Sober Chauffeur Services

This is a listing of the chauffeur services available in Cape Town to get you and your car home when you’ve had too much to drink. You can read my full introduction on this topic here.

If there are any services that I have left off the list, please share them in the comments section below or send me an email.

sober chauffeur

Sober Chauffeur

http://www.soberchauffeur.co.za

What makes Sober Chauffeur different is that, while they do offer an individual package, they offer corporate packages, so a company can get a package and all their staff can use the service rather than having to get a package for each staff member. This is good because some staff might not use the service much so an individual package might be wasted on them.

The other interesting difference is that the kilometres are charges in zones. So for example Zone 1 on the individual package is up to R15kms and Zone 2 15 -25kms, etc. The trip is charged according to the zone.

For an individual this is not an ideal option because the monthly fee of R199 only includes one free trip. So unless you are travelling 40 – 50kms in that trip, you can never get your money’s worth. Also, each subsequent trip is expensive because the charge is per zone, so if you travel 16km, you pay for Zone 2 and it will cost you R149 (R9/km) but if you travel for 25kms you are still in Zone 2 and you are only paying about R5.50/km.

Joining Fee: R179
Contract Term: 12 Months

Smart Guyz

http://www.smartguyz.co.za

Smart Guyz offer options to suit many different requirements. They allow non members to use the service for a R160 minimum charge which includes 10kms and the balance of kilometres is charged at R10/km.

They also offer corporate packages where the company pays R50 per registered user and they can use the service as much as they like at R9, no free kilometres.

The individual packages range from Bronze to Gold with each including more free kilometres and a cheaper per kilometre rate for out of bundle kilometres. The Bronze package costs R70 per month and includes no free kms and a R9 charge per km. So it’s like the non member option but if you use it more than once a month it saves you R70 per additional callout.

The other nice thing about Smart Guys is that you can add family members to your contract for an additional R35 for month.

My thoughts: If you have a family, this is really good value. If you went for the Gold package (100km free) at R640 and add your spouse and 2 kids, it would cost R745 per month and you would share the 100kms between you (minimum trip 15kms – 6 trips) and the additional kms would only cost R6.40 per km, cheaper than any taxi.

No Joining Fee
Contract period: 12 Months

Nite Owls

http://www.niteowl.co.za

These guys have a simple pricing structure. Non members pay a R65 pick up fee and pay R13/km with a minimum trip of 13kms (R234 minimum cost per callout). Surcharge of R95 for callouts after 2am.

Members pay R780 per annum (R65 per month), but there is no pickup fee (so you save if you use it more than once a month), R12/km and minimum trip of 12kms (so each trip is a minimum of R144). Callouts after 2am cost R65 extra.

My thoughts:  I like the simplicity, and the monthly fee is not high, so if you don’t use the service you aren’t losing much. On the other hand R12/km is quite high.

No joining fee
Contract: 12 months

Road Trip

http://www.roadtrip.co.za

These guys have no non member options. The packages range from R232/month (20kms free, 5km minimum trip, R11.60/km) to R635/month (99kms free, 15km minimum trip, R6.41/km). They also offer a family option where you can add family members for R46 each per month. So in the example I used for Smart Guys, a family of four would cost R773/month with 99km free, 15kms minimum trip and R6.41/km. Very similar to Smart Guyz.

There is a corporate option too, from 20+ members, R79/month each and R9.69/km, minimum trip 15kms.

My thoughts: Similar plans to Good Fellas but a bit cheaper. Family options make it good. They also operate quite late which is good.

No joining fee
12 months contract

Good Fellas

https://www.gfellas.co.za

The original chauffeur service, these guys have been going since 2004. Did you know it started in PE? Packages range from Smartchoice (R85/month, R11/km, 15km minimum trip) to Smartchoice 90 (R661.50/month, R7.35/km, 15km minimum trip). There is one package which has a minimum trip of only 5kms but obviously the per km charge is higher.

Family members can be added to a package for R45.95/month each. And they mention that they will offer special packaged tailored to corporate as well as special function services where they provide drivers to take your guests home.

They have some unusual charges too. There is a R6.90 monthly admin fee and they charge you R250 if you cancel your membership. There is also a re-joining fee of R500 and a 2nd time re-joining fee of R1000. I guess they are not locking you into a 12 month contract but don’t want you leaving and re-joining all the time.

No joining fee
Monthly contract

1 for the Road

http://www.1fortheroad.co.za

Similar packages as the others, minimum trip of 15kms, except for one package which has a minimum trip of 5kms. Subs range from R80 (no free kilometres, R10.50/km) to R560 (80 free kilometres, R7.00/km).

