If there’s one thing you can guarantee on an overseas holiday it’s that taxi drivers can be a little complex to deal with and Bali taxis are no exception to this rule.
The good news is that Bali taxi prices are much lower than they are at home and as long as you know how to deal with the local taxi drivers properly, you can get from A to B without any hassles.
So, here’s our guide to getting the most from a taxi driver in Bali, yes, even the Bali airport taxis.
Top 15 Tips For Using Bali Taxis
We’ve got 15 tips to get the most out of any Bali Taxi and it’s worth scanning through them all before you arrange your first ride on the island.
Use A Ride Share App
Our top tip is don’t use the taxis in Bali, opt to work with the local Go-jek app or Grab app services instead.
You can nearly always find a driver on these apps and they’re ideal for everything from short trips over short distances to longer distances and airport runs.
Using an app means no haggling over price and no confusion over how much you should pay. It’s always a fair price and competitive with any other taxi service in Bali too.
Metered Taxis Are Good Value
If you do have to flag down a taxi in Bali, then it’s worth noting that a metered ride is actually very good value for money.
It’s just that it’s often a huge challenge to get a taxi in Bali to use the meter.
Which Taxis To Catch In Bali? (Blue Bird Taxis)
It is almost universally agreed that taxis from the Blue Bird Group are the best taxis on the island. You can recognize Blue Bird Taxis from the Blue Bird Logo.
A Bluebird Taxi is most likely to agree to use a meter and as long as you pay cash and have small bills then you shouldn’t find dealing with them too problematic.
Avoid the Blue Biru brand, that’s a scam and one designed to carefully emulate the reputable brand.
Don’t Haggle Engage The Meter
Bali has yet to pass (or enforce) a law that requires taxis to use the meter, which is a shame because it means many people find themselves in a Bali Taxi not going anywhere while they insist that the driver uses the meter.
The reason for this is simple – any price that you’re asked to pay that isn’t metered is going to be a rip-off.
It’s not worth haggling with local taxis, if they won’t use the meter, get out, there are plenty of other taxis out there to use instead.
Use Google Maps In A Metred Taxi
Using a meter doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be taken to the tourist attractions of your choice in the shortest possible manner.
We recommend using Google Maps to find the most direct route and highlighting any concerns you have with the driver as you undertake the journey.
Airport Taxis Are Not Good
The reason most people book airport taxi transfers through their hotels is to avoid dealing with local taxis at Ngurah Rai International Airport.
It’s fair to say that there are no proper taxi ranks, a ton of touts offering terrible value, and a pre-paid counter that doesn’t always work (and isn’t great value).
However, you can always use Grab (officially, they can’t pick you up from the airport, unofficially, they’re happy to pick you up from the departure area).
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Your Hotel To Book A Taxi For You
If you can’t find a Blue Bird and don’t have access to the ride-share apps then you might ask your hotel to book a taxi for you.
This isn’t foolproof, but it’s likely that they will use a good driver who won’t rip you off, because they won’t want you to leave a 1-star review for their hotel over a cab ride.
Maybe Do Haggle, But Only For Long Rides
OK, we said, “Don’t haggle” but there is a situation where it can make sense to haggle and that’s for very long journeys.
You should know roughly how much a journey should cost before you start haggling though.
Peak Hours And Drivers
Traffic can come to a complete halt during the peak hours in Bali and many taxis won’t want to take you a short distance for a very low fare at these times.
It’s at times like these that ride-sharing is so much easier.
The Tourist Cartels
Most tourist attractions have a cartel of drivers that operate around them and no matter which car you speak to, you are going to get overcharged.
There are two ways to avoid this. 1. Walk around the corner from the attraction and use a ride-share or 2. Rent a private driver and car.
Late Night Risks
If you thought it was hard to get a driver to use the meter in the day, at night, you’re never going to get it to happen.
So haggle and haggle hard if you must flag down a ride, again ride-sharing makes this much easier.
