British start-up letting car owners charge passengers for rides is helping drive to get commuters back to work
A British start-up that lets car owners charge their passengers for rides is helping the drive to get commuters back to work.
Skoot – launched by entrepreneur Greg Gormley this month – connects drivers with friends, family and workmates needing a lift.
Each car journey costs 57p per mile including 12p commission for Skoot. The charge is split between the passengers.
Huge demand: Skoot connects drivers with friends, family and workmates needing a lift
Gormley, 50, founded Skoot after his teenage daughter started driving friends around and he realised there was a huge demand for cheap and safe rides.
He said Skoot costs passengers about a third of the price of UberX. Gormley is aiming to eventually replicate the size of Uber’s business.
Car owners register by uploading their driving licence to the Skoot app, which checks that vehicles are taxed and have an MoT. It then links the driver through social media to friends who have their mobile number. Friends post details of their pick-up point when they want a lift.
From next month, Skoot drivers will be able to run errands for friends, such as collecting prescriptions or groceries.
Gormley said: ‘Skoot is about helping one another out. Covid has made us realise there is more to life than working.’
It is illegal for private motorists to make a profit from providing lifts. Skoot’s 45p per mile rate received by drivers is the maximum allowed by Revenue & Customs to offset their vehicle’s running costs.
Gormley has raised £1.6million from investors including Liam Griffin, the chief executive of car service Addison Lee. He plans to raise up to £20million by next summer to fund international growth, starting with Europe and the US.
Ride-sharing firm BlaBlaCar, which has raised €405million (£375million), is one of France’s most valuable tech start-ups.