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Book a chauffeur

Ashok Kumar, a DriveU chauffeur, drives for Vimala Rajagopal.  

Before touch screens became the norm, ushering in numerous apps, Hyderabad had Dial a Driver, where one could call and hire a temporary driver for a day. Many such dial-in services continue to function in many cities. But with the advent of app-based cab booking services, there was a scope to streamline on-demand driver services.

DriveU is one such effort. The start-up headquartered in Bengaluru began operations in July 2015, and operates in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Pune. Hyderabad is the latest city in DriveU’s list, with the company launching operations a fortnight ago.

Through their app, one can book a driver for a few hours or a day/weekend for outstation trips. Founded by Rahm Shastry, Ashok Shastry and Amulmeet Singh Chadha, the start-up believes there will be enough takers for an on-demand driver service.

“If you don’t want to navigate through rush hour traffic but want to commute in the comfort of your own car, you can hire a driver through our app. Cabs have made commute easier, but there are several instances when travelling by your own vehicle can be easier. If one has to make several halts while running errands, it’s easier to keep your shopping bags and other things in the car and carry on with your tasks. And there is no hassle of having to book new cabs at each instance,” says Rahm Shastry.

Once a customer places a booking, a uniformed driver arrives at your doorstep. DriveU states that you can trust the driver to go and pick up someone from the railway station/airport, even if you aren’t riding. In short, it works like having a part-time driver.

But, how safe will it be to engage a driver you aren’t familiar with? “Drivers employed by us go through police verification and background checks by private investigators. They are trained and tested for their driving skills and etiquette. We have a tracking system to see where a driver is. A 24/7 customer care cell looks into all the concerns that may arise,” says Rahm.

Once a booking is placed, the customer receives details of the driver, along with his past record — number of trips, rating and feedback from other customers. “If the driver is rated 4 stars or above for more than a hundred trips, one feels reassured that he is trustworthy. If any of our drivers are rated below 4, we get feedback from customers and instruct the driver accordingly,” says Rahm.

DriveU has 300 drivers in Bangalore, 250 in Mumbai, more than 100 each in Delhi and Mumbai and to begin with, 25 in Hyderabad. In 2017, the firm hopes to have 1000 drivers in Hyderabad and 10,000 drivers in India, with operations in more cities. While most drivers with DriveU work full time, the firm is also open to students and youngsters seeking part-time jobs.

How does it fare?

DriveU charges Rs. 89 for the first hour and Rs.1.50 for every minute thereafter. A night time surcharge of Rs.150 is applicable for trips ending between 10 pm. and 6 am. For outstation service, the charge is Rs.1,199 for 24 hours, and Rs. 599 for 12 hours thereafter. Service tax applicable in all cases.

DriveU is available on iOs and Google PlayStore.


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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 8:45:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Book-a-chauffeur/article16667526.ece

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