Daily Transportation in Vietnam: Grab, Uber or Taxi

Uber is a common method of transportation in Europe and America, but what app should you use when traveling around Vietnam? Grab is one of the most popular apps in Vietnam to use to get from point A to B.

What is Grab?

Grab originated in Kuala Lumpur in 2012 and is an app created for convenient transport. With the development of its business, Grab has grown to include many services like food delivery, cashless pay, tickets, videos, hotel bookings, rewards, subscriptions, and insurance. In its main business, Grab is similar to Uber and can be used to reserve a car, taxi, or motorbike.

Grab now provides services in the major cities of 8 countries in SE Asia including Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam

You can download the Grab app in the app store on your phone and register using your phone number, Facebook account, or Google account. It takes no more than 2 minutes to complete the registration.

Is Grab or Uber best in Vietnam?

Since 2018, Grab has taken over Uber’s operation in SE Asia, thus you will not find Uber in Vietnam now.

Is Grab safe?

It’s safe to use Grab and make online payments via the app. The company screens the driver’s license and qualifications of applicants before they become Grab drivers. Drivers also need to verify their identity every day in the app through facial recognition technology in order to make sure they are registered in the system.

Your and the driver’s contact information is kept private and you can only contact each other via the app.

As a safety measure, you can share your ride details with your emergency contact person/s via the app or use the emergency button to notify security of a problem. We suggest not taking Grab or other taxi services late at night or to remote areas.

What are the main differences between Grab and other taxi services?

1. No language barrier:

In the Grab App, you can input your pickup and drop off points without needing to speak with the driver. In Vietnam, some drivers can speak basic English but most only understand Vietnamese. With Grab, you can also easily find the car you’ve booked by its green color and license plate number. Never get in the car if the car information is not the same as listed in the app, even if the driver says they are a friend or the appointed person of your original driver.

2. Avoiding scams:

Grab will show you the estimated price when you set your pickup and the drop off locations. At the end of the ride, the app will list the final price. You can pay online via credit card/ debit card or with cash. When using Grab, there is no need to worry whether or not the taxi driver has charged you a higher price or not.

3. Waiting time:

Once you have booked your journey, Grab will assign you the nearest car and show you the wait time as well as how far away the driver. Knowing how much time you have means that you can wait in a comfortable place like in a hotel room, restaurant, or café until your car arrives.

Is Grab cheaper than a taxi?

Based on our experience the cost of a Grab car is usually similar to that of other taxis and is sometimes a little cheaper.

How to choose between the car and motorbike options in Grab? 

Traveling by car is more comfortable than by motorbike (green helmet and jacket), however,  car journeys cost more and are usually slower because of heavy traffic. Around 90% of Vietnamese families have motorbikes and use them as their main form of transportation.

Motorbikes often weave in and out of traffic in Vietnam, so if you take one be prepared for a stomach-lurching journey. Always choose a car instead of a motorbike if there are several people in your group or if you are traveling with luggage.

Worried about your car not showing up after booking? This doesn’t happen much. If it does occur, you can cancel the booking and contact Grab’s 24/7 customer service with any problems or feedback.


Visit Vietnam with Asia Highlights

If you’re looking for a more comfortable and hassle free experience, here at Asia Highlights, we’re happy to arrange a private car and private English-speaking guide for you. Check out some of our popular itineraries in Vietnam or send us a quick inquiry to tailor-make your journey.

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