It has now become a step easier to book a 12-seater van with a few clicks on your smartphone. Ideal for foreigners who cannot speak Thai. The service is the latest by GrabTaxi who launched an easy to use app last year for booking regular taxis. This was followed by GrabCar which are better quality cars but cheaper than a limousine service. Now comes GrabXL which is a 12-seater Toyota Commuter. This might be good for people who want to travel to and from the airport in a large group or with lots of luggage. It might also be good for a day trip with a group of friends. However, at first glance, the meter rate might work out more expensive than say booking a van in the regular way. But, with GrabXL, you don’t need to pay for the petrol. That is included.
Fare: The meter starts at 150 Baht and then 20 Baht per kilometer + 3 Baht per minute .
So, how does that work out for say a day trip to Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram? According to Google Maps it is 99 kms away from my house and it will take 97 minutes without traffic. That would then be 150 Baht (flagfall) + 1,980 Baht (distance) + 291 Baht (time). So, that’s 2,421 Baht one way or at least 5,382 Baht for a round trip if you want him to wait there for you for 3 hours (I am presuming you have to pay him 3 Baht per minute to wait?). Share that between 12 people and that’s a minimum of 448 Baht per person.
I don’t think you are really saving money on that. It would be nice if they did day rates to certain popular destinations. What do you think? Surely a lot cheaper to book a regular van even if you have to pay to fill the tank at the end of the trip?