Grab provides a multitude of options for different kinds of rides; here's how you should use them.
Grab has gone from that reliable friend that you can always count on to get you home, to that other friend with the mismatched socks and the slightly crazy eyes.
While we weren’t looking, the company that started off with a singular service - quick and easy cab hailing - has gone ahead and added so many feathers to their cap, it’s become puzzling and slightly worrisome trying to discern what they are up to these days.
(We're just kidding. Grab can be a lifesaver especially when paired with the right credit cards.)
Let’s see. There’s GrabHitch, GrabCar, GrabShare, GrabFamily, GrabCoach - and the latest one, JustGrab... just how many different ways are there to grab a ride?!
And more importantly, seeing as to how at least four of their services overlap, which one should you use at any one time?
To help us in our analysis, we plotted a route from the SingSaver.com.sg office in Chinatown straight to Changi Airport on a Thursday afternoon, right before a long weekend.
Here’s what we found out.
Price Comparison of Grab Ride-hailing Services
All prices listed are in S$
|18 - 27
|22 - 29
|26 - 40
|Economy: 49 (Surge pricing)
Family: 47 (Surge pricing)
JustGrab: For When You Want the Highest Chance of Getting a Ride
This is the option you should choose if you can't wait around for a ride to become available.
JustGrab dangles out your ride request to both private cars and taxis near you, so your chances of getting a ride can be that much higher. This can make all the difference during peak periods.
With this undeniable advantage, a higher price is to be expected. In line with expectations, our price shopping revealed that JustGrab was rather more expensive.
Granted, the price that we got was a surge price, but we expect JustGrab’s normal rates to still cost more than the other (standard) Grab services.
Our advice? Tap JustGrab if you're in a hurry. Otherwise, check the other prices first to save yourself a few bucks.
GrabShare and GrabHitch: For When You’re Feeling Chatty
With both GrabShare and GrabHitch, you’ll be sharing your ride. But did you know there are major differences between the two?
Check the table above and you’ll notice there’s a difference of more than S$10 between both rides. And note that these are normal prices. So what gives?
Well, GrabHitch is when you hop into a vehicle whose driver is going the same way as you.
GrabShare, however, is you simply sharing the taxi or ride with other passengers whose destinations lie somewhere along the way.
Because of this difference, you’ll need to book your GrabHitch ride at least 10 mins in advance. In practice, your wait could be a good while longer, especially if you need to go somewhere ulu. (It might be hard to find a driver who is also headed to Tuas island at 4am in the morning, for instance).
However, if you do manage to find the cowherd to match your weaver girl, you’ll get to save quite a bit on your fare.
No matter which you choose - GrabShare or GrabHitch - be friendly lah. Smile and say hi when you enter the vehicle, chat about current topics, and say bye when you alight.
Just don’t be a creep and ask who they are texting or what’s their Facebook.
Standard, Electric and Limo Taxis: For When Surge Pricing is Just Too D... High!
Ah taxi drivers… where would we be without their scintillating take on what is really going on with our lovely island nation.
If your night of hard drinking has put you in the mood for politics, it’s a taxi you’ll want. Go ahead and ask our wizened taxi drivers their views on everything that’s wrong with our country. We dare you.
You might even pick up a tip or two on the finer points of Hokkien swear language. (True story; happened in a snow-white Mercedes cab, no less.)
Ok, in all seriousness, you’ll want to consider taxis if surge pricing makes the other options more expensive. Taxis charge a metered fare, which translates to better control during particularly heavy demand.
Unlike other Grab options, booking a taxi gives doesn’t give you a flat, confirmed fare. Instead, you’ll be informed of the price range you can expect to pay. That’s about the only difference you’ll need to note here.
Also, you can choose your cab type based on whether you’re feeling rich, green, or basic.
GrabCar and GrabFamily: For When You’re Riding with Fam
When you’re heading out to your favourite hawker centre for that weekend family food binge, choose GrabCar and GrabFamily.
These two types of rides are meant for trips with more than 2 pax, and/or when you have small children along. (Of course, you can also book a GrabCar all to yourself, if you wish.)
GrabCar and GrabFamily gets you a 4-seater - the latter comes with child safety seats for the comfort and protection of your little ones.
Prices for GrabFamily (which, remember, comes with child safety seats) will be slightly higher, so don’t try to save a buck or two by booking a normal car instead. Your Grab driver is legally required to refuse your ride, so you’ll just be wasting everyone’s time.
In any case, you shouldn’t be a rage-a-holic and curse people with an accident, just because you’re a cheapskate. You're a parent, for shame!
And oh, if Ah Gong and Ah Ma are also coming, book the 6-seater versions instead. That way everyone can travel together, and you’ll save money too. (Pro-tip: It’s cheaper to book one 6-seater, rather than two separate 4-seaters.)
GrabCoach: For When the Whole Kampong is Coming
And finally we have GrabCoach.
This is a straightforward service that lets you conveniently book a coach for when you need to move a large number of people simultaneously.
Prices are standard, and you can book in advance, or on an ad hoc basis. Pretty impressive, we say.
There are 3 options available, so just pick one according to the number of people who’re travelling. Note that the fare doesn’t include other charges like ERP and midnight surcharge, though.
What to read next?
By Alevin Chan
A Certified Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimize happiness and enjoyment in his life.
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