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Ola is a ride-hailing provider that has its roots based in India. Following tremendous success there, it has branched out to various other countries such as Australia and is also available in many cities in certain other countries. Uber started back in 2012 and has been the most prominent of such providers. So let us ask the question of what their similarities and differences are.

Ola and Uber are ride-hailing apps that provide on-demand lifts where a driver picks you up and drops you at a predetermined location. Uber is more prominent and available in more places, but Ola boasts better safety features, such as their start code given to the driver before the ride begins.

Although having now been around for some time and are likely a part of many of our lives, these sorts of apps are still young in a sense, and there are constantly new competitors emerging, looking for a market share. But today, I am examining Ola vs Uber and what to expect from either one of them. Their approaches and backstories are different, so come along as I unpack them. 

An Overall Side By Side Look At Ola And Uber

Ola is a multinational ride sharing app that has its headquarters based in Bangalore, India. Not only are they a ride-hailing app, but they are involved in other areas of expertise, such as used cars and financial services. One of the largest stakeholders in the company is Softbank. In 2018, Ola expanded its borders, and first, it went to Australia and New Zealand, and then the UK.  

Uber, which sits under the umbrella of Uber Technologies, Inc., is based in San Francisco, America. They are an incredibly vast company that started back in 2012. They currently operate in roughly 72 countries and over 10,000 cities globally. 

They have very similar business models; however, Ola has not received the same sort of criticism as Uber regarding its disruption of the taxi and cab industry, the treatment of their drivers, and other factors.  

Various Points Worth Noting For Both Ola And Uber

I have seen some basic similarities in the services offered, but let us examine some of the key points for each company.

Getting To Know Ola: 

  • Ola owns some cars that it hires out to drivers.
  • Ola offers sedans, SUVs, and luxury sedans in limited locations.
  • Offers fewer payment methods.
  •  Ola also supports cash payments, and there are no restrictions on where you are based.
  • They off food deliver with Ola Foods.
  • They offer Ola Dash, which delivers groceries to your door.
  • If you are looking for a second-hand car, Ola Cars is a viable option.
  • Do not make allowance for pet transportation.
  • Do not offer baby/child car seats.

Getting To Know Uber:

  • Uber does not own a single-vehicle.
  • Uber offers luxury sedans, SUVs, sedans, premium cars, and accessible vehicles.
  • Uber offers more widely used services than Ola.
  • They run food delivery, known as Uber Eats.
  • They offer package delivery under the name, Postmates (see Postmates vs Lyft) .
  • They even offer rental electric bicycles and motorized scooters.
  • Cash payments are restricted to specific locations.
  • Do not make allowance for pet transportation.
  • Do not offer baby/child car seats.

The Fundamental Differences Between Ola And Uber

Ola has revolutionized certain aspects of the ride-hailing industry and taken specific elements to the next level, and even offers certain features that the likes of Uber do not. The app allows you to do an array of things. You sign-up and then select your collection and drop-off location. You can view the driver's location, just as you would in Uber, and real-time route tracking.

It has, over time, increased its payment options available to the customer, and apart from cash or card, there is also a feature known as Ola Money. There is also a system for rating and feedback that you can use to rate your experience with the driver and company. Additionally, you can share rides with others. There is also the possibility of canceling rides if done timeously.

Although some may disagree, the app is relatively straightforward enough to use. Like with other ride-hailing apps, there are options regarding the type of car that collects you

. You can also add in stops, but this is a feature that Uber already offers.

One significant difference between Ola and other similar apps is the start code that must be given to the driver before the ride may commence. Without the provision of this code, the ride will not begin. Another great feature of Ola is that they clearly care about the safety of their users

If there is an imminent danger, you have direct access to emergency services organized by the safety team, who will contact you immediately if you alert them to a problem. There is also 24/7 customer support, and they genuinely value your input.  

I have already mentioned some aspects of Uber, especially those that overlap with Ola, but now I will look at what they offer. One of the excellent components of Uber is that you can book an immediate ride or, if you plan ahead, make a booking for a later time. You can easily see if drivers are near you and track them once they accept your ride request. 

For payments, Uber is somewhat ahead of the game; however, not accepting cash payments in some locations is frustrating. They too offer 24/7 customer support; however, there are not the same level of safety features as Ola. From time to time, they offer their customers discount coupons, which are highly appealing. Lastly, you can also leave a review and rating at the end of your trip.

A Brief Side By Side Comparison Of Ola And Uber

Although Uber pickups are usually very accurate, it implicitly assumes the accuracy of the pickup address you put in. On the other hand, Ola shows explicitly where the pickup location is. This divergence is likely because Ola started in India, where addresses can cause uncertainty, and therefore the point of pickup is vital for both rider and driver to know. 

In terms of seeing what type of cabs are available and the time it will take for them to reach you, Ola allows you to know this information before selecting the pickup and drop-off, and you also get an idea of when you will be fetched. On the other hand, Uber has you put in this information, and only once you have confirmed the ride will you have an idea of your wait time. 

When you are hoping to engage in carpooling, although Uber offers this option, Ola does a better job of promoting this. This is all done in the integrated components of seeing your pickup and drop-off location in relation to other passengers. With Uber, it is far grayer, and one usually only finds out by asking the driver for these details. 


Uber tends to be the outright winner when I compare the two, and this is due to its prominence, track history (even though there are some blemishes), and the fact that it offers more diverse options. It must be noted that Ola has exceptional service provision and their safety features are very appealing. In terms of cost, neither is really ahead of the other, so that is not a problem.