Day 33 – Uber in Bali

Uber is undoubtedly going to be cheaper than most of the taxi drivers that you will find in Bali. A majority of taxis in Bali will not use their meters, instead they will give you a flat price and it’s up to you to bargain. Most of the time, this means you will be getting ripped off, sometimes twice or three times more expensive than the Uber price. Especially if you arrive at the airport late at night and want to go somewhere father, such as Ubud. Taxi drivers have to obtain a special license to pick up from the airport in Bali, once outside of the airport, they are not allowed to pick-up from the streets, so many drivers will require you to pay double-fare to cover the cost back to Kuta.

Why do I bring this up? Because although Uber is the cheaper and my most-preferred transportation, it is heavily unreliable on the island. One of the Uber drivers told me that the local transport services (taxis) hate Uber because they operate at a cheaper cost for the consumer, therefore, taking away their business. When they see drivers pull up to hotels with their phones out, they shout and sometimes throw rocks and trash at the car. The driver hid his phone in the backseat pocket while picking me up. On more than one occasion, I have had Uber drivers refuse to pick me up or completely drive past my location and later tell me that “there are too many local transport” nearby so they were afraid to pick me up. I had to cancel many drivers for different reasons while in Bali.

So I’m not saying you can’t use Uber while you’re in Bali. It’s still very convenient and cheaper in most cases. Renting a motorbike is actually the cheapest option ($3/day) but since they drive on the left side and the roads are a free-for-all, I have not tried this abroad. I might suggest using Uber to see what a normal fare would cost to get to your location, then you can use that as a reference to bargain with the taxi drivers on the street. If a driver will not give you the price you want, then just walk away. Trust me, you will be asked repeatedly while walking on the street if you need a ride. There’s always somebody waiting for you.

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