Ola Outstation - A detailed review for Travellers

Recently we were in Gujrat to witness the Navratri celebrations in various Garba grounds of Ahemdabad and Vadodara. It was a long weekend, so we took out time to spend 4 days in Gujrat and also explore nearby places in this beautiful & progressive state of India. During this trip we used Ola Outstation cab twice - once for one day trip from Ahemedabad to Adlaj ni Vav, Modhera Sun Temple, Patan's popular Rani no Vav and GandhiNagar's famous AksharmDham temple & Mahatma Temple. Second time, we used Ola Outstation to go from Ahemdabad to Vadodara via ASI heritage site in Lothal and second day drive to Statue of Unity & then came back to Ahmedabad for our flight back.


Recently we were in Gujarat to witness the Navaratri celebrations in various Garba grounds of Ahmedabad and Vadodara. It was a long weekend, so we took out time to spend 4 days in Gujarat and also explore nearby places in this beautiful & progressive state of India. During this trip we used Ola Outstation cab twice - once for a one-day trip from Ahmedabad to Adalaj ni Vav, Modhera Sun Temple, Pattan's popular Rani no Vav and GandhiNagar's famous Akshardham temple & Mahatma Temple. Second time, we used Ola Outstation to go from Ahmedabad to Vadodara via ASI heritage site in Lothal and second day drive to Statue of Unity & then came back to Ahmedabad for our flight back. 

On the first day, it was an experiment for a one-day outstation trip. Taxi vendors in Ahmedabad expect to drive 300 kilometers in a day and charge at the rate of 10rs per kilomters and 200 rs for the driver. Which makes it a minimum of 3200 Rs for a day if you are driving 300 kms or less and any kilometer above 300 is charged at the rate of 10rs/km.

As per our planned itinerary, we were expecting to drive around 230 kilometers during our one-day trip. When we checked Ola outstation charges, it was 9rs/km for WagonR and expected drive in kilometers was much less and was decided on the basis of hours you drive in a day. When calculated, it was costing us around 2300 (saving us 900 Rs in a day) - and this was after a first time discount of 250 rs on outstation booking. At this moment, we had these numbers to make our decision and we thought of going with Ola Outstation option. 

An evening before, we booked Ola station and scheduled it for 8:30am next day. Cab is confirmed by Ola an hour before your trip starts, so we received driver details along with OTPs to start the trip and end the trip at 7:30am. It was little uncomfortable to not have cab details till very late and there was a doubt if driver doesn't show up, which is usual thing in inter-city commute.       Our cab arrived on time - driver asked for OTP, asked me to click a photograph of meter reading and started the trip. As our trip started, we got know that AC of the car is not very effective and it was a hot day and soon after we realised that music system in the car doesn't work. Music was sorted through phone speakers (not a very good way to enjoy music on the road but better than nothing :) ).

An evening before, we booked Ola station and scheduled it for 8:30am next day. Cab is confirmed by Ola an hour before your trip starts, so we received driver details along with OTPs to start the trip and end the trip at 7:30am. It was little uncomfortable to not have cab details till very late and there was a doubt if driver doesn't show up, which is a usual thing in inter-city commute.   

Our cab arrived on time - driver asked for OTP, asked me to click a photograph of meter reading and started the trip. As our trip started, we got know that AC of the car is not very effective and it was a hot day and soon after we realised that music system in the car doesn't work. Music was sorted through phone speakers (not a very good way to enjoy music on the road but better than nothing :) ). 

Throughout the day, we just changed locations as per our itinerary and enjoyed moving around different places in Gujrat. We will be sharing detailed posts about some of the popular and interesting places we explored around Ahmedabad in Gujrat.     Before I shared further about 2 days outstation trip, let's list down some of the advantages and downsides of Ola Outstation. Would request you to contribute through comments section if you have viewpoints around this.     Advantages of Ola Outstation :    1. Cost effective. (Effectiveness may vary from one place to other because Taxi vendors may offer different prices in different states/cities of India)    2. Ola app gives best control of how you should move between the locations and ease to use the app throughout the trip. That saves lot of energy when you are stuck with driver who needs specific instructions all the time. In case of smarter drivers, this is not as useful.     3. Rating system in Ola app is a good way to ensure that driver tries not make lot of mistakes and follow what customer wants.

