Re: Funny isn't it?
That is my point exactly. No money changed hands.
Yes, I get debited elsewhere. But the "no money at the point of service" is the difference. In a normal taxi you pay the guy and he pays the firm (or some calculation thereof). In an Uber some guy drives you and you pay Uber, and they pay the guy. You do see the ordering is different?
But both parties go into the transaction knowing that the passenger is being charged for the journey (more than the cost of the fuel) and that the driver will get recompensed. It is irrelevant if that is direct or over a third party, the driver is "PLYING FOR HIRE" and that is illegal in Germany without the proper driving licence.
Let's say Uber charges their drivers 50 euros a litre, so no license needed? (Hire car firms do this all the time, BTW)
Can't do that. Uber would first need a network of petrol stations charging 50€ a litre, who in their right mind would refuel their vehicle there? And what is the incentive for the driver? IF they are being charged 50€ a litre? They still aren't earning anything!
The regulators would also frown upon it.
There are already several of "car sharing" services in Germany, where you can book a journey from A to B and you are matched with a driver who has registered the same journey, you pay half of the fuel costs for that journey. That is legal and doesn't require a professional licence, because the driver isn't making the journey as a professional driver for profit.
Yes, Uber are being knobs. They have come into a market where there are clear LEGAL requirements for a driver to carry paying passengers. They completely ignore those rules, don't ensure their drivers are within those laws and let them drive with invalid insurance, putting the driver, passengers and third parties at risk - if the Uber driver has an accident, then he has to pay for the damage to all parties involved and any personal injury to himself, passengers and others involved out of his own pocket - and will probably end up with a prison sentence for driving without insurance and lose his licence for several months or a year.