Saturday, 17 November 2018

7 pitfalls when using Grab

Grab is the south-east Asian variant of Uber, and actually owned by Uber. It's a great way to get around in e.g. Thailand, but beware: it's easy, but not always the best option available. In this blog post, I list 7 pitfalls to avoid when using Grab:

  1. Remember that data roaming can be excessively expensive. Prepare and buy a local sim to use Grab - you need an active data connection to use the service.
  2. The Grab app is slightly different from the Uber app. You can, for instance, not give tips via the app. Keep some change for the driver.
  3. You can call the driver or the driver can call you - but that short call might be easily more expensive than the fare itself if you use roaming.
  4. Grab can be more expensive than a taxi. Keep a close eye on the fares. Especially fares to outside city limits will easily cost you more money than getting a taxi and agree a price beforehand.
  5. You can easily get a Grab out of town, but it's much harder to get one back. 'All our drivers are busy' is Grab speak for no driver being in the vicinity of your location. You're at the mercy of taxi drivers now!
  6. The base fare for a ride in a city may be much lower than one outside a town, easily differing a factor seven. Also a reason to be aware of the fact that a taxi may be cheaper.
  7. You can either pay by credit card or in cash. To use a credit card, obviously, you should enter your card details in the Grab app. 
Bottom line: Grab is a great way to get around in South-East Asia, reducing the risk of getting conned. However, count in local 'taxi wars' - we almost got forced out of a car in the middle of a high way because our driver was scared of taxi drivers at the bus station where we were heading...

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