Rider FAQs

Booking an Ola

Booking an Ola is super easy. Simply, follow the steps below:

  • Open the app
  • Select your ride type
  • Enter your pick-up and drop-off location
  • Tap Apply Coupon and redeem your offer
  • Tap Continue and then Confirm Booking

After you have booked your ride and a driver has accepted, you’ll see the:

  • Driver’s name
  • Estimated time of arrival
  • Driver rating
  • Profile photo
  • Car details

If you have any special instructions or need to speak to your driver while they are on their way, you can give them a call in the app by tapping ‘Call Driver’.

You’ll also be able to share your ETA with loved ones and cancel your ride if anything changes. When your driver arrives, you’ll receive a push notification letting you know they have arrived at your pick-up location.

Your pick-up location will automatically set to your current GPS location. If you’d like to change it, there’s a couple of ways to do so:

  • Tap ‘pickup location’ at the top of the screen and enter your address.
  • Drag the pin to the right location on the map.

You will need to enter your destination before confirming your booking. You can do this by:

  • Entering the address in the ‘destination’ field at the top of the screen.

You can also change your destination during your ride by:

  • Clicking ‘Edit’ and entering the correct destination

You can save your most frequently visited locations in the app by:

  • Simply tapping the ‘heart’ icon on the right side of the location field and select the category that best suits that location.
  • When inputting your pick-up and drop-off location, enter the name of that category and the address will automatically populate.

Apply a coupon by viewing your active promotions in the ‘notifications’ section of the app. 

To apply a coupon to your ride:

  1. Open the Ola app
  2. Select your car type and enter your pick-up and drop-off location.
  3. Tap ‘Apply Coupon’ at the bottom of the screen
  4. Tap ‘Confirm booking’

Once your booking is confirmed, you’ll be able to track your ride and see the following details on your app in real time:

  • Your driver’s ETA and current location.
  • The driver’s route to your pick-up address.
  • The entire route of your ride.

Once you request a ride and your booking is confirmed, you can easily share your ride details with family and friends.

  • Simply tap the ‘Share Details’ button at the bottom of the screen on your app while you are riding.
  • Select who you would like to share your ride details with and a link will be sent to them via SMS.
  • You can also pre-select up to 5 contacts to automatically send your ride details to each time you take a ride.


You can pay for your ride using a credit/debit card.
Follow the steps below to add these payment methods to your account:

  1. Select ‘Payments’ from the main menu in the app.
  2. Click on ‘Add another card’.
  3. Enter your card details and click ‘Save Card’.

You can change your payment method before booking a ride, follow these steps below to do so:

  1. Enter your pick-up and drop-off location.
  2. Tap ‘Continue’.
  3. Tap your payment method icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  4. Select your payment option or add another card.

A pre-authorisation hold is the term commonly used by banks in situations where a customer purchases services or goods using a credit/debit card, or a digital wallet (e.g. PayPal) and an amount is held by the customer’s bank on behalf of the merchant as a ‘pre-authorised hold’. These funds are merely placed “on hold” and no money is debited from the customer’s account until the transaction is completed and final payment is processed. 

To understand how pre-authorisations work with your Ola rides, read HERE

Ratings enable us to ensure both our riders and drivers are having a great experience using Ola. You’ll always be prompted to rate your driver after you take a ride with us.
Once you reach your destination and your ride is complete, a notification will appear on your app that will prompt you to rate your driver.

  • You’ll be able to rate your drive from 1 to 5 stars.
  • Select certain fields about the trip.
  • Provide specific feedback about the ride.

Ola operates across most major cities in New Zealand, however, we are bound by certain coverage areas that we are not live in yet.

These areas will change over time as we grow our presence across New Zealand. If you enter a pick-up or drop-off location in your app that is outside these areas, you won’t be able to confirm your booking.

Ola operates across Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Queenstown, Dunedin, Napier-Hasting, Palmerston North, Nelson and New Plymouth.

You can definitely take a ride in a city you didn’t sign up in, as long as Ola operates in the city you are taking a ride from.