The Color Scheme Doesn’t Always Mean It’s A Blue Bird Taxi
Nearly all private taxis in Bali are blue and that doesn’t mean that they’re a Blue Bird Taxi. Look for the logo, not the body colour to be sure of getting a Bluebird Taxi.
Always Carry Small Change
If you don’t have the right money to pay your driver, then the odds are pretty good that they will have no change and you will have to overpay for your ride.
Watch Out For Motorbikes
When you get out of your ride, watch out for motorbikes.
They have a horrible habit of sneaking up on the inside of other vehicles and you don’t want to cause an accident – it will end up being expensive.
Record Your Taxi’s Details
It’s also a good idea to take a picture of the driver’s registration, vehicle number, etc. that way if you leave something in the car or have to make a complaint, you have something to refer to.
What Taxi App Do They Use In Bali?
There are two main ride-sharing applications in Bali – Grab and Go-jek. They are both reliable brands with many years of experience in the Balinese market.
You can connect your credit or debit card to either app or both to minimize the hassles of payment when taking a car from A to B.
Both apps also offer additional services such as food delivery and grocery delivery.
How Do I Call A Cab In Bali?
There are five main numbers for calling a taxi in Bali (there just aren’t that many taxi companies here on the island):
Blue Bird Taxi: +62 (0) 361 701 111
Ngurah Rai International Airport Taxi: +62 (0) 361 935 1011
Komotra Taxi: + 62 (0) 361 281 968
Wahana Taxi: +62 (0) 361 244 555
Kowinu Bali Taxis: +62 (0) 361 773 030
How Much Does A Cab Cost In Bali?
It very much depends on the length of the journey.
However, assuming it’s a short journey then taxis in Bali have a flag fall rate of 7,000 IDR (that’s about 50 cents in USD) and a per kilometre price of around 6,6000 IDR.
In addition, there is a 42,500 IDR fee per hour of waiting time.
These rates for a Bali Taxi were set by the local government and are the exact rates you will pay if your taxi is running on the meter.
Are Taxis Reliable In Bali?
Yes, in the main a taxi service in Bali is as reliable as anywhere else in the world, which doesn’t mean that taking a taxi in Bali is guaranteed to be problem-free.
The most reputable of the Bali Taxi Companies is Blue Bird Taxi Bali but if we’re given the option we’d take a ride-sharing app over a metered Blue Bird Taxi most of the time.
The joy of ride-sharing apps is that you’re not leaving anything open to different interpretations, the price is fixed in the app and if you hook your credit card up to the app, you don’t even need cash to pay for the fare or the tip, so there’s no hassle getting change, either.
Is Uber Available In Bali?
No. In fact, Uber has withdrawn from Southeast Asia entirely but it owns a share in the local ride-sharing app – Grab.
Grab Cars is one of the most popular ride-sharing apps in Southeast Asia and one of the two leading apps in Bali (the other is Gojek).
We think one of the best Bali taxi tips is to opt for ride-sharing in preference to a metered taxi wherever possible. However, if you’re going on a very long journey then a private driver can be the best value option.
How To Arrange Transport In Bali For Tours And Trips
We always recommend that you arrange everything for your holiday needs in Bali through the excellent service at Bali Res Centre.
That’s a locally owned and established travel operator that specializes in travel for Bali. Travelling locally is always easier when the agent acting on your behalf is local.
Their prices are always competitive thanks to the relationships that they have established here on the island and dealing with the Bali Res Centre means keeping your holiday money in the local economy too!
Final Thoughts On Taxis And Bali Taxi Drivers
Bali Taxi drivers are no different from cabbies anywhere else in the world, they’re trying to earn as much money as they can and some of them are willing to bend a few ethical lines to get there, but most are honest and kind people.
However, there’s no doubt in our minds that the easiest way to get around the island is to use a ride-sharing app and if you really have to flag down a Bali taxi, then Blue Bird taxis offer the most reliable service.