Uber recently announced plans to raise their prices by 10% in London in an effort to lure back employees to their driver pool.

In recent months, Uber has struggled to meet booking demand, seeing customers endure longer waiting times and numerous cancellations. Throughout the pandemic, numerous drivers left the company as fewer people were travelling, meaning there were fewer riders requesting trips.

“We’re making these changes to help provide a better rider experience by signing up more drivers to meet the growing demand,” said an Uber spokesperson. “We know people rely on Uber to book a safe trip around London, and this small fare increase will help reduce wait times. As always, riders will get a fare estimate before booking their journey.”

Since lockdown restrictions have eased, demand for cabs has grown exponentially, with nightlife and social events returning to normal. According to Uber, the increase in ride fees will come into effect on Thursday throughout London.

According to stats, Uber’s price hike is their first significant financial change in four years. Despite this, Uber’s 25% service fee clause imposed onto drivers will remain unchanged. 

In response to Uber’s price surge, rival ride-hailing company Bolt has pledged to “create a better functioning marketplace” by allowing users to set their own price for journeys. With over 65,000 drivers on their system, Bolt’s new feature would enable customers to select their desired bill from a list of advertised prices. The new plan also means drivers can cancel rides if a more profitable trip arises.

“Drivers have consistently asked us for the ability to set their own prices so they can ensure a journey is profitable enough before it’s accepted,” said Sam Raciti, Bolt’s regional manager. “By making these changes, we hope to reduce waiting times on the Bolt app and have fewer driver cancellations so customers can get to their destination quickly and safely following increased demand in recent weeks.”

He added: “We have built our business around giving drivers total flexibility. These changes are part of that philosophy and will create a better functioning marketplace.”