Uber Declines, Lyft Picks Up in the Certify SpendSmart™ Report for Q3 2017

Uber Declines, Lyft Picks Up in the Certify SpendSmart™ Report for Q3 2017

We are quickly approaching the cold winter months, which means it's time for our quarterly SpendSmart™ Report for Q3 2017. Now in our 19th consecutive quarter of reporting, this free resource has provided valuable insights into the spending habits of the business traveler to help CFOs, controllers and accountants make more informed decisions about their organizations' spending choices. After analyzing the millions of transactions that passed through our system in Q3 2017, we are excited to share the results of the spending data from the recently closed quarter.

One of the most noticeable trends in our reports over the last year has been the rise of ride-hailing services among business travelers. While Uber has been the most dominant player in the space and continues to maintain a major stake in the market, the ride-hailing leader faced its first decline since Certify began tracking ride-hailing data, falling 1% to 54% of all rides in Q3. Conversely, competing provider Lyft grew 3% to account for 11% of all rides in the ground transportation category for the recently completed quarter—the largest quarter-to-quarter gain for Lyft since its inclusion in the SpendSmart™ report.

Also, new this quarter, Uber now allows passengers to tip drivers through its app. With the absence of tips once considered something of a competitive advantage, SpendSmart™ data shows tipping is off to a slow start with just 3% of Uber rides receiving a gratuity for an average of $3.10. Despite overall trends indicating a slight downturn for Uber, it remains the number one vendor in business travel ground transportation and the most expensed brand of any category in the Certify system for the third quarter of 2017; more than double second place Starbucks as a share of transactions. Click the image below to see all the highlights and data in our Q3 2017 ride-hailing report infographic.

Certify Spendsmart Ride-Hailing Infographic Q3 2017

While ride hailing has continued to gain ground in the transportation segment, car rentals and taxi services have felt the sting of the hyper-competitive market. In Q3, both taxi and car rental lost another percentage point to fall to 7% and 28% of all rides, respectively. What's fueling the trend? Ultimately, business travelers now have more control and choice than ever before, and traditional services such as taxi and car rental will continue to face pressures in this evolving market because of it.

Taking a closer look across the spectrum of business travel services and top brands, the past quarter did not see many shake ups regarding the top restaurants, as Starbucks, McDonald's and Panera Bread were the most expensed places to eat for business travelers. Leaders in airlines and hotels also stayed consistent with the past quarter as Delta and Hampton Inn maintained their spots atop their respective categories. National Car Rental also kept the top spot for most expenses rental car company in the third quarter.

So, want to learn more? To get a deeper view into how top business travel brands stack up across categories like meals, transportation, air travel, car rentals and hotels, check out the full report here.