GrabTaxi is a free mobile app which enables you to book a taxi, easily select a pick-up point and destination and estimate the cost of the journey. While there are plenty of similar apps available around the world, GrabTaxi is the only one currently in operation in Phuket.
The key advantage of GrabTaxi in Phuket is that it removes the necessity to rely on tuk tuks for getting around. The ubiquitous modified mini trucks have gained a somewhat deserved reputation for overcharging for even quite short journeys, but the fact that they are so easy to find, particularly compared to taxis, makes them a reluctant necessity. To effectively use GrabTaxi (and thereby reduce your transport woes), you will need a smartphone and internet access.
There are three classes of vehicle available for booking through GrabTaxi in Phuket, with varying degrees of comfort and capacity: regular metered taxis, saloon car limousines and SUV limousines. Of these, there are about 28 of each class currently available in Phuket (at time of writing), which can usually be found spread fairly evenly around the island, though with noticeably more to be found around Patong and Phuket Town.
The booking process is extremely simple: The app will use your current location as the default pick-up point, so you need only pick your destination, either by searching for it by name or marking it on the map. Select the vehicle class you want and the call will then go out to the nearby cars. Once one has been selected, they will call you to confirm the booking and pick-up point.
After that, the process follows the same lines as a normal taxi journey. If you ordered a taxi meter, the total price will be roughly in the region of the GrabTaxi app’s estimate, but the exact final cost will be decided by the meter. If you booked a limousine, you will need to agree on a price with the driver before departure, but it should also be approximately what the app says it will be.