they have a very efficient operation. As soon as you land you get a text confirming your arrival, with a link to click once you have cleared customs. At this point they will send you the driver number which they then display in their window. If you don’t want to pre-book you can also request a car at the time. You can find the details here.
Uber is an app that hires a private driver to pick you up & take you to your destination using the app on your phone. It is cashless and you set the credit card in the app before you start using it. Although there are quite a few airport that don’t allow pickups from the standard Uber drivers, most allow pick ups with the more premium services such as Uber Exec, Uber black and Uber lux and Uber select. The names vary by country but Uber explains what each category means.
Once you have requested a driver you will get the model of the car, the registration plus a picture and name of the driver. You can see exactly where the driver is as they come to pick you up on the map. This way you can feel safe getting into the right car. Uber cars usually have a Uber logo somewhere as well. Make sure you are clear on where you will be picked up as airports vary as to where they allow this. Often it is a specific door number or a ride share area.
You can actually prebook Uber but only for a 15 minute window rather than a precise time. To do this tap the calendar icon at the top of your screen. Then set your pickup date, time, location, and destination.
Uber is generally cheaper than the other car companies, but not always. However, you don’t get the same level of service as they will only pick you up from the curb, not meet you in the airport.
You can get your first ride free (subject to a maximum cost, varies by location) using the code micheler61 when you sign up.