Taxi comparison and booking app Karhoo has launched in Newcastle as it takes the fight to cab disrupter Uber.

Many traditional taxi firms are struggling to compete with online firms such as Uber and Lyft, where passengers can book and pay via an app.

Uber gives customers the driver’s name, location, car make and registration of their transport, with most vehicles arriving within minutes.

Karhoo describes itself as a vendor-neutral platform for licensed and accredited taxi firms and allows passengers to compare cabs by price, proximity and vehicle style.

The firm now has a network of 120,000 cabs in the UK with a presence in London, Nottingham, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Derby, Bristol and Liverpool.

It launched in Newcastle today with 75 per cent of the city’s taxi and private hire market on its books including Budget Taxis, Five Star Taxis, Walker Taxis, Street Cars Taxis, Redline Taxis and East Coast Taxis.

KarhooKarhoo
The app

Daniel Ishag, CEO and founder of Karhoo, said: “Karhoo can get you there and back with a tap on your smartphone.

“We are excited to bring Karhoo to Newcastle as the app gives greater choice and brings more jobs to the hard-working local cab firms in the North East’s famous city.“

Karhoo claims that it offers customers more choice, no surge pricing and supports local businesses.

It is backed by the United Kingdom Trade Investment’s Global Entrepreneur Programme and will soon be available in Leeds, Stoke, Cardiff and Southampton.

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Some traditional taxi firms are reporting revenue increases of up to 30 per cent and are rehiring drivers to cope with demand.

Mohammed Suleman, owner of Budget Taxis, said: "Karhoo is the app our industry has been waiting for.

“It gives drivers the chance of more work and gives customers, both existing and new, a simple way of booking a car for immediate pick up or for weeks or months ahead. It really levels the playing field for us.” 

Karhoo plans international expansion, with New York and Singapore on its radar in 2017.

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