LONDON, 26th March 2014 – Blacklane, the chauffeur portal, today announced that it has successfully completed its beta phase in the UK and now offers its full service to customers in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Since the first Blacklane booking in London in March 2013, Blacklane has rapidly built the service out to eight cities in the UK, driving bookings at an average rate of more than 20% per month with an average trip distance of 18 miles.
Bookings for Blacklane cars can be made through the Blacklane app, on the website or via the hotline. Customers can book a car in any city in Blacklane’s international network in an easy, transparent way. The integrated billing service helps customers keep track of their payments and better manage their travel expenses.
Blacklane’s rapid expansion across UK cities has been replicated in countries around the world, with the Berlin-based startup boosting its network from 30 to 130 cities across 45 countries from August to January – that’s 100 cities in 100 days. This global footprint has been key in driving Blacklane bookings as business travellers look for a one-stop-shop to organise premium transport around the world. Customers using Blacklane in other countries now account for half of total UK customers.
Blacklane is tapping into demand for premium, reliable transport which can be booked in advance at a fixed price. This eliminates the risk of an on-demand booking falling through or offered at a prohibitively high price due to surge pricing. In the UK the majority of Blacklane bookings are made over a day in advance, with the largest share being Business Class cars, followed by Business Vans and finally First Class cars.
The majority of UK chauffeur providers operate with only one or two vehicles. Working with over 180 chauffer providers in the UK alone, Blacklane is helping UK providers improve capacity utilisation and opening up the UK chauffeur market to a global audience.
Frank Steuer, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Blacklane, commented:
“Initial demand for our premium taxi service in the UK has been very encouraging and I’m confident this will continue to grow as we establish Blacklane as the only smart, affordable alternative to a taxi which is truly global.
“It’s exciting to play a role not only in removing complications for international and local travellers, but also in helping UK chauffeur businesses tap into global demand for business travel.”