by Victor Sesma
Victor Sesma is an Alicantinian living in London. He is a Software Engineer who likes writing about the city he was born.
Uber is an app to call taxi-like cars that will drive you to your destination. It is available in many cities around the world and they offer set prices for the rides, customer support and GPS car location tracking from the app among other advantages.
Does Alicante have Uber? Uber does not operate in Alicante. The company has announced the start of its ride operations several times but always got postponed. The only Uber-branded service in Alicante is Uber Eats which is available in cities such as Alicante or Elche but not in Benidorm or Javea.
Despite Uber not being available in Alicante there are other alternative apps offering similar services to Uber. Let’s going to find out what they are.
Uber does not operate in Alicante but there are other good ride app services operating in the city.
The first alternative is Cabify. It is a direct competition with Uber in many cities around the world. They are more centred in Spain and Latin-American countries than Uber. Cabify has been operating in Alicante for a few years.
The second alternative is PideTaxi. It is an app and website created by the traditional taxi drivers association in Spain and has similar features to Uber and Cabify plus a website.
FREE NOW is a European Uber-like app founded in Hamburg, Germany. It operates in several European cities, including Alicante.
Depending on the city they have different services available (taxis, bikes, etc), in Alicante, you can order two services: Taxi and Lite.
Ordering a taxi you get a range of prices the ride will cost you. On the other hand, ordering the service “Lite” have a maximum set price.
On Taxi services, you can pay by cash (in Euros), by card in the Taxi or using the App. The Lite service allows only payments through the FREE NOW app.
Here are some common rides and their prices:
|Origin||Destination||Price in € (Taxi/Lite)|
|Alicante Renfe Train Station||Alicante Airport||17-27/19.55|
|Alicante Luceros||San Juan Beach||15-18/16.92|
|Alicante Airport||Benidorm||Not Available|
|Alicante Renfe Train Station||Calpe||82-100/90.53|
|Alicante Rambla||MARQ Museum||7-8/7.78|
|Alicante Renfe Train Station||Santa Barbara Castle||8-10/9.67|
|Alicante Luceros||Universidad de Alicante||10-13/12.01|
Cabify is an app that you can install on your Android or iPhone device to book transport services by car. The service payment will be done automatically in-app by debit/credit card (including American Express and Diners Club) or PayPal.
The Uber-like service Cabify in Alicante also allows booking a traditional white taxi with a fixed price from the app.
Once registered in the app you can book a car for now or book it for a different time. Cabify offer different services in Alicante but they change over time:
The app gives you an estimate of the price of your ride before booking the car. Prices will change at peak/off-peak times but here are some guide fees:
|Alicante Airport||Alicante Renfe||~25€|
|Alicante||San Juan Beach||~35€|
Here is the complete list of Cabify’s services and fares.
Hint: Traditional taxis are usually cheaper than Cabify in Alicante.
Hint 2: Some people report issues activating Cabify with no Spanish numbers. If this is your case, use PideTaxi for now and get a Spanish number if you are staying longer.
|Place of Booking||Extra Fee|
|San Juan Beach||20€|
The second option is to use the PideTaxi website or their app on Android or iPhone. The use of the app is very similar to Uber and Cabify. After installing the app you can book and pay for cabs from your phone, get an estimated price of the ride and schedule a pick-up at a different time or day.
The payment method in the PideTaxi app is card or cash. The fare will be deducted automatically from your credit or debit card if you choose the app option.
If you decide to pay by cash the driver will accept the money from you. Remember Spain uses Euros. Also know that, by law, all cabs must allow card payments.
Prices are government regulated, here is a list of guide prices for common destinations:
|Alicante Renfe||Alicante Airport||~22€|
|Alicante Renfe||San Juan Beach||~19€|
* The cabs in Alicante Airport can be booked using Radio Taxi Elche or PideTaxi apps. Note taxis are organised in different associations depending on the city where they operate. Alicante Airport is in Elche’s municipality so taxis starting a ride from the airport are from the company Radio Taxi Elche instead of Radio Tele Taxi Alicante.
The airport has usually many taxis waiting for clients so it should be easy to get one. All the rides starting at the airport have an extra charge of 4.25€. More info on Alicante Airport Aena’s website. If you still want to use an app from Alicante Airport you can use Radio Taxi Elche or PideTaxi apps. Both apps’ usage is very similar the features are the same.
PideTaxi is also available in the city of Benidorm. Here is how to go from Alicante and Alicante airport to Benidorm; including taxi, Cabify, TRAM train and more.
Yes, Cabify and other apps are legal in Alicante because they use legal company structures.
Cabify is a company that matches clients with drivers. In Alicante, cars are owned by a third-party company that hires drivers. This company owns what is called VTC licences. It stands for Vehículos de Turismo con Conductor or Tourist Vehicles with Driver.
VTC’s are different from taxis in their regulation. For example, they can pick up people only if the service has been booked in advance. There are fewer VTC licences than taxi licences.
Taxi drivers have been, traditionally, trying to beat Cabify, Uber and the VTC companies all around Spain. They have denounced the companies in the courts, created demonstrations so the government changes the laws and launched advertising campaigns in the media to stop the apps.
After seeing their efforts didn’t stop these taxi apps they have decided to work together with Cabify. The partnerships allow booking a traditional taxi service using the Cabify app with a fixed price.
As a way to differentiate from the competency, Cabify cars are usually clean and the colour is usually black. The driver will usually dress smart. They give you a small bottle of water and ask you what music you want to listen to before starting the trip.
Uber has been targeting Alicante for a long time. In February 2019 they were planning to offer UberX with VTCs, as Cabify is doing.
The taxi lobby in Catalonia started striking so the government changed a few laws that would make Uber illegal. Most of the regulations for the taxis and VTC are controlled by the Spanish autonomous communities and the head of Comunidad Valenciana announced some regulatory changes.
As Uber wasn’t still deployed in Alicante yet so they decided to postpone the launch of UberX. They were almost ready and they drew on Uber’s website the area of service in Alicante province and Costa Blanca.
Uber Eats is a food delivery service that operates in Alicante. The app has a list of restaurants and dishes. You can select all the food you want from the app and pay for it.
The app Uber Eats will show you the status of your order, such as preparing food at the restaurant with an estimated time of arrival.
When the courier is on the way you can see the exact location on the map. Some more information like his/her name, the car/motorbike/bike she/he is driving, the review stars other users gave to the driver and a button to make a call are available as well. At the end of the booking, you can make and leave a review as well.
Depending on the route and peak/not peak time taxis can be cheaper than Cabify. It is a good idea to check both apps before taking your ride.
Cabify doesn’t charge anything extra if you decide to drink or take your bottle of water.
The company has shown its intention of offering the rides service in Alicante several times. Chances are that they will offer the service when regulation settles.
Yes. Cabify allows booking a white traditional taxi using their app and with a fixed price.
PideTaxi allows booking a white traditional taxi at an open price.