Ride hailing app inDriver is live in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, with over 1000 new drivers already registered in each city. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - Ride hailing app inDriver is live in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, with over 1000 new drivers already registered in each city. 

The set-your-own-price taxi app officially launched in Cape Town in February which was followed by launching their services in Johannesburg in May. 

The app’s Real Time Deal (RTD) model allows passengers to set their own fare for their chosen route. Nearby drivers who receive notice of ride requests have three choices - accept the fare offered, ignore the offer or bargain for a higher price.  

"We designed the app to combat algorithms used by other ride-hailing companies, which rack up prices because of peak hours, traffic and request history," said inDriver spokesperson Rifqa Carr.

To book a trip, riders enter their current location and destination as well as the price they are willing to pay. This will be seen by nearby drivers who can then decide to accept the fare or offer a counterbid. 

"Passengers using the app pay on average 20-30 percent less than with other services. We do have a fare minimum, which is region-specific, but the final fare is set by both rider and driver in a real-time negotiation," said Carr.

The app also benefits drivers, with 0 percent commission charged for the six to 12 months. 

Drivers have the freedom to choose whichever ride request they like, without any risk of being penalised. They’re also able to see the full fare, from point A to point B, and can then decide if they want to accept the request – or not,"  said Carr.

Once the fare is set, passengers select the most suitable driver in line with what categories are most important to them – affordability, driver rating, estimated time of arrival or vehicle model. Cutting out transaction fees and other costs associated with higher commission rates, payment is cash only.

The app has a safety button which allows both driver and riders to call emergency numbers from the home screen. Both parties can also share their live GPS locations with friends and trusted contacts at the start of their trip.

innDriver is used by 32-million people across more than 300 cities in 26 countries worldwide, inDriver is available for download on Google Play and the App Store. 

According to Carr, bargaining is a valuable skill, but it takes some practice.  Carr offers some tips on how to get some bang for your buck.

Information is power

Do your homework. The more you know, the better your position. Familiarise yourself with what you’d usually pay for routes that you are familiar with - and then offer a lower rate. The driver can always push up their price to reach a happy middle ground.

Patience pays 

Time plays a role in negotiations. Don’t leave your request to the last minute, time to spare in any situation is usually an advantage. Planning ahead will give you more driver options to choose from.

Think win-win 

Most negotiations are seen as competitive, with each side trying to get the better end of the deal. Shift your mindset from a competitive mode to a cooperative one. Negotiate a deal that is fair to both the potential driver and yourself.