Family members can be added for R40/month and there is also a function membership for companies who wish to have function guests taken home.

The contract is for 12 months and the T&C’s say it auto renews unless you cancel, but I’m sure they will be changing that soon as it is now illegal according to the new Consumer Protection Act.

No joining fee
Contract period: 12 Months

Firefly [Closed Down]

http://www.facebook.com/pages/FireFly-You-Drink-We-Drive

These guys freak me out because they don’t have a website. I don’t know how you can start a business without putting up a website. Anyway, maybe that’s just me. I mean, they do have a Facebook page.

Their rates are simple like Nite Owls. Non members can use the service and pay a R45 pick up fee, R11/km, and a minimum call out of 13km (R188 minimum). After 2:30am there is a R45 surcharge as well. This is definitely the cheapest non member rate, I guess it’s because they don’t have to pay for a website.

Members pay R520 for a year (R44/month), R9/km and minimum callout of R13km. The post 2:30am surcharge falls to R35. This means it’s worth being a member even if you only use it once a month.

No joining fee
Membership period: 12 Months

Scoota Express [Closed Down]

http://www.scootaexpress.co.za/

These guys are really setting themselves apart. No membership fees, no minimum charge and no call out fee. This is crazy, use this service while you can! They also only charge R10/km! This is as cheap as taking a taxi and you only have to do it one way and your car gets home. Plus they operate until 4am.

They do the same as the others except the sweeper drives a scooter not a car. The thing that worries me, apart from the poor oke on the scooter trying to keep up, is the insurance cover. You need to check with your insurance that you would be covered in the event of an accident. I know that some of these companies are affiliated to insurance companies so just check. Also, you need cash because they take the money from you when they drop you off while most of the others just charge your account because you are a member.

No joining fees
No contract

Home Drive by Elite Chauffeur

http://www.elitechauffeur.co.za/homedrive/

These guys have also got a simple charging system, no membership and you have to book earlier and pre pay (you can’t just call them and say come fetch me). They charge a fixed rate of R495 to drop you within a 30km radius of the departure point. Multiple drop offs are allowed as long as the entire trip does not take more than an hour.

They also offer a chauffeur service where they will collect you and take you wherever you need to be. Like a taxi, just more expensive.

R500 is a lot, I’m not sure how this service will compete against others.

No joining fee
No contract

1 Way

http://www.1way.co.za

1 Way does not have a non member option and their packages are different from the others in that they don’t include free kms, just the more you pay per month, the cheaper you per kilometre rate is. Starting at R12/km for the R50 membership going down to R6.60/km for the R350 membership. Their minimum trip is 12kms, which is appealing.

If you’re trip home is mostly less than 10kms, then the option with the 6km minimum trip is the best. The R50 package is only worthwhile if you plan to use the service less than thrice per month. The created a spreadsheet with the trip distance and number of trips per month as variables, which makes it easy to see which package is the best for your usage pattern.

Family members get a 50% discount. They also give you a 10% discount for pre bookings which is clever as it incentivises pre bookings. They also don’t charge you extra for call outs after 2am (but you need to book before 2am as the call centre closes at 2am), but there is a R50 surcharge for pickups outside zone 1 (the website doesn’t say what zone 1 is).

No joining fee
Contract runs monthly

Scooter Angels

http://www.scooterangels.co.za/

These guys are based in Northern Suburbs and request that you pre-book for other areas. No membership fee, but members get better prices. Members pay R25 pick up fee (R50 after 12:30am), R50 for the first 6kms of a trip and R8 thereafter. Non members pay R45 pickup fee (R75 after 12:30am), R75 for the first 6kms of a trip and R10/km thereafter.

As you can deduce from the name, they use scooters so could get to you sooner if they were to encounter traffic jams, etc. Interestingly they only operate from Wednesday to Saturday, 7pm – 2:30am. Also, they only accept cash, paid to the driver on drop off. Which means you need to ensure you have a good stash of cash with you.

**Use promo code ‘dax’ when signing up for the Classic Plan and get 20km free every month.**

Home Hero

http://www.homeheroes.org

The new kid on the block, what makes these guys different is that they give you access to multiple sober chauffeur services. Potentially offering speedier service. It appears that they only have one contract type and don’t mention servicing of non members. The cost is R90 per month and R12.50/km.

Lift Club [Closed Down]

http://www.liftc.co.za/

Lift Club is an extension of the sober chauffeur service. I believe this is a very smart move and puts their offering ahead of the competition. With these guys you don’t always have to be taken home in your car, while they offer this service, they also offer a personalised taxi service. The company strap line is “24 hour family transport club”. You need your kids picked up from school? Need to get from A to B? Need to get home with your car but have been drinking? These guys will assist wherever they are needed.

