When it comes to booking a taxi in Amman (or in Jordan), then you have 2 mobile application-based options – Careem & Uber. To be honest, I don’t notice much difference between the 2 apps, and haven’t had a bad experience with either, so I usually just book the one with the cheapest fare/best availability from my location.
Update: In March 2019, Uber bought Careem for a whopping $3.1 billion. However, both apps will function separately.
Careem advertises themselves as the Middle East’s leading car booking app.
How to book: Careem app and/or website
Can book in advance: YES
Works to and from Queen Alia International airport?: YES
Payment options: Cash, credit card or with Careem credits.
Car options: There are 3 different car options in Jordan – Economy, Taxi, Mumayyaz and Van.
Jordanian cities where available: Amman, Irbid, Zarqa
My opinion: I’ve found that Careem is more expensive than Uber. It may not be true in all cases, but when I open Careem and simultaneously open Uber to calculate the fare, Careem is always significantly more expensive.
If you haven’t heard of Uber then you must have been living under a rock for a while now. Uber has had quite the legal struggle to be available in many places worldwide, and Amman is no exception. You CAN, however, book through Uber in Jordan, but waiting to hear back from their reps to know how legal it is, especially when it comes to traveling back and forth from the airport.
How to book: Uber app
Can book in advance: YES
Works to and from Queen Alia International airport?: YES, but your driver may receive a ticket for doing so.
Payment options: Cash or credit card
Car options: UberX (advertised as the “low cost” version)
Jordanian cities where available: Amman, Irbid, Zarqa, Madaba and Salt
My opinion: Uber is great, but I am never really sure if they’re 100% legal to use. Especially when going to the airport, sometimes the driver will drop you off a bit down the road so that he isn’t caught by the undercover cops at the departures drop-off. Once my driver was stopped and had to pay a fine, but as the passenger I wasn’t in trouble.
Careem or Uber – What Jordanians & Expats Prefer
I took a little poll of Jordanians and Expats in a Facebook group to find out why taxi app they prefer and why. Here’s what some of them responded:
“Careem comfortable car for a better experience” – Majed Odeh
“Uber was my fav, but recently the service degraded dramatically” – Alex Talanov
“Uber is cheaper than Careem, but I like Careem’s customer service and drivers more.” – Rola Fayyad
“I usually use my own car, however, due to a foot injury, I had the opportunity to try both of them, Uber and Careem. I found that Uber is much more expensive at busy hours because of the ratio 1.5, 2 and sometimes more which multiplied by the real value of money. Moreover, Careem gives the option to use yellow taxi cars which is good quid pro quo for a lot of taxi drivers and passengers while Uber doesn’t. Accordingly, I uninstalled Uber application and kept using Careem till I became able to drive again.” – Fadi Sabha
“Since the incident in Beirut, I have had to rethink the use of Careem and Uber till all drivers are licensed.” – Safia Weeks