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NaviGo is Koh Samui’s new ride hailing app, bringing the latest technology and innovation to Koh Samui’s ailing transport infrastructure. It’s pricing structure, ease of use and customer service makes it an inviting alternative for tourists, expats and locals looking to explore Samui’s roads.
For riders, NaviGo is a convenient, inexpensive and safe taxi service. Islanders can hire a private driver to pick up and deliver them to any destination with the tap of a button on a smart phone, and they’ll be there in minutes. Not only is it an on-demand car service, but users can see exactly where the driver is as they’re en route.
How does NaviGo work?
Available from the Apple app store and the Google play store, the NaviGo Samui application can be downloaded within seconds. To use the application passengers are required to create an account which can be done painlessly through providing a few basic contacts details. A confirmation code will be sent to the phone and NaviGo is ready to go! The intuitive interface does not require much explaining. Passengers select their pickup and drop off location and are updated with a price quote for the journey and a live map of the island showing the available drivers.
A confirmation screen provides an opportunity to take a selfie photo and enter any notes to the driver. Once confirmed, the application will match the passenger to the nearest driver. Passengers are then able to track the driver’s location on a real time map showing the driver’s distance and estimated arrival time. The driver’s name, photo and vehicle details are displayed as well and the option to call the service in either Thai or English.
During the ride passengers can view the distance to their destination, and upon arrival they are updated with the final fare. The simplicity and transparency in the fare and service is delightfully refreshing, free from negotiations and unexplained add-ons.
NaviGo operates an impressive fleet of 13 vehicles consisting of both 4x4s and vans carrying up to 4 and 10 passengers respectively. The vehicles are brand new, state-of-the-art models boasting TV screens in the back of the seats and dual camera recording systems. All models are capable of reaching even the most challenges areas of the island.
Importantly, the fleet is owned and maintained by NaviGo with the drivers all being full time employees. This allows NaviGo to enforce and maintain standards which some of it’s other international equivalents are unable to do. Twice daily car valets and regular driver shift changes represents a top quality service.
The fares are calculated by a 100 baht pick up fee, then 30 baht for the first 10 kilometres, 15 baht for 11-20 km then 10 baht for 21 km upwards, so the price becomes more economical for longer journeys. The price is calculated by the app based on the km travel and the price is final, there is no need to haggle or negotiate a price.
Example fares on Koh Samui
Chaweng Beach – From THB 172 to THB 208
Bophut Beach – From THB 268 to THB 352
Maenam Beach – From THB 352 to THB 478
Lamai Beach – From THB 367 to THB 514
Nathon Beach – From THB 484 to THB 676
Bangrak Beach – From THB 172 to THB 208
The drivers speak good English, undergo monthly blood tests and undergo 2 weeks training by sitting in with the head driver on rides. There are English speakers at the local call centres. Some of which are fluent in Thai and, therefore, organising/problem solving with foreigners is very straight forward.
Navigo have had some very good feedback and are particularly popular with expat communities, the taxi fares have been well published and having an alternative mode of transport has come as a breath of fresh air for many.
The Company, that formed in November last year is Thai owned by a well-respected member of the Thai community. The Company owns all the vehicles and employs the drivers (unlike Uber).