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Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
661 posts
122 reviews
Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Second day in Ubud, fifth visit here last 4 years.

So today twice I used Grab in/around Ubud. Yes, I know that local taxi mafia succeeded in banning them in Ubud as well as in DPS. However, you CAN find cars with grab if you bother to open your app and do the booking. And you SHOULD do it, here is why.

First trip was from the center of Ubud to Tegallalang, where shops are (visiting them was complete waste of time, but it is another story). So we went at this corner 'taxi booth' and asked price. Was given 180K ONE WAY. When I started to walking out, price dropped to 150K but that was it. So I opened app, and after waiting about 7min until the driver managed to get thru Ubud traffic I and my companions were on or way. Price for trip - 40k IDR. So, originally I was quoted 4.5 times of Grab's price and even after 'discount' it was still >3.5x Grab's price.

Once we got there and figured out that this was not the place we've been looking for, then the question came how we could get back. Keep in mind - this is not a touristy place there there are no booth with tours/taxi/etc. So we had to walk down for about 30-40 min until I managed to get another booking with Grab to take us back to Ubud. Price - 30K. And I did give to the driver 20K tip.

Now, regarding the experience. I asked both drivers and despite the language barrier I understood that nobody forced them to work with Grab. It is their choice. Then - both cars were clean and good condition. Thirdly - about prices for trip - I wrote above.

If we, travellers, submit the the 'arguments' that Grab (and Uber before) are taking livelihood from 'poor taxi drivers' than I can tell you thank we will be doom to be cheated, scammed, etc, etc, etc. I personally do not buy these arguments and suggest you do the same.

P.S. Grab's price to get from DPS to Ubud is $170K. It is 300K if you arrange with driver (recommended in this forum) in advance and 500K and sky is the limit if you try to get 'taxi' at the airport.

9 replies to this topic
Washington...
Level Contributor
1 post
58 reviews
1. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

I can second this experience, at least when it comes to the airport->Ubud. We were quoted $500k by a taxi driver, and when I told him Grab was showing $170k, he told me that Grab was illegal in Bali (close, but not quite) and that they wouldn't actually come pick me up. I was matched with a driver right in front of him and he then followed me out of the airport, repeating that it wouldn't actually work, and I think he planned to confront the driver. I lost him in the crowd, thankfully, but I was considering going to the police, even if that would cost me my chance to use Grab.

In Ubud proper, I have had no luck getting Grabs (they never match with me, but that might be my crappy cell service), but I did once used my quote to bargain a driver down from 3x the quote to just over 1.5x. My wife was pissed at the delay at that point, so I didn't walk away the way I wanted to. Coming from the States where Uber/Lyft and their customers already fought this battle, I am finding the whole thing to be immensely frustrating.

Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
2. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Yes we have the same trouble and on one occasion were told to get off the grab bike as driver too scared and along came Ubud scooter who yelling at grab driver then quoted us 10x the price of grab. We just walked to our destination as wasn't even that far.

United States
Level Contributor
1,025 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

I’d never use the scammy taxi drivers again.

Grab is so much cheaper, and the drivers are way more polite and helpful.

Bandung, Indonesia
Level Contributor
898 posts
27 reviews
4. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Online Ride Hailing Service such as Grab is for diligent driver. Got not so many, but frequent.

Initial in Jakarta GoJek and Grab certainly get clash with Ojek Pangkalan (bike rider which wait in certain place only). Sometimes Ojek Pangkalan hit the online rider and spoiled the bike. But the online rider becomes more and more, they challenge, when something happen with one of the rider, they call their online mates. Finally, there are agreement that online rider cannot pick up you in stations, terminals and places where ojek pangkalan usually seated. And online rider and then also online driver can pick up you 100 meters from ojek pangkalan places.

So, I think Bali will follow Jakarta and Bandung. Nowadays Grab can be found in Kuta, Legian and Seminyak for 24 hours. In day time there are also in Sanur and all Bukit Peninsula. Certainly you can use Grab from Kuta to Ubud anytime, but from Ubud to Kuta you must walk to find the Grab car, usually Grab driver will chat or call you to move to certain place, but don't do it at night.

australia
Level Contributor
2,506 posts
5. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Hi, don't get me started about Grab useage in Bali. But it's interesting to note that the OP tipped the driver which implies the fare quoted wasn't adequate in the OP's mind and word gets around between the Grab drivers and when someone wants a Grab the "tip" will be included. The price just gets higher and higher.

Bandung, Indonesia
Level Contributor
898 posts
27 reviews
6. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Yes, the price is get higher and higher, mainly if there are no competition. Fortunately, Indonesia has Grab and GoJek. GoJek first and than Grab, but the Grab price usually lower.

After Uber has been bought by Grab in South East Asia, so in Singapore there are only Grab. And Competition Council in this country has raised this issue. GoJek has expanded to Vietnam and the plan will open in Philippines and Thailand, but no definitive plan to open in Singapore. Every countries have own rule about Online Hailing Service.

Level Contributor
26 posts
14 reviews
7. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Thank you

Agreed

We tried to use go jek here in ubud to tourist areas like t rice fields but problem is the return trips! Never available, if there were more around tours areas I think business would boom

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
6,027 posts
33 reviews
8. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Thanks for the info

Cheers Mac 😎😎

Bandung, Indonesia
Level Contributor
898 posts
27 reviews
9. Re: Using Grab at Ubud (and Bali in General) - experience

Faiza. You can try go from Ubud to Tegalalang at 08:00 am and back to Ubud at 10:00am uses Grab. If from Tegalalang there are no Grab, so as Invisible do, walk down and try Grab every 10 minutes, every times you try Grab and not find a driver, close the application and open again 10 minutes after you walk down.

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