If you consider yourself a loyal Uber rider than Grab is what you need when traveling through Southeast Asia. We first heard of the app from friends we were within Bali. After having trouble with Go-Jek, another car-share app, we decided to give Grab a try and haven’t looked back. Here’s a quick rundown for using the Grab app in Thailand and some top tips to help you plan.
WHAT IS GRAB?
Grab is a car share app that you can use to hire a car ride even a scooter ride! If you know how to use Uber, you know how to use Grab. It’s super simple to navigate using the same steps as you would for Uber, we have some steps of how to use it below. We have now used this app in Indonesia and Thailand and will likely use it when we are in Vietnam. You will need to register with your credit card, and we’re confident in the security of the platform as we haven’t had any issues to date.
HOW TO USE GRAB?
Once you download the app and register;
Check your location, then type in where you want to go
Once you have the details in, click GrabCar
Wait for the app to select a driver
Once the driver has confirmed they will send you a message. It’s courteous to give a short reply of “Okay!” or “See you soon!” (I always like to describe what Josh is wearing – he stands out more than I do, ha!)
PAYMENT METHODS WITH GRAB
When you download the app, it will ask for credit card details as part of the registration process. The card should default as your payment method when you start using the app; however, you can change to pay by cash as well. Having our credit card details already saved in the app has been very helpful. There have been a few occasions where we ran out of cash and because of Grab we didn’t feel like we would be stranded in the back roads of Chiang Mai.To pay by cash, you will want to change the payment method before you click Book GrabCar. Conversely, if you don’t want to pay by cash, double-check your payment method is your credit card before you click Book GrabCar.
COSTS WITH GRAB VERSUS TAXI
Very similar to Uber, Grab prices will vary based on peak times of travel and based on the size of the car you want. Where sometimes it can be cheaper to Grab versus taxi other times it can cost more.For example, traveling to the night markets around 5 pm was 75 baht; however, going back from the night markets around 9 pm was 130 baht.An example of when it was more expensive was when we picked up a Grab from the airport for 215 baht. We would have been better off to hire the airport taxi because their offer was a flat rate 180-200 baht.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRABTAXI AND GRABCAR
GrabTaxi is using a regular taxi that will start the meter. GrabCar is a private car that will charge you based on the fares shown in the app. We have used both and prefer to use GrabCar.
GRAB FOOD DELIVERY
Grab is more than a car share app it also delivers food! One night we weren’t feeling well and just wanted to stay in, so we tried the app, and it was so simple to use. Very similar to Uber Eats, you find the place you wish to eat from, select dishes from their menu and click order food. We got our delivery within 20 minutes, which is about the fastest fast-food delivery one can have.
We would highly recommend downloading Grab before you get here. When you arrive, purchase a SIM card at the airport, which will make it easy to hire a car and communicate with the drivers.Unlike Uber, Grab drivers can see your destination before they pick up so be prepared for your ride may be cancelled if the journey is not reasonable. The drivers here know what their time is worth so they may also charge more after the pickup (we found this with GrabTaxi)Be mindful that many regional areas do not support Grab or Go-Jek or any other car share except local taxis. If you understand the business that is the taxi industry, you will know why it is important for them to maintain their business.