A family membership is R360 a month and the 50km included can be used however you like. The individual package is R90 with 12kms included. The rate for out of bundle kilometres is R8. If you are going to need a regular service, say fetching the kids from school or taking your elderly mother to the doctor, you can negotiate a customised package.

Bikefellas [Closed Down]

These guys emailed me to tell me they offer a sober chauffeur service and would I please add them to this list. It looks like they started up in January, so they are very new. Which might explain why they don’t have a website yet. But you can see their ad on Gumtree. It sounds like the standard service but with no subscriptions. A call out is a minimum of R150 which includes 15kms. Additional kilometres are R10 each. The pricing is competitive, if you are travelling 15 kilometres or more.

I would just be a little nervous using a fly by night operator that doesn’t even have a website yet (see firefly above as well). There needs to be accountability and I want to know that the company has invested in their operation, has some infrastructure, etc.

i-Drive

http://www.idriveservices.co.za

Our newest addition to the fold. You don’t have to be a member to use the service, prices are R50 pick up fee (free for members), R12/km (R11 for members) with a 12km minimum which makes it a minimum of R194 (R132) per time. If you wish to take advantage of those member rates you will pay an annual membership fee R750 which means you must use them more than once  a month to make it worth your while.

What makes these guys different is that you can also book a driver per hour. This is really useful if a bunch of you are going to be moving from place to place. R200 per hour for member, R250 per hour for non-members.

Drive-Wise

http://www.drive-wise.co.za

The latest service offering to join the fray. These guys have an interesting strategy of not telling you their rates but promising to beat any written quote from another sober chauffeur service.

You don’t have to be a member to use the service.

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24 Responses

  1. @UnderthetableCT says:

    the biggest factor in differentiating which is better is going to be based on service – who consistently gets there when you need them. Waiting times, having to pre-book etc are issues. If one of them guaranteed a pick-up in town within 20mins of my call I would go with them even if they were pricier.

  2. Dax says:

    Ja, I hear you.

    I think the model has difficulties. From what I understand, the drivers are waiting at home ‘on call’ and so depending on how far the pickup is from their home, and how jacked they are, there will be a waiting period.

    In countries (like the UK, where many of us have spent some time) where you use taxis and public transport, you factor in the waiting time. So you call them before you start getting ready so that they arrive when you are ready, etc. You also factor in time for waiting for trains and buses. So I think we need to just adapt our lifestyle and plan ahead a little.

    But perhaps one of the service providers will differentiate themselves by offering a ‘rapid response service’ where they have a few cars waiting in town (or other popular areas) for deployment. Perhaps a surcharge will be required.

  3. Sam says:

    This is a fantastic article Dax, Thank you for doing all the leg work on this.

  4. Dax says:

    Thanks Sam, you’re welcome 🙂

    I’ve added 1 Way, so now there are 10. Nice round number.

  5. Dax says:

    A new service, Scooter Angels, has launched. Slightly different model. You don’t have to call them, they will be waiting at well frequented venues and any registered member (no monthly subs) can ask them to take them home at R8/km (max R120 and min R50).

    http://scooterangels.co.za/

  6. Michelle says:

    Great article Dax, thank you!

  7. Lize says:

    Hey Dax. Check our Firefly You Drink We Drive’s facebook page. http://facebook.com/safelyhome/

    I put a complaint there and as yet they haven’t blocked me, however they have with another client that complained.

    Take these guys off your list of reputable companies. They are BAD.

    • Dax says:

      That’s serious stuff. You should post that complaint here so that people can still read it if they remove it from the FB page.

  8. Lize says:

    Hi Dax,
    Thanks..I’ll do that:
    On 13th December I booked Firefly in advance for Christmas day. I not only confirmed the week before, I confirmed EXACT collection time 2 days before and just to make sure, I called on Christmas day to be collected at 8pm. This booking was confirmed on every occasion. When 8pm came and went I tried contacting Firefly on ALL THEIR NUMBERS and no-one would answer my calls. I continued to try and get hold of them until 10pm via calling, sms etc. and they refused to take my calls. I tried various other services and taxi services and they were all fully booked. I had no choice but to get home, so my husband had to drive us. I sms’ed again on boxing day to ask what happened and I’ve never had a response. These people are responsible for peoples lives and I don’t think they realise it. They have deleted previous client’s complaints and blocked them from their FB page. Beware the dodgy operators.

  9. Dax says:

    I’ve added Lift Club (which looks like a really good service) and Bikefellas (which looks like a fly by night) to the list.

