Transport Arbitrage

Thanks to technology and competition, there's an easy way to save big money on your transport costs.

Transport Arbitrage

Arbitrage is defined as the simultaneous buying and selling of securities, currency, or commodities in different markets or in derivative forms in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset.

It's a virtually foolproof way of making a profit as you buy in the cheapest market and sell at the same time in a more expensive market.

Outside of investing, it's sometimes used generically to describe using competitive tension between businesses to gain a benefit. It can be a simple as asking a store to price match.

The internet has proved a boon for consumers who can compare prices for the exact same product in seconds. In recent months, I've used the same principle to save hundreds of dollars in transport costs. Here's how you can too.

Most people are familiar with Uber - the driver on demand business that has almost replaced taxis. Not as many people know that there are other companies that provide the very same service.

In some instances, it's exactly the same service because the individual drivers often represent multiple brands. Being linked to several ride generators provides them with the greatest chance of actually getting a job.

It also provides you with the best chance of getting a great deal.

I currently have three ride-sharing apps on my phone - Uber, Ola and Didi. There isn't much difference between how they operate. You just make a couple of clicks and your ride turns up.

Each of these firms are fiercely competitive and are busy trying to amass market share. That means they all compete on price and offer regular discounts.

Some of these specials are incredible value. Where once a ride home from the city cost nearly $25, the ride sharers brought the cost nearer to $15.  

A few nights ago, thanks to the discount vouchers I managed to travel the same route for a little over $6. That's less than it would have cost for my wife and I to take public transport!

Right about now I expect some readers will be bristling up about low wages or the plight of taxi plate owners. You might have a point but governments have made their decisions about ride share companies already.

As to the wages, well the discounts don't impact the driver at all. The cost is met by the capital investors in the companies themselves. It's no coincidence that these companies are losing billions of dollars every year!

Still, the venture capitalists loss is your potential gain and every person who uses a ride sharing company is wasting money if they don't compare the offers available.

My family has been doing exactly that for several months now and it's saved us loads.

Some of these companies will even give you free rides just for signing up. Here's some deals you might like to take advantage of from a couple of the new players in the industry..

Didi - Use the code Cory235 to get a $20 in ride vouchers (use it and they'll give me a voucher too).

Ola - use the code 0D9XWVU after signup to get an introductory voucher.

Best of all, it costs you nothing to have this money saving opportunity at your disposal. Whether you use it or not is up to you but in a world where  money is tighter than ever, its wise to have some economic firepower available when you need it.

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