Grab is a multiple-usage app offering transport, food delivery, package delivery, and other services within the South East Asia region.
It entered the Thai market in 2013 and has become one of the most popular ride-hailing services in the country after Uber left the market in 2018.
Grab now operates in 15 locations around Thailand, with availability increasing yearly.
Grab service areas in Thailand:
- Chiang Mai
- Chiang Rai
- Hua Hin
- Khon Kaen
- Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat)
- Nakhon Si Thammarat
- Songkhla & Hat Yai
- Surat Thani & Koh Samui
- Ubon Ratchathani
- Udon Thani
Grab offers a ride-hailing service where customers can conveniently book a taxi through their real-time app, similar to Uber. There are multiple transport options available, including standard and premium options.
Grab TH transport offerings (availability depends on location)
- GrabTaxi / GrabTaxi 6 Seater
- GrabCar / GrabCar for Ladies / GrabCar Premium / GrabCar Luxe
- GrabPet / GrabPet XL
- Grab Advanced booking
I regularly use the Grab app to book transport within Bangkok, so to share my knowledge, I’ve created this article to help you conveniently get around Thailand using Grab transport.
Is Grab legal in Thailand?
The legal status in Thailand of nonregistered taxi ride-hailing services like GrabCar has been unclear for several years; however, recent Thai legislation has given the green light for the services to operate legally under government registration.
How to use the Grab app in Thailand / Bangkok
The Grab app is fairly easy to use and set up, but to guide you through the process, I’ve created several steps to get started.
Steps on how to install and set up Grab
- Download the app
- Set up an account
Download Grab using my referral link below to receive 100 THB off GrabFood (min spend 250 THB), or enter my code in the Grab app: ncky93ub (promo applies to new registrations only, and the discount can’t be applied to transport).
Steps on how to use Grab
- Open the Grab app
- Click on the transport icon
- Enter a pickup point and destination
- Select the vehicle type
- Click the Book button
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How much does Grab cost? (Fee Structure)
Grab costs vary depending on vehicle type and distance. A standard GrabTaxi will start from 35 THB with a 20 THB booking fee and charge between 5.50 – 7.50 THB per km. GrabCar economy rides have a base fee of 45 THB, charging between 8 -10 THB per km.
More premium options like GrabPremium and Grab Luze start from 110 THB and charge between 12 – 30 THB per km.
Grab pricing (all locations except for Phuket)
|Type||Base fee||Per km|
|GrabTaxi||35 THB + 20 THB booking fee||5.50 THB/km (1-10 km)|
6.50 THB/km (10-20km)
7.50 THB/km (20-40km)
|GrabCar||45 THB||8 THB/km (2-6 km) |
7 THB/km (6-40 km)
10 THB/km (>40 km)
|JustGrab||45 THB||7 THB/km (2-40 km) |
10 THB/km (>40 km)
|GrabPremium||110 THB||12 THB/km (> 2KM)|
|GrabSUV||110 THB||12 THB/km (> 2KM)|
|GrabVan||230 THB||14 THB/km (0 – 10km)|
13 THB/km (10 – 20km)
10 THB/km (20 – 40km)
20 THB/km ( > 40km)
|GrabCar Luxe||300 THB||14 THB/km (1 – 10km)|
30 THB/km (> 10km)
|GrabBike||25 THB (< 5 km)|
50 THB (> 5 km)
|5 THB/km (2.1 – 5km)|
10 THB/km (5.1 – 15km)
15 THB/km (> 15.1km)
Other potential charges
- Congestion charge
- Rush hour rates (surge pricing)
Grab provides a fare estimate through their website (app download required).
JustGrab vs GrabCar vs. GrabTaxi
GrabTaxi is a metered taxi service, GrabCar is a private car fixed rate service, and JustGrab finds the nearest taxi (GrabTaxi) or private car (GrabCar) with a fixed rate.
The GrabTaxi service is a metered local taxi service, so the cost upon booking is estimated with a fixed 20 THB booking fee. GrabTaxi is the cheapest mode of car transport in the Grab TH app.
GrabCar is a private car fixed fee service with an accurate upfront total depending on your selected vehicle type. There is no additional booking fee when booking a GrabCar.
The JustGrab service will automatically assign the nearest GrabCar or GrabTaxi and apply a fixed rate that is more affordable than GrabCar. This service is good if you have no preferred preference for a local taxi or private car.
Tolled highways are a great way to avoid traffic-congested areas in cities like Bangkok. In my experience, the Grab driver will ask for your confirmation before taking a tolled highway.
Are tolls included in the price?
Toll highway fees are not included in the ride estimate breakdown upon booking, so either provide the toll fee to the driver at the toll gate or ask them to add it to the journey total.
Grab vs Taxis: Which is cheaper?
Getting a local taxi is more affordable than booking through Grab because of the additional 20 THB fee Grab adds when booking a standard GrabTaxi.
Although I prefer the ease of use when booking a ride through Grab and superior features like tracking rides, credit card payments, safety measures, and driver ratings.
How do you pay for a Grab?
The Grab TH app accepts cash, credit card, or GrabPay as payment options.
I’ve found the most convenient way to pay for a Grab is with my credit card to avoid handling cash during the journey.