    For people in PE, there is a service called Home, James, Home. It’s reasonably priced and details are available on their website http://homejameshome.co.za/

    I’m also interested to hear feedback on the service offering of these various services so if you have positive or negative feedback, please leave a comment.

  10. Gerhard du Plessis says:

    Ek nou al paar keer gebruik gemaak van Scooter Angels. Ek is beindruk met hul diens wat altyd van die hoogste gehalte is, van die mense wat die foon antwoord tot die ouens wat jou huis toe bestuur. Ek het oor die jare al ‘n hele paar soortgelyke dienste probeer en hierdie een is sover die mees betroubaarste en definitief die goedkoopste. Ek raai almal ten sterkste aan om hulle volgende keer te gebruik!

  11. Dax says:

    Apparently a new service opens in CT this week, buddys.co.za

  12. Renaldo says:

    Used Scooter Angels last night for first time. Actually heard about them from this exact article, so though I would leave some feedback here for other visitors. Was expecting a fold up scooter of some sort, but the chauffeur team arrived in a nice branded vehicle. Painless process from start to finish, so i wish to recommend this company to others. Cherry on the top was my bill which only came to R175!! (Milnerton to Atlantic Beach Golf Estate)

    p.s) I contacted 2 of the other companies that show up on your article first. Both of them refused to attend to my request as i was not a member of theirs!

    Thank you Dax for the informative website!

  13. Dax says:

    Discovery Insurance will apparently be subsidising membership fees to sober chauffeur services (Road Trip & Sober Guyz) up to 25% (depending on Vitality Drive status) from 1 Aug 2012.

    Outsurance has already been offering a basic membership to Goodfellas for R20 (usually R90) for a few years.

  14. Leanne says:

    We just got a bill from Home Heroes. They charged us 20km (R220) for a trip from Green Point to the CBD (which is less than 5km, probably 3km!) We have received bills from them in the past for 12km (so 20km is not their minimum distance). AND we didn’t even take that trip as after waiting 40 min LONGER than the 15 to 20 min they promised, and us calling them twice, their cab was still not there..Eventually (and after explaining to them that we could not wait any longer as our friends were already ordering at the restaurant) we took another cab.

    Then later that night we took them home, from the CBD to Noordhoek – they took almost an hour to find us on Wale St (btw Loop and Bree), the guy driving behind us, lost us and could not find us… We had our driver in our lounge for over an hour (now 2am and we’re exhausted) – we spoke to the other guy so many times on the phone, trying to explain where we live (we’re just off Silvermine Rd so VERY very basic directions) – he had absolutely no idea where he was at all – like if he was in Tokai or in FIsh Hoek… I totally understand that the drivers are not all Capetonians but they should at the very least be provided with a GPS or SOME training for the areas they service, surely – we pay a monthly fee?!?

    Eventually after 3am we left the driver on the curb and went to bed – just could NOT be dealing with it anymore… I was so annoyed and tired and i felt sorry for the guy but what could we do?… (we even considered driving him back!! but of course we were over the limit and it is far…) After receiving this bill for that trip we didn’t take – I am LIVID and will never use them again. What a MARE!

  15. Leanne says:

    Hi Dax
    I wanted to let you know, that after I complained bitterly to Home Heroes – they really sorted us out. We’ve used them a few times since and I don’t know if we are like VIP now (after all my fit-throwing) but the drivers are always excellent and they arrive quickly and it is a total breeze. So I’m all for Home Heroes now – hooray!
    Lee X

  16. i want to make an enquiry about collecting kids from school: Durbanville area, and from Brackenfell to Kuilsriver.
    Collect from schools: Fairmont & Stellenberg school.
    Collect from Jan Kriel school, and deliver to Brackenfell

    • Dax says:

      Delene, you’ll need to contact the service directly. I’ve included links to their websites where you should easily find contact details.

  17. Tammy says:

    Hi Dax. I was wondering which one of these Chauffer companies whould be best suited for a group of people, abour 15, to be picked up and dropped off?
    Thanks.
    Tammy

    • Dax says:

      Hi Tammy, I emailed you to tell you to get hold of Scooter Angels as they are offering shuttle services too.

  18. more info says:

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked
    the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve
    four emails with the same comment. Is there a way
    you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!

  19. Grant says:

    Drive Wise have a nice online tool that provide rates, http://drive-wise.co.za/online-quote.html.

    • Adam says:

      Drive-wise has become pretty useless as they are never available unless you pre-book a day in advance which defeats the object, IMHO.

  20. Stephen says:

    I joined HomeHeroes and am continually impressed by their level of service and attention to detail.

    The information you have above is incorrect.

    As well as a drive you home service, they provide private chauffeurs, taxi services, school runs and can always make a plan for more complex arrangements.