APP OF THE DAY: Kabbee taxi booking (Android / iPhone)

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kabbee-top.jpgSummer’s nearly (hopefully!) upon us here in the UK, and that means an increased likelihood of at least one thing – drunken nights out enjoying the warm season’s breeze. That, inevitably, also leads to unfortunate night bus journeys home, which is never a fun experience when you’re half-cut and tired. You may want to turn to a taxi instead, but with the rise of unlicensed taxis causing concerns, and everyone’s bank balances feeling a little more strained these days, it’s not always an easy option to take.

Looking to make it a little easier is the Kabbee app for iPhone and Android. Offering a simple and efficient system for booking the best priced cabs, it may save you in a pinch if you’re struggling for an affordable way to get home.

Kabbee uses your GPS connection and integrated Google Maps to pinpoint your location (which you can fine tune by putting in a postcode), letting your draw a line on the map to decide your desired taxi route.

The app then contacts the controllers of numerous local taxi fleets (all licensed) and lists them based on the price of their quotes for the chosen route, how quickly they can pick you up, and those that are best rated. You then simply pick one, confirm the booking and await the taxi. In a neat touch, the app sends you a text when the cab is ready to pick you up nearby, and as it’s all tied to your mobile, the driver can give you a call to let you know where he is if parking locally has been an issue.

Kabbee gave me £30 worth of credit to try the Android app with. After a tiring Saturday at London Zoo with my toddler nephews, and after having dropped them off back at my brother’s home, I was absolutely knackered. Firing up the app at my brother’s London home in Bow, I booked a cab to take me back home to South London Streatham.kabbee-mid.jpgIt was a really slick and easy experience. What really surprised me was just how flexible getting a list of quotes all at once lets your journey be. As well as being able to organise the precise time I wanted to be picked up at, it was great to see all the prices compared. I was shocked to see my brother’s favoured local service charge £15 more than the cheapest service on the list, though it was also admittedly 20 minutes faster.

Picking a fleet that could pick me up within half an hour, I was happily surprised when they arrived bang on time. If Kabbee is particularly good a one thing, it’s making taxi firms accountable to the quotes and times they give, giving you a record of all the details they promised. It gives them an added incentive to be punctual and to be honest with fares.

Of course your experience will differ depending on the fleet you book with, who remain independent from Kabbee. I had a great driver with the taxi fleet I booked with, though he became a bit vexed when we got to our destination as he believed I hand’t paid, not handing over any cash. I showed him the booking reference in the app, and he called his fleet and all was quickly resolved, but expect similar experiences until such booking apps become the norm and more widely used.

If you want to check out the Kabbee app, you can grab it for free on Android by clicking here. iPhone users can grab their version here.

Creating an account with Kabbee is free. A credit card tied to the account will be needed if you wish to book and pay for taxis in advance, though the app also gives the option to book a cab and pay with cash on arrival.

Gerald Lynch