The Grab TH app will charge your credit card in Thai Baht, so if your bank is outside Thailand, check with them for conversion rates or international usage fees.
If you wish to give a tip to your Grab driver in Thailand, it can be easily done through the Grab application. Check out my Thailand tipping guide to learn more about tipping etiquette in the Kingdom.
Grab advanced/scheduled booking
Grab TH has an advanced booking service so that you can schedule a pickup on a specific date and time. This service is available in Thailand for GrabTaxi and GrabTaxi 6 seater only and incurs an additional 50 THB scheduling fee.
This service is handy when booking early morning rides to the airport or with more than four passengers.
Steps on how to book a Grab Advance
- Open the grab app
- Click on the transport icon
- Enter a pickup point and destination
- Click the schedule icon
- Pick a date a time
- Click the schedule button
- Select a vehicle
Grab ride cancellation
It’s possible to cancel a Grab, but this may incur fees depending on the following criteria.
A cancellation fee of 10-50 THB is applied if:
- The driver has traveled more than 500 meters toward the pickup point
- You consecutively cancel three times
- You don’t meet the driver at the pickup point within a specific timeframe
Steps on how to cancel Grab
- Click the cancel button
- Agree to terms or fees
- Confirm the cancelation
Is Grab available 24 hours?
Transport on Grab TH is available 24 hours, including early morning. Fewer drivers will be available on the night shifts, especially in smaller locations.
Do note that Grab may add a surge charge for rides outside regular working hours.
I recommend scheduling in advance to guarantee a pickup in the early morning.
Can I use Grab at Bangkok airport?
Grab operates at Bangkok airport, but finding the correct pickup point can be challenging because it’s a large airport. However, when selecting your Grab, the app provides suggested points where you can meet your driver.
Grab recommends the following Bangkok airport pickup points on their site:
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK)
- Departures – 4th floor (outer lane)
- Arrivals – 2nd floor at doors 2 & 7 (outer lane)
- Departures – 4th floor at doors 1-10
Don Mueang (DMK)
- Domestic Arrival exit 11-12
An additional baggage fee for local taxis to and from Bangkok airports ranges from 20-100 THB. The driver should confirm with you the extra costs before your journey.
There is an additional surcharge when requesting a ride to an airport in Thailand.
In Bangkok, the fee for Dog Mueang or Suvarnabhumi airport is 150 THB for GrabTaxi / GrabCar and 200 THB for GrabLuxe.
Want to avoid the hassle of booking a Grab when landing at the airport? Klook offers a private airport transfer service which you can pre-book, and the driver will meet you at the arrivals gate.
Is Grab in Thailand reliable?
Grab TH is a reliable transport service with customer-rated drivers, quality controls, a help desk, real-time ride tracking, direct communication with the driver, and in-app safety features.
In my experience with Grab TH, the main issue I’ve encountered is drivers arriving at the wrong pickup point because of a map issue, but you can quickly solve this by calling or messaging the driver through the app.
The reliability and quality of the service tend to improve if you select the more premium services like GrabCar Premium.
How many passengers are allowed in one car?
Grab TH offers various vehicle types, each having a max passenger capacity.
|Vehicle||Max Passenger Capacity|
|JustGrab / GrabTaxi / GrabCar||4|
|GrabCar Premium / GrabCar Luxe||4-6 (depending on the car)|
|GabTaxi – 6 seater||6|
Long trips with Grab
Grab TH offers long-distance travel, although you might have difficulty finding a driver, so I would use the Grab Advanced scheduling service or pre-book through another guaranteed private taxi service.#
For longer trips, the Grab fee structure increases; for instance, GrabCar is 10 THB per km for a journey of more than 40 km vs 7 THB per km for a 6-40 km trip.
Is Grab Safe In Thailand?
Grab vets its drivers before joining the service and provides onboard safety measures to keep customers safe.
In-app safety features
- Driver rating scores
- Share a ride with a friend for real-time tracking
- Report a driver
- Emergency help button, which Grabs claims calls the police and sends an SMS of the ride details to a registered friend
Grab also provides a GrabCar lady service targeted towards female customers who feel more comfortable with a female driver.
The app has a lost and found feature where you can submit a ticket to Grab if you’ve lost an item during the trip. I left my sunglasses in the car during a journey, and the driver was kind enough to drop them off for me!
I feel safer getting a Grab than a local taxi because there is a record of the trip route, driver, car type, and total payment. Also, support is available through the app help center if you have a dispute.
I always check the car registration plate matches my booking, and when greeting the driver, I glance at their profile in the app to see if it’s a match.
Can I use Grab from other counties in Thailand?
Grab accounts set up in other countries can be used in Thailand. However, a foreign credit card linked to Grab may incur currency exchange fees while using the app abroad.
How to change the Grab app language
The language used within the Grab app depends on your device’s settings. It’s not changeable within the app itself.
To change the language on IOS:
Settings -> General -> Language & Region -> iPhone Language
To change the language on Andriod:
Settings -> Languages & input -> Languages
Grab is one of the most convenient ways to get around Thailand, but be aware of airport surcharges, surge pricing, toll fees, and the cancelation policy before planning your journey.
Are you searching for alternative transportation choices in Thailand? Take a look at my extensive guide on transportation within the kingdom.