Riding with Ola is a great way to see the city you are visiting from a locals point of view as our drivers generally know a lot about the place you are visiting.

At the moment, we don’t offer a shared ride service, we are currently working on some really exciting things though and this may be one of them. Stay tuned.

Ola strictly prohibits children under the age of 18 to use its rideshare platform unless accompanied by an adult.

Customers must not book rides for children under 18 years of age unless they are accompanied by an adult for the entire duration of the trip.

Persons under the age of 18 are prohibited from holding an Ola account. If Ola becomes aware of an account being held by a person under the age of 18, the account will be immediately suspended.

No, Ola can not guarantee or cover parcels that are sent unaccompanied by a rider, it is also in our terms and conditions to protect all parties and ensure a good experience when using Ola services.

No, Ola does not recommend nor support doing so due to risks to customer experience, safety, and insurance. These risks could include dangerous goods, illegal substances, or put you in a compromising position to be liable for damage to goods.  Ola recommends canceling the ride. Please note riders taking parcels do so at their own risk.

Ola is a cashless rideshare platform in New Zealand and any payments made outside of the Ola application will be deemed to be a breach of our Driver Community Rules and Passenger terms and conditions. Please immediately inform us if your driver has requested cash for a trip or additional service and our safety team will investigate and take action as necessary.

Fares and Charges

To view our rate rate, view the Rate Card option available in the Ola app menu to check the fares for Ola rides in different cities.

When you create an Ola account, update your payment method or request a ride you may see a pending transaction in addition to your ride. This isn’t an extra charge, but a temporary authorisation hold to check that a valid payment method is being used.
These holds will usually appear when you are using Ola for the first time or if you are adding a new payment method. These charges will appear as pending, however they will never be processed and this may take a couple of days for your bank to remove them.

This isn’t an extra charge, but a temporary authorisation holds to check a valid payment method is being used. These holds will usually appear when you are using Ola for the first time or if you are adding a new payment method. Pre-authorisation charges are immediately voided by Ola, but may take a couple of days for your bank to remove them.

Toll Fee
The final fare you see in the app includes applicable toll fees that you will take on your route. These prices are based on the electronic toll system. All flat fare final costs will exclude tolls.

Booking Fee
The final fare you see in the app includes your booking fee. The price you will see is 55c and this is added to each ride.

Any valid offer or promotions on your account will automatically appear in the notifications section in your app.

All you need to do is: Tap ‘Apply Coupon’ in the ‘Book your ride’ section and the offer will be applied to your ride.

If you no longer need a ride, feel free to cancel it. To cancel a ride, tap ‘Cancel’ in the bottom left corner of the app. To compensate your driver for their time and petrol, we may apply a cancellation fee for specific rides.

In some locations, a per-minute wait time fee will apply if your driver has to wait for you after he or she has arrived at your location. This fee will begin after your driver has been waiting for two minutes and will be charged at a rate of 30-60 cents per minute. 

In certain circumstances, if you or a passenger made a mess in the car during your ride, you may be charged a cleaning fee to enable the driver to be compensated for costs incurred to clean up the mess. The table below outlines the applicable fee depending on the type of mess made.

Type of mess
Small amounts of liquid spills inside the car, such as drops of coffee, grease from food, other drinks (excluding water), sand or dirt on floor mats $20
Significant mess, usually bodily fluids like paint, or extensive sticky or staining liquid messes (excluding water), gum and other sticky materials outside the vehicle which requires an exterior car wash $40
Significant liquid messes including coffee, greasy food, drinks (excluding water), or gum and other sticky materials inside the vehicle which requires steam cleaning and special products. $80
Extensive liquid and smelly messes inside the vehicle including bodily fluids which requires detail and/or steam cleaning, as well as airing and/or drying for long periods of time $150

If you think you were wrongly charged a fee, we’d be happy to help.

Simply open your Ola app and access the ‘Your rides’ tab.

