More and more business travelers are choosing to use ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, over taxi fares and car rentals, according a new report by the travel and expense management firm Certify.
According to Certify's third annual SpendSmart report on business travel spending trends, 41 percent of employees who went on business trips during the last quarter of 2015 used Uber for their rides over rental cars (39 percent) and taxis (20 percent).
The figures are based on an analysis of 9 million receipts and expense reports these workers submitted to their employers.
Despite accounting for only a small percentage of total rides during the period, Uber's chief rival Lyft experienced a growth of more than 700 percent last year.
"It's really incredible that ride-hailing services are getting huge growth but also the satisfaction [ratings from users]," Certify president Bob Neveu said.
"If it was just because it was cheaper, there may not be staying power there. But this tells you that the rental industry better pay attention. There is disruption happening."
Certify's data shows that Uber has an average rating of 4.46 out of a possible five stars. This is considerably higher compared to the 4.01 rating of rent-a-car services and 3.68 for cabs.
Neveu said this change can be attributed to the "frictionless" model used for ride-hailing apps that is more convenient for business travelers. The service frees up riders from the burden of having to haggle with cabbies or keep receipts.
Uber's massive growth during the third quarter of 2015 convinced Certify to monitor the development of other sharing economy services. The company discovered that these services were also experiencing significant increases in their commercial use as well.
Lyft's expensed transactions increased by 712 percent to match Uber's growth of 417 percent during 2015. Use of lodging website Airbnb grew by as much as 259 percent, while use of shared-working space WeWork ballooned to 900 percent.
Jeremiah Owyang, chief executive officer of Crowd Companies, a group that helps brands understand the use of on-demand and collaborative space, said that the findings of the Certify report is accurate.
"Business travelers are budget conscious, but more importantly seek speed and efficiency rather than rely on taxis to ensure a ride home," Owyang said. Most of these startups are integrated with American Express as well as Concur business travel software, easing the transactions."