Does Uber Work in Thailand? Exploring Ride-Hailing Alternatives

In the ever-evolving world of transportation, ride-hailing apps have become integral to modern travel. One name that stands out prominently in this domain is Uber. Available in over 60 countries, Uber has transformed the way people commute and explore new places.

However, when it comes to Thailand, the landscape takes a different turn. In 2018, Uber bid farewell to Thailand due to the government’s refusal to grant it an operating license. This departure has led to queries among travelers about the availability of Uber’s services in Thailand and the prevailing alternatives.

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Uber’s absence in Thailand and shed light on the alternatives that have stepped up to fill the void.

Why Uber is Unavailable in Thailand?

The absence of Uber in Thailand isn’t merely a coincidence; it’s a result of a combination of factors. Firstly, the Thai government harbors concerns about the potential impact of ride-hailing apps on the traditional taxi industry.

Taxi drivers in Thailand are subject to significant government fees, leading to apprehensions that these digital disruptors could unjustly compete with established taxi services. Additionally, safety concerns play a pivotal role in the absence of Uber.

Reports of criminal activities involving Uber drivers in Thailand have created a lack of willingness for the government to take any chances.

Also read: Can Foreigners Buy Cars in Thailand?

Does Uber Work in Thailand

Exploring Alternatives to Uber in Thailand:

While Uber might not be available in Thailand, travelers need not worry. The void left by Uber has been filled by a range of other ride-hailing apps catering to the needs of those seeking convenient and reliable transportation options.

The most prominent among these alternatives is Grab. Originating from Southeast Asia, Grab operates in over 200 cities across eight countries. The app offers an array of transportation choices, encompassing cars, motorbikes, and traditional taxis.

Bolt, another popular alternative, hails from Europe and operates in over 40 countries. Its services are designed to provide a seamless ride-hailing experience, ensuring travelers can easily move around the city.

InDriver, a Russian ride-hailing app, is another player in the Thai transportation market. With its presence in over 400 cities across 28 countries, InDriver has carved a niche by offering competitive fares and a unique approach to pricing.

Navigating Ride-Hailing Apps in Thailand:

Using ride-hailing apps in Thailand is straightforward. The process begins with downloading the app onto your smartphone. Once the app is installed, you must create an account and link a payment method. Booking a ride involves a few simple steps:

  • Input your destination.
  • Browse through available drivers and their estimated arrival times.
  • Select a driver.
  • Confirm your ride.

The fare calculation takes into account factors like distance and time of day. You’ll settle the fare directly with the driver when you reach your destination. However, certain practices can ensure a seamless experience while using these apps.

Pro Tips for Using Ride-Hailing Apps in Thailand

  1. Driver Ratings Matter: Always check the driver’s rating before confirming your ride. Higher ratings are generally indicative of a more reliable and courteous driver.
  2. Agree on Fare: Before starting your journey, agreeing on the fare with the driver is wise. This can help prevent any misunderstandings at the end of the ride.
  3. Monitor the Meter: If you’re in a traditional taxi, watch the meter to ensure the fare aligns with the standard rates. This helps prevent overcharging.
  4. Report Issues: If you encounter any problems during your ride, such as behavior issues or disputes over fares, don’t hesitate to report them to the ride-hailing app’s support team. They are there to assist you.

In Conclusion

While Uber might not be a part of Thailand’s transportation landscape, the rise of alternative ride-hailing apps has more than compensated for its absence. These platforms, such as Grab, Bolt, and InDriver, offer many transportation options, ensuring travelers can explore Thailand conveniently and comfortably.

As you embark on your journey through the vibrant streets of Thailand, these apps can be your reliable companions, offering a hassle-free way to navigate the city without the need to haggle with taxi drivers or endure the bumpy rides of tuk-tuks.

So, whether you’re wandering through bustling markets or exploring serene temples, rest assured that the world of ride-hailing apps in Thailand has your transportation needs covered.


1. Is Uber currently operational in Thailand?

No, Uber is not operational in Thailand. In 2018, Uber ceased its operations in the country due to the government’s refusal to grant the necessary licenses.

2. Are there any ride-hailing alternatives to Uber in Thailand?

Yes, there are several ride-hailing alternatives available in Thailand. The most prominent one is Grab, a Southeast Asian ride-hailing app that provides various transportation options, including cars, motorbikes, and taxis. Other alternatives include Bolt and InDriver, which offer similar services to Uber.

3. Why did Uber leave Thailand?

Uber left Thailand due to a combination of factors. One of the main reasons was the Thai government’s concerns about the impact of ride-hailing apps on the traditional taxi industry, including potentially unfair competition. Safety concerns and reports of criminal activities involving Uber drivers also contributed to the government’s decision.

4. Can I use my existing Uber app to book rides in Thailand?

You cannot use the Uber app to book rides in Thailand, as Uber’s services are not available in the country. If you’re in Thailand and looking for ride-hailing services, you’ll need to download and use the apps of available alternatives like Grab, Bolt, or InDriver.

5. How do I use ride-hailing apps like Grab in Thailand?

Using ride-hailing apps in Thailand is relatively simple. You need to download the app of your chosen service provider (e.g., Grab) from your app store. After installing the app, create an account and add a payment method. To book a ride, open the app, enter your destination, choose a driver from the list provided, and confirm your ride. Once your ride is complete, you’ll pay the fare directly to the driver.

Hello, fellow wanderers and globetrotters! I’m Alina Chiam, the face and spirit behind, your passport to exciting destinations, hidden gems, and unforgettable journeys.

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