  • Open the Ola app
  • Tap the ‘Your Rides’ option
  • Select the ride with the fee
  • Select ‘Billing Related’
  • Then select your issue

If you would like to tell us more about your problem, select ‘Write to Us’. We’ll ask for a brief description of what happened

  1. Cancellation fee is charged to compensate drivers for the time, effort and fuel spent while trying to reach the pickup location.
  2. A rider may be charged a cancellation fee if*:
    1. The estimated time of arrival of the driver is less than 5 minutes and the rider cancels the booking 3 minutes or later after the booking has been accepted by the driver; or
    2. The estimated time of arrival of the driver is 5 minutes or more and the rider cancels the booking 5 minutes or later after the booking has been accepted by the driver; or
    3. The driver has already arrived at the pickup location; or
    4. The driver cancels the booking after waiting at the pickup location for 5 minutes or more.
  3. However, the cancellation fee will not be charged if the driver is delayed in reaching the pickup location by more than 5 minutes from the shown estimated time of arrival.
  4. If a driver starts a trip they are ineligible to receive a cancellation fee for that same trip.
  5. Cancellation fee amount may vary depending on the rider’s city and the vehicle category selected.
  6. Cancellation fees charged to Ola riders will be paid to the driver, less any commission.
  7. If a cancellation fee is applicable, the driver will be instantly notified within the app upon cancellation of the booking. Where a driver declines a ride after adhering to the above rules, Ola reserves the right to deny a cancellation fee.
  8. Any disputes may be raised via the app.

*When the booking is confirmed, the system will calculate an estimated time of arrival (ETA) for the driver to reach the pick-up location from his/her current location. The actual time of booking acceptance is added to the ETA to amount to the scheduled pick-up time. The calculation of the ETA is based on a fixed default speed in its calculation. That is, the actual time of arrival for a car can be more or less than the ETA depending on his/her driving speed.

Yes, if you do not ride with the parcel, as all riders have agreed as terms of service not to send parcels unaccompanied for your and our driver’s convenience and safety.  Drivers are requested to cancel services when a parcel is expected to be driven unaccompanied in their vehicle due to customer service, safety, and insurance reasons.  This cancelation fee as you can understand is paid by the rider due to costs and inconvenience (traveling to your location and may potential loss of other rides)

Yes, if the rider will not travel with their parcel, you can cancel the ride and receive the cancelation fee. Please ensure you first, clearly explain that a cancelation fee will be applied if they do not travel with their parcel or goods.


You can pay for your Ola ride using your credit/debit card. You will need to add your chosen card to your Ola account to pay for the ride.

Follow the steps below to add your credit/debit card to your Ola account.

  • Select Payments from the Ola app menu.
  • Click on Add a Credit/ Debit card.
  • Enter your card details and click Save Card.

Once you have successfully added your card, all you need to do is to select the card from the ‘Pick a Payment’ option before confirming a booking.

Ola is an entirely cash free experience. Book your ride at the ease of your app and when your trip ends, your chosen payment method will be charged. Easy as that!

Account & Referral

To sign up with Ola, simply download the app and enter your details on the app. The below fields are what you will be asked to enter in order sign up.

  • Mobile number
  • Name
  • Email address
  • Enter your friend’s referral code if they have referred you to Ola
  • Payment details

The refer a friend program is a way to reward you for inviting friends to Ola.

All you need to do is share your referral code with a friend and when they sign up with your referral code and take their first ride, you’ll earn a $15 ride credit.


Add emergency contacts in the app, by tapping on your name in the menu and following the steps below:

  • Tap on Emergency Contacts
  • Tap on Add Contacts to select up to 5 contacts

Once you have added an emergency contact, you can choose to share your ride details with them every time you ride. You can toggle this feature on or off anytime you want.

In case of an emergency, you can raise an alert from your app. The SOS button in your app is visible throughout your whole ride.

  • Tap the SOS button in the app and tap on the Get Help option to alert our safety response team in real-time of any concerns. They will immediately get in touch with you and the driver.
  • You can also choose to alert your emergency contacts or call the police in case of immediate danger when you press the SOS button.