Throughout the day, we just changed locations as per our itinerary and enjoyed moving around different places in Gujarat. We will be sharing detailed posts about some of the popular and interesting places we explored around Ahmedabad in Gujarat. 

Before I share further about outr2 days outstation trip, let's list down some of the advantages and downsides of Ola Outstation. Would request you to contribute through comments section if you have some opinions around this. 

Advantages of Ola Outstation :

1. Cost effective. (Effectiveness may vary from one place to another because independent Private Taxi vendors may offer different prices in different states/cities of India)

2. Ola app gives best control of how you should move between the locations. That saves lot of energy when you are stuck with driver who needs specific instructions all the time. In case of smarter drivers, this is not as useful. 

3. Rating system in Ola app is a good way to ensure that the driver avoids making mistakes and follow what customer wants. 

(Above photograph is sample to show how you see details while doing booking for Ola Outstation.)    Disadvantages of Ola Outstation :    1. Usually Ola drivers are not very experienced drivers when it comes to knowing touristy locations and places worth exploring. Mainly because most of these folks drive within cities and that too for quick pick-up/drops.    2. You don't know which car would be allocated to you for your travel and how well maintained it would be. You get to know about the cab details an hour ago your trip starts.     3. Usually local taxi vendors maintain their cars better than Ola (although it's hard to generalise like this. Both the Ola Outstation cars we got were not clean and had issues with AC & music systems. It's hard to find such taxis through local vendors and at least I don't such experience from past).    4. I observed that Ola drivers are not in a habit of staying overnight in different city or at least they pretend, even when there are extra charges for night stay (although it's not huge. Ola charges 200rs for a day and 150 rs for night stay. With this Ola expects driver to manage his/her own stay)     5. You need to be very sure of your itinerary and can't rely on driver to take you around.     6. Many of the OLA drivers drive in cities and rely on CNG gas. On the way, their ignorance may cost more time. Filling once may easily take 20-40 mins depending upon where you want to get it refilled and how long is the queue. Even these cars have Deisel tank but no driver would want to use other fuel because that hits their margins. So you may need to be aware if you come across a filling station which is relatively empty and prompt the driver to get tank filled, if needed.

(Above photograph is sample to show how you see details while doing booking for Ola Outstation.)

Disadvantages of Ola Outstation :

1. Usually Ola drivers are not very experienced drivers when it comes to knowing touristy locations and places worth exploring. Mainly because most of these folks drive within cities and that too for quick pick-up/drops.

2. You don't know which car would be allocated to you for your travel and how well maintained it would be. You get to know about the cab details an hour ago your trip starts. 

3. Usually local taxi vendors maintain their cars better than Ola (although it's hard to generalize like this. Both the Ola Outstation cars we got were not clean and had issues with AC & music systems. It's hard to find such taxis through local vendors and at least I haven't seen such an issue in the past).

4. I observed that Ola drivers are not in a habit of staying overnight in different city or at least they pretend, even when there are extra charges for night stay (although it's not huge. Ola charges 200rs for a day and 150 rs for night stay. With this Ola expects driver to manage his/her own stay) 

5. You need to be very sure of your itinerary and can't rely on the driver to take you around. 

6. Many of the OLA drivers drive in cities and rely on CNG gas. On the way, their ignorance may cost more time. Filling once may easily take 20-40 mins depending upon where you want to get it refilled and how long is the queue. Even these cars have Deisel tank but no driver would want to use other fuel because that hits their margins. So you may need to be aware if you come across a filling station which is relatively empty and prompt the driver to get tank filled, if needed.  

Please drop your questions below and we will try to respond ASAP. 

Comments

Shrinidhi Hande said…
Very detailed review. Curious how taxes and fees part was almost 60% in initial screenshot and dropped to 10% in last screenshot..

Also most Ola drivers are known for asking you to cancel the ride to save Ola's commission.

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