Uber is more popular than a taxi in Perth, according to Roy Morgan research. It’s the first city in Australia where this is true. But many Uber drivers may not be complying with ridesharing legislation, introduced in July 2016. In fact, many are taking big personal risks by not being fully insured.
Although the Insurance Commission will cover all injury costs for an accident, it will claim those costs from any Uber driver found to be the third party. This could range from $2,000 for minor injuries to tens of thousands of dollars for lifetime care.
As of last year, all Uber drivers must buy an omnibus licence ($272) and pay a commercial rate of compulsory third party insurance ($100-140 higher than private). During the first 6 months of the ridesharing law, police issued nine fines and 236 cautions.
Drivers who are caught after receiving a caution must pay $500 penalty. For Uber drivers, it is cheaper, as well as considerably safer, to buy the omnibus licence and pay for higher CTP.
There are about 400,000 regular users of Uber in Perth. During the past 3 months, 25% of travellers booked Uber (22% caught a cab). This compares with:
- Melbourne – 22%
- Brisbane – 16%
- Sydney – 14%
- Adelaide – 10%.
In an attempt to compensate owners of taxi plates, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti wants to add a $2 levy to all journeys. She says legislation of this nature should be in place by the end of 2017.
Naturally, Uber is opposed to any extra levies on its ridesharing service.