Margot Huysman gushes about the newest car service to hit London.
I have many loves in my life. One is for Waterhouse’s paintings – I’ve always had a thing for the pre-Raphaelites, one is for shoes – one can never have too many pairs, and one is for beautiful cars. When I was 14, although I do not recall this episode, I apparently declared that I would own a Jaguar later in life. Well, I may not have my own black F-Type, but I have been chauffeured around town in some pretty sweet rides this past week.
My latest affair, with Uber, is responsible. I am completely, in a head-over-heels kind of way, in love with London’s brand new car service. The company, which is already well established in San Francisco and launched in Paris last December, is sure to take London by storm. Here at The Kernel, we have had the pleasure of riding in the fleet of cars the company already has and let me tell you: we are hooked.
Last week at LeWeb, the service was gracefully offered to the press free of charge. Free rides all over central London? We were not going to pass on that one. And drive around town we did: think Audrey Hepburn lolling around Paris. I won’t lie, I was tempted to ask the chauffeurs to just drive around London all night – but I was sensible and abstained.
For two days, though, we went everywhere. A Prada dress may cost a fortune and a pair of Louboutins will set you back a fair bit, but driving around in a luxury car has never been so accessible. And arriving somewhere in a car with tinted windows does wonders for your ego, trust me. It’s more P Diddy than coke dealer, I promise.
The service is so easy to use and so stress-free, I am hooked. Got to buy a dress for the Up Group Summer Party? Well, you could take the tube. Or, you could Uber it there. Even though we now have to pay for our drivers, the Kernel team is finding it difficult to go back to black cabs. I’ll spare you the details of my Uber bill, but I can assure you, it has been worth every penny.
At the tap of a button, you can have a car come pick you up and whisk you off to work – not that I have ever done that, at all, ever. The service currently runs until 3 am every day, making it the perfect solution after a late-night cocktail or a clubbing session. As with Addison Lee, the whole process is completely cashless once you’ve registered your card. The company debits your account directly.
While Hailo is a brilliant service for locating London’s most ubiquitous form of transport, we wonder whether, given the fact that, let’s face it, black cabs simply aren’t very pleasant, and bearing in mind Addison Lee’s newfound unpopularity in the wake of their CEO’s comments about cyclists, London will be tempted into paying a little more for a daily dose of luxury. Signs point to yes.