Is Uber in the Philippines 2022?

Is Uber in the Philippines

Hi there, welcome back to our blog! Whether you’re here to find information on the best condos for rent or lease in the Philippines, or if you’re just here to do some research before your next trip to the beautiful islands of the Philippines, we welcome you. We understand that traveling internationally can come with so many questions and concerns, and we’re honored that you chose us to assist you with all your vacation planning needs.

In this article we will be discussing a hot topic when it comes to traveling these days: Uber. Because after all, if the Uber app isn’t available in the part of the Philippines you plan to travel to, how will you be able to get around and make the most of your trip? These are important questions and the good news is we’ve got the answers! Keep reading below for the answers concerning all things Uber, ride-share apps, and taxi availability in the Philippines.

Is Uber in the Philippines?

So first thing’s first: is Uber even available in the Philippines? This is a totally legitimate question to ask given that Uber is so popular and the most reasonable option for getting around these days. It’s especially helpful in a foreign country given that you won’t need to know the local language or even have the local currency in order to get from point A to point B. Lets find out if this even an option in the Philippines?

Is Uber in the Philippines? Our answer is yes…and no. Unfortunately, the app Uber is not available in the Philippines. As of 2018, a similar ride share company known as “Grab” bought out Uber in the Filipino islands. And while this may make you feel a little uneasy, we’re here to put your fears at bay.

Grab (available for download here: Download Grab) is just as reliable and reasonable as Uber, and works in essentially the same way. Just link up your credit card (or opt to pay your driver in cash), order your ride to the desired address, and go. It really is that simple. And while it may seem like an inconvenience to have to download a new app on your phone to get around in the Philippines, look at the bright side; a new app means a new discount code! And if we do say so ourselves, Grab for new users in the Philippines might have one of the best discounts around. In fact, you don’t even need a code to enjoy your FIRST 5 RIDES, FREE (so long as they are within a 5 kilometer distance)! And, if one of your first 5 rides exceeds 5 kilometers, don’t sweat it! An automatic discount of 350 Philippine Pesos will automatically be applied. Don’t believe us? Hear it from Grab yourself: Grab Discounts.

And one of our favorite things about the Grab app? You can actually schedule your taxi ride up to 7 DAYS AHEAD OF TIME! Talk about convenience! Forget about waiting outside in the heat for your Uber to hopefully come, now you can seamlessly hop into your car within minutes of debarking the airplane. The rates are also flat and the drivers have been background checked, therefore you can say goodbye to the fears of hailing an illegitimate taxi in a foreign country. Simply keep an eye out for your driver to arrive and cruise to your destination in peace.

Another bright side of downloading Grab is you will now be a part of what is one of the biggest tech companies in the Philippines right now. Just like Uber, Grab has gone into parcel and food delivery. So, in addition to now having access to drivers 24/7 at a reasonable rate, you’ve also opened up a whole new world of sending and receiving parcels and food, all from the convenience of your phone! (Seriously, you can check out available food options near you here: Grab Food Delivery). In fact, you can even rent eScooters using the Grab app…so if you ask us, this app can really take your vacation in the Philippines to a whole new level!

Uber Vs Grab

Upon our thorough research of Grab, there are only a few small differences between this app and Uber. Like Uber, there are different levels of “luxury” and rider experiences you can pick from. Whether you are carpooling for a cheaper rate or needing a private sedan or car that will seat 6. You will find many options reminiscent of Uber.

One of the the biggest difference to note between the two, are their payment options. Aside from being able to send and receive packages and rent out eScooters on Grab, you can opt to order a ride on Grab, but still pay cash. We appreciate that Grab gives you this option as it affords you the flexibility to do what you’re most comfortable with.

P.S. If you’re a little self-conscious about learning a new app, don’t fear! We’ve got a step by step guide to using the Grab app here: Get Grab App Here!

Alternatives to Grab in the Philippines: Taxis and Public Transport

Since Uber was bought out by Grab, your only other option outside of the Grab app for getting around in the Philippines would be a traditional taxi service or public transportation. If you find yourself in a situation where you must take one of these forms of transportation instead of Grab (not our recommendation in terms of price and safety, but we understand sometimes you get in a bind), read our advice below.

Taxi Cabs – There are certain taxi drivers who look to take advantage of tourists, as in most foreign destinations, by claiming things such as “their meter broke” or suddenly jacking up the final price once arriving to the destination. In order to avoid this, be clear with your taxi driver from the get-go what the price will be and that you do not intend on paying more than what is agreed upon. Keep your eye on the meter and ask them if it’s working prior to departing. In fact, ensure they turn it on just as you depart to avoid the meter running from a previous trip and discourage the taxi cab driver from having to “guesstimate” your fare. In general, all of this will keep you from an unexpected bill at the end of your traditional taxi ride.

Public Transportation – While obviously your public transportation options will differ depending on exactly where you are in the Philippines, your options are certainly limited regardless. In metro Manila, you have the LRT or Light Rail Transit system as an option. You can think of it as a high speed tram, with two lines stopping at a total of 43 stations for rider convenience. For more information on the available LRT lines and fare, check here: LRT Fare Information

In terms of buses, the fare differs slightly given where you are in the Philippines and what type of bus you are taking (air-conditioned versus not; point to point versus scheduled stops, etc.). Generally speaking, the fare is approximately 10 Philippines Pesos for the first 5 kilometers you ride, and about an additional 2 pesos for every kilometer after that. To keep that in perspective for you, at the time this article was written (April 2020) 1 Philippine Peso was the equivalent of .02 United States Dollars, meaning that you’ll be paying about .20 cents for the first 5 kilometers you ride the bus, plus .04 cents for every kilometer after that. As much of a bargain as this is for the average American tourist, remember that you get what you pay for: your bus might not be air conditioned, the driver may operate the vehicle unsafely, etc.

Overall, if you plan on taking one of these Grab alternatives, do your best to be cautious and alert at all times. Only carry small bills and do your best to pay the exact amount to avoid being scammed out of proper change.

Is it Safe to take a Grab car in Manila?

After doing some thorough research into this topic, it is our opinion that Grab is the safest way to get around not just Manila, but all of the Philippines. Like Uber, the drivers are vetted, and must hold a legal driver’s license and acceptable driving record. Also similar to Uber, riders are asked to rate their driver and experience. This holds drivers to a high standard of service. You can see all of this for yourself on Grab’s official safety standards page: Grab Safety.

Remember as well that Grab is a large company with a big presence in all of Asia. The last thing they want is a bad rider experience to affect their ratings and reputation. So, this not only practically guarantees your safety as a rider, but the cleanliness of the car and your overall experience.

And, while we feel pretty confident recommending Grab, just as with Uber, you’ll want to take a few minimal precautions. Ask the driver before entering the car “Who are you picking up?” Make sure their car make, model, and license plate number matches with the one given to you by the Grab app. These small precautions take just a few moments, and are ones you should always use with ride share apps, no matter where you are.

Believe it or not, we are not affiliated with Grab or Uber in any way. The tips above are merely the result of our own research into this topic to give you the best, most reliable advice to enjoy your vacation in the Philippines. And remember, because Grab officially bought out Uber in the Philippines, Grab truly is your best ride option when going to these gorgeous islands. From food delivery to taxi service, you really can’t go wrong!

If you’ve used Grab before in the Philippines, let us know in the comments below! What was your experience like? How was it different or similar to Uber? Would you like to see Grab dominate in the United States like it has in the Philippines? We can’t wait to read your stories below!

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