GrabTaxi, Southeast Asia’s largest taxi-booking mobile application, has launched the GrabCar private-vehicle service for the Philippine market.
Accessible via the very same GrabTaxi app that is popularly used within Metro Manila, GrabCar is a brand-new service "that provides an authorized on-demand private driver for anyone without the hassle of owning a private car." GrabCar’s Philippine-market launch follows the debut of the service in Malaysia earlier this week.
"What has ensured GrabTaxi’s success in the Philippines has been its ability to adapt and evolve to meet our user's needs," said GrabTaxi cofounder Anthony Tan. "That's why we are introducing GrabCar. We see that there is an opportunity to fill a gap in the industry without taking away business from our core user-base of taxicabs. GrabCar will give our passengers that upmarket personalized experience while ensuring a fun and authentic ride."
What reportedly sets GrabCar apart from another popular limousine service locally is that not only is it more affordable but its passengers can also pay in cash. Payment via credit card is planned for the future as well.
"GrabCar is also an app developed by Southeast Asians for the Southeast Asian market, so we know what our market wants," added GrabTaxi Philippines marketing vice president and assistant general manager Natasha Bautista.
For its fleet, GrabCar has tapped licensed rental-car companies with fleets that are made up of midsize cars like the Toyota Camry and SUVs like the Nissan Patrol, all of which are less than five years old. To hype up the service's launch, GrabCar will also field a Mini Cooper, which will definitely surprise the lucky passenger who books for a private car.
GrabTaxi also doesn't see its service being patronized less with the launch of GrabCar. Instead, GrabCar is expected to complement the taxi industry even further by providing customers with an alternative mode of transportation.
"GrabCar not only gives consumers more options, it will also be positive for taxi drivers in the GrabTaxi network," shared Tan. "This will increase the volume of cars available to passengers and build consumer confidence and loyalty in GrabTaxi, eventually leading to more people using the GrabTaxi platform and more rides for taxi drivers."
To use GrabCar, users need to simply select the GrabCar option on the app and enter their destination. The estimated fare will then be displayed on the screen prior to the booking of the service. Upon confirmation, the user will be notified of the status of the booking and can even keep track of the vehicle’s progress on its way to the designated pick-up point.