Ride-Hailing in Thailand (The Only Guide You Need!)

Asian female traveller by the road holding a mobile phone

Planning a trip to Thailand? You’re probably already thinking about all the delicious food, beautiful beaches, and exciting activities in the Land of Smiles! While you get your itinerary ready, don’t forget to plan ahead on how you want to get around the country so you can ensure a smooth and easy trip. While tuk-tuks are aplenty, ride-hailing in Thailand is recommended and if that’s your preferred choice, we’ve got just the guide for you!

Read More:

What ride-hailing apps to use in Thailand?

Asian female traveller by a busy road

More than half a dozen ride-sharing apps are authorised by Thailand’s Department of Land Transport to operate in the country. These include: 

  • Grab
  • Bolt
  • inDrive
  • Hello Phuket
  • Bonku
  • CABB
  • Robinhood
  • airasia Superapp

Among them, Grab, Bolt and inDrive shine as the most popular choices, pulling in the highest number of downloads in 2022. Grab came first with approximately 4.74 million downloads, followed by Bolt with about 940,000 downloads and inDrive with around 620,000 downloads. With their huge popularity, you may want to check out these three ride-hailing apps for your trip in Thailand. 


GrabTaxi in Thailand
Image by National News Bureau of Thailand

Grab needs no introduction as it’s widely used in Malaysia. If you’ve already registered for the Grab app, the same account can be used in Thailand. 

Thailand cities where Grab is available

With presence in major cities and provinces, Grab covers the most areas in Thailand compared to Bolt and inDrive. You may access Grab if you’re travelling in any of these areas: 

  • Ayutthaya
  • Bangkok
  • Buriram
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Hua Hin
  • Khon Kaen
  • Krabi
  • Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat)
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Pattaya
  • Phuket
  • Songkhla & Hat Yai
  • Surat Thani & Koh Samui
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani

Services and fares

If you’ve used Grab rides before, you would probably know that their rides are not limited to cars. Additionally, available ride options and base fares vary according to the location. These are some available options in Bangkok:

Service What it isBase fare
GrabCar Standard private car ride for up to 4 passengers฿45 (~RM6)
GrabTaxiMetered taxi ride for up to 4 passengers฿35 (~RM4.70) – ฿40 (~RM5.40)*
*Not inclusive of ฿20 (~RM2.70) booking fee
GrabVanVan ride accommodating up to 10 passengers฿230 (~RM30.80)
GrabBike (Win)  Motorcycle ride, available in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pratumtani and Samut PrakanFirst 5KM
– Starting fare (first 2KM): ฿25 (~RM3.40)
– ฿5 (~RM0.70) per KM (2.1KM – 5KM)

5.1KM onwards
– Starting fare: ฿50 (~RM6.70)
– ฿10 (~RM1.30) per KM (5.1KM – 15KM)
– ฿15 (~RM2) per KM (15.1KM onwards)
Among Grab ride-hailing options in Bangkok

Several factors contribute to your final Grab fare. These include pick-up and drop-off points, route distance, estimated journey time based on real-time traffic, and real-time demand and supply in an area.

Before you book your ride, check how much you need to pay via the Grab app or website. Just bear in mind that the fare excludes tolls and surcharges, so it’s good to set aside an extra amount.

Can I pay cash for Grab in Thailand?

Yes, of course! You can pay for your Grab ride in Thailand using cash, credit card, debit card or GrabPay. However, payments made with foreign payment methods are subject to a foreign payment fee of 3% for cards and 2% for e-wallets. 

How to book a Grab ride

Here’s how you can book a Grab ride: 

  • Download the Grab app from the App Store (iOS), Play Store (Android) or Huawei AppGallery
  • Sign up with your mobile number, Apple, Google or Facebook account
  • Complete your registration and set your preferred payment method
  • Tap on ‘Car’ and select your ‘Current location’ and ‘Where to?’
  • Select your preferred ride option, tap on ‘Book’ and you’re good to go. 


Image by Travel Daily Media

Next is Bolt. You might not have heard of it as it’s not available in Malaysia. But Bolt operates in more than 500 cities worldwide, including four in Thailand. Learning it won’t take you much time since it works pretty much like Grab. And the good thing is, you can register an account with your Malaysian mobile number. 

Thailand cities where Bolt is available

Currently, you can only use Bolt for ride-hailing in any of these four cities: 

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Phuket

Services and fares

Like Grab, Bolt services are not limited to cars; you can also choose to ride a van, taxi or even bike. The ride options and base fares may vary depending on the city, so it’s best to check the Bolt app for more details. If you’re getting around Bangkok, these are some available ride options: 

Service What it isBase fare
Economy Bolt’s most affordable private car ride, available for 1-4 passengers ฿40 (~RM5.40)
BoltStandard private cars that can carry up to 4 passengers฿45 (~RM6)
ComfortSpacious cars for up to 4 passengers฿100 (~RM13.40)
XLBigger cars to fit up to 6 passengers฿100 (~RM13.40)
Taxi  Taxi ride for up to 4 passengers฿35 (~RM4.70)
MotorbikeMotorcycle ride for a quick way to move around the city฿25 (~RM3.40)
Among Bolt ride-hailing options in Bangkok

Just like Grab, the upfront fares shown on your Bolt app do not include tolls and other surcharges. If your ride involves taking the highways, remember to factor in toll fees to avoid any surprises.

