Is there Grab in Phuket?

by Mama Loves Phuket

Southeast Asian ride-sharing app Grab is a popular choice for hailing licensed “green plate” taxis in Phuket.

These are taxis that do not operate with a meter. However, instead of needing to negotiate with a driver, similar to Uber (which does NOT exist in Phuket), your fare is predetermined for you, and the price you pay may vary based on demand.

Generally speaking, these fares are very close to what you’ll pay at taxi stands; however, with the online convenience of using the app, your fare is locked in, and you do not need cash as everything is paid online.

Get Grab from the App Store here | Get Grab From Google Play here

Alternatives to Grab in Phuket

Eleven applications are certified for use by the Department of Land Transport in Phuket; these include:

Grab is by far the most commonly used and will give you access to this biggest pool of drivers.

We are updating this article as previously we reported that Bolt and InDrive are not able to legally operate in Phuket. These apps along with three others have subsequently received the appropriate approval needed to operate.

We compare for you over here our experience using Grab vs Bolt in Phuket

Features We Like About Grab in Phuket

Once set up with your contact details and a debit or credit card, and your mobile data sorted in Phuket this is a very straightforward way of ordering a ride anywhere in Phuket.

  • As you would in most ride-sharing apps, you enter your start and end location, and it will give you several options for different vehicle types.
  • Select your vehicle type, and you will be instantly allocated a nearby driver with a time estimate of how long until they will arrive and their plate registration.
example of a grab booking in ohuket
  • Although you will most likely set your app in English, your driver may respond in Thai; don’t panic; there is an in-built translation function!
  • We like that you can add emergency contact details – often travelling alone or as a solo mum, this gives me additional peace of mind.
  • Additionally, you can use Grab for food deliveries and even courier services – something we found very useful while setting up our condo in Phuket!
  • Whilst tipping is by no means compulsory, if your driver did a good job or did something above and beyond, you can add a tip after your journey.

See all our favourite apps you’ll want downloaded in Phuket here!

Grab is Allowed at Phuket International Airport

Another development this year has been that Grab drivers, along with other rideshare apps, are now permitted to pick up passengers from within HKT pick-up area. Previously, if you used these services, you had to lug your luggage out to the main road and meet your driver on the main street.

This is not something that’s being widely advertised by AoT (Airports of Thailand), as it is being reported an upgrade is needed to the airport’s taxi pick-up area, but we have indeed had reports of passengers successfully picking up rideshares from within the airport, with rates up to ฿200-300 cheaper depending on the destination than the taxi companies.

Be wary of your Grab pick-up point

Things have certainly changed a little in Phuket in 2023 when it comes to using Rideshare apps. It seems there’s still a lot of animosity between your guys who run the traditional taxi stands and drivers wanting to earn a decent and honest living using these applications in legally licensed green plate vehicles.

Following reports of harassment and even the latest report of a Grab driver being beaten at Bangtao Beach earlier this month, there is a reluctance by the Rideshare app drivers to pick up and drop off anywhere near the traditional taxi ranks.

With this in mind, and having spoken to some of our drivers on their concern, we always arrange our pick up/drop offs at least 100m further away. It is NOT a legal requirement at all and shouldn’t have to be the case, but it seems to help the drivers feel more comfortable with the current situation. We are keeping our eye on the news in this regard.

Overall, Grab is still one of the safest and most efficient ways of arranging your transportation needs in Phuket. It may not always be the cheapest form of transport, but it takes away the stress of curb-side negotiations and makes point-to-point transit within Phuket easy for a family.

See our complete guide to how to get around Phuket

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© Mama Loves Phuket 2024

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