Updated July 2019. In Bogotá, hailing a taxi from the street is not recommended, especially at night. Calling for a taxi or car service may be a daunting prospect for someone with a lower-than-intermediate level of Spanish. But never fear; here are some mobile apps which solve this problem, helping you to get an Uber-style car or taxi in Bogota easily. You will need a wi-fi or data connection in order for them to work.
Cabify, Beat and DiDi are essentially like Uber – private citizens earning a living by offering a private cab service in their cars. The main difference is that they charge the drivers different levels of commission. Uber takes the most commission at 35%, Beat takes 30%, Cabify takes 25%, and DiDi takes 20% (I think that’s right). But the service is the same. In fact, most drivers use all four apps to get passengers.
This may be the easiest option if you already use Uber in your home country. You just use the same app as normal and enter your destination (e.g. Museo del Oro/Gold Museum or an address e.g. Carrera 7 # 35 – 11). It will then give you a price for Uber Pool (don’t choose this one as you’ll have to share the Uber), UberX, Black (a more ‘executive’ service), and Van for group of up to 7 people. Select your preferred option and you’ll be allocated a driver. You’ll receive their name, a thumbnail photo and their license plate number. They will also have a rating out of 5. If their rating is below 4.7, consider ordering again, as in my experience a rating of 4.6 or below means they won’t be such a great driver. The payment then gets deducted from your card as usual.
Cabify (the one you need for ordering a yellow Bogota taxi)
Cabify bought the old Easy Taxi app, so you can now use it to order Uber-type cars (the ‘Lite’ option) or a yellow Bogota taxi (the ‘Easy Taxi’ option). Enter your destination in the same way as described above. The Lite option will tell you your fare before you travel. If you choose a yellow taxi, the fare will depend on the taxi meter. There fare difference is not huge. Sometimes Cabify will be a bit cheaper, sometimes a taxi will be cheaper. In a yellow Bogota taxi, the meter starts from a random number of 25 and increases by 1 digit every 100 meters. The number on the meter at the end of the journey (say 110) then converts to a price (say 9,000 pesos), which you can check on the tariff, which should be hanging on the back of the front passenger seat. If it isn’t, ask the taxi driver to give you ‘la tarifa, por favor’. I find it normally takes ages to get an Uber-style car from Cabify (i.e. choosing the ‘Lite’ option), so if that’s what you’re looking for you’re best trying Uber or Beat first.
Another Uber-style car service in Bogota is Beat. It works in more or less the same way as Uber and Cabify. The ‘Lite’ option in this case is cheaper. I checked and if you choose ‘Lite’ this means the car you’ll get will have been manufactured between 2000 and 2007. The ‘Beat’ option is more expensive (but in line with Uber X or the Cabify Lite option), and this means the car was made in 2008 or after. You should receive a 50% discount the first time you use Beat.
DiDi is the newest app and is a Chinese company. I haven’t used this service yet as I couldn’t get it to download onto my British phone (or maybe it was the British SIM that was the problem) so you might not be able to download it either. I’ve managed to download it onto my old Colombian phone and they gave me a coupon code to pass on to my friends (i.e. you lovely readers!). This means you’ll get a 5,000 pesos discount the first time you use DiDi. Here’s the code: N7WLNLHG
In my post, 10 tips for taking a taxi in Bogota 10 tips for taking a taxi in Bogota, I write specifically about tips for taking yellow Bogota taxis and the common scams. I’ve never heard of or been the victim of a scam when using a private car service in Bogota
Do you use any of these car service apps in Bogota? Which one do you prefer? Let readers know in the comments section below!
I don’t make any money from How to Bogota – it has always been a labor of love! If you’ve found anything in this blog helpful, you can now buy me a digital cup of coffee! 🙂