Can you pay cash for Bolt in Thailand?

Yes, you can pay for your Bolt ride using cash, debit or credit card. Foreign payment methods, however, may be subject to a foreign payment fee. 

How do I order a ride with Bolt?

Order your ride in a few simple steps:

  • Download Bolt from the App Store (iOS), Play Store (Android) or Huawei AppGallery
  • Sign up with your mobile number, Apple, Google or Facebook account
  • Fill in your ‘Pick-up location’ and ‘Destination’
  • Select your preferred ride
  • Choose your payment method 
  • Tap on the ‘Select’ button and you’re done!


inDrive car
Image by Caricarz

Unlike typical ride-hailing apps like Grab or Bolt, inDrive allows passengers and drivers to negotiate fares. When you request a ride, you can enter your preferred fare or select the app’s recommended fare. The app will then display interested drivers with their rating and preferred fare. If you find a suitable offer, you can go ahead and accept the ride.

inDrive is available in Malaysia, so you can explore it before your trip to Thailand. 

Thailand cities where inDrive is available

inDrive is currently available in four Thailand cities: 

  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Pattaya
  • Phuket

Services and fares

inDrive has fewer choices than Grab and Bolt. But it’s still a good option to consider, especially if you’re looking for a more affordable ride. In Bangkok, some of the available options include:

Service What it is
RidePrivate car ride for up to 4 passengers 
ComfortSpacious cars for up to 4 passengers
6-seaterSpacious cars to fit up to 6 passengers
Among inDrive ride-hailing options in Bangkok

How do I pay for inDrive?

You can use cash or online transfer to pay for your inDrive ride. Unfortunately, the service does not support credit card payments. But on the bright side, you won’t have to worry about extra charges for foreign payments.

How do I book a ride on inDrive?

Find a ride in just a few steps:

  • Download inDrive from the App Store (iOS), Play Store (Android) or Huawei AppGallery
  • Sign up with your mobile number
  • Select your preferred ride and pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Offer your fare 
  • Tap on ‘Find a driver’ and wait for a driver to accept your offer or you can accept a driver’s offer. Your ride will be on its way!

Which is the best ride-hailing in Thailand?

Over-the-shoulder view of an unrecognisable person tracking ride-hailing in Thailand via a mobile app

Grab, Bolt and inDrive each have their own strengths and weaknesses. But we can attempt to compare them based on safety, affordability and reliability.


Each ride-hailing service has its safety measures in place:

  • Grab. Drivers are required to verify their identity daily through facial recognition. You can access 24/7 emergency assistance, trip monitoring, among other safety features.
  • Bolt. Some of their safety measures include driver identity verification, driving shift limits, in-app emergency assist button, and sharing of live location with your contacts.
  • inDrive. Their safety features include mandatory verification of each driver and enabling you to contact emergency services directly from the app and share your live location with your contacts. 

Safety for solo travellers

If you’re a lady travelling solo, Grab offers a women-only ride option called ‘GrabCar (Lady)’ for the same fare as ‘GrabCar’. Bolt, too, offers a similar option dubbed ‘Ladies’ for the same fare as the ‘Bolt’ option. If you prefer inDrive, you can also choose to ride with a female driver.


Fare comparisons between Grab, Bolt and inDrive for a ride from The Grand Palace to Khlong Bang Luang Floating Market in Bangkok
Fare comparisons between Grab, Bolt and inDrive for a ride from The Grand Palace to Khlong Bang Luang Floating Market in Bangkok

Looking at affordability, the costs differ across the three services. Let’s take, for example, a ride from The Grand Palace to Khlong Bang Luang Floating Market in Bangkok:

  • Grab (‘GrabCar’): ฿137 (~RM18)
  • Bolt (‘Economy’): ฿107 (~RM14)
  • inDrive (‘Ride’): RM12

As you can see, inDrive offers the lowest fare, followed by Bolt and Grab. However, with inDrive, finding a driver willing to accept your offer might take longer. In this instance, you may need to raise your offer to secure a ride. 


Considering reliability, there are a few key questions to ask:

  • Can I access the service in my area?
  • Is it easy to find a driver when I need one?
  • Does the app offer features that cater to my specific needs?

Given its wider coverage and diverse range of services, Grab is arguably the most reliable ride-hailing in Thailand. It operates in more locations across the country and its services cater to various needs, including GrabAssist for passengers with mobility limitations.

Ready to travel? Get covered before you go

Now, which ride-hailing app in Thailand fits your needs best? As you get ready for your trip, remember to prepare for travel issues that may arise. Whether it’s a medical emergency, lost luggage or flight delay, Etiqa TripCare 360 Takaful has you covered. Get your free quote instantly and enjoy a 25% discount on your travel coverage when you get it online!

The information contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as advice on any matter. Etiqa accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in the article. This information is correct as of 18th December 2023.