Uber has launched a new temporary service in Australia that lets you book a car by the hour, to make getting errands done easier

Photo Illustration by Omar Marques via Getty Images
  • Uber has launched a new service that lets you book a ride by the hour so you can get your essential travel done.
  • The ‘Hourly Driver’ service has a base rate of $59 an hour and you will be charged per minute thereafter.
  • It will be temporarily available in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast from April 30.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Uber has rolled out a feature in Australia which lets you book a car for an hour.

The rideshare giant is piloting a temporary new service called ‘Hourly Driver’ which lets you book a driver and a car by the hour so you can get your essential travel done. You can go from home down to multiple stops like the supermarket and the chemist, without having to interact with many people in between.

The option is available in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast from April 30.

Drivers are eligible for it if they also qualify for Uber Comfort and Premier trips, meaning they have higher ratings, more spacious cars and more experience on the Uber app.

How Uber’s ‘Hourly Driver’ works

To access the new feature, you first enter your first stop in the Uber app as you usually would. You can update each stop along your trip, including your final destination.

Once you’ve entered your stops, select ‘hourly driver’ which shows you the base fare for the first hour – $59 – which excludes any tolls or government levies. From there, you confirm and request your ride.

There is a one hour minimum for this service and you’ll be charged on a prorated basis per minute afterwards. Uber also recommends using its in-app messaging to give your driver a heads up on how long you think you’ll need them for.

“The safety and well-being of everyone who uses the Uber app is always our priority, and across the country, people will continue to see in-app messages reminding them to ‘travel only when necessary’ before selecting a trip option on the Uber app,” Uber said on its website.

“But if people need to undertake essential travel, we want to help them do so as safely as possible.”

In April, Uber launched a parcel service for businesses as the demand for delivery jumped and the need for ridesharing dropped amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Verge, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said gross bookings in Seattle are down by 60-70% amid the pandemic, with the company assuming similar drops in other cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City.

“What we’ve seen is that Australian businesses are facing fairly extraordinary circumstances and unprecedented demand for e-commerce platforms and more particular delivery of goods,” Dom Taylor, the general manager for Uber Australia and New Zealand, told Business Insider Australia in April. “So what we’ve seen is that there’s an opportunity for Uber to be part of the solution to help support Australian businesses during these really tough times.”


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