Travel in Korea

Using Uber in Korea: A Comprehensive Guide

Ride-hailing services like Uber have transformed the way we commute. However, using Uber in South Korea comes with its own set of intricacies. This comprehensive guide provides all the information you need to navigate the service in this East Asian hub.

Understanding Uber’s Presence in Korea

Uber’s services in Korea are different from those in other countries due to local regulations. Uber Black and Uber Taxi are the two main offerings. Uber Black is a premium taxi service that provides rides in luxury sedans, while Uber Taxi connects you with regular taxi drivers.

Uber Black

Uber Black offers an executive-class ride. If you’re seeking a high-end experience or need to make an impression, this option offers rides in luxury sedans. The cars are usually black, and drivers maintain high standards of professionalism.

Uber Taxi

Uber Taxi is more like the traditional taxi service. The app connects you with regular taxi drivers in your vicinity. It’s worth noting that the cars used for Uber Taxi are the same as those used by local taxi drivers.

Unfortunately, the standard UberX service, where drivers use their personal vehicles to offer rides, is not available in South Korea due to local regulations.


Booking a Ride on Uber in Korea

Here’s how you can book a ride:

  1. Download the App: First things first, you’ll need to download the Uber app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  2. Create an Account: After downloading, sign up for an account. You’ll need to provide some basic information and payment details.
  3. Setting Up Your Ride: Enter your pick-up and drop-off locations. Choose the service you prefer—Uber Black or Uber Taxi.
  4. Confirming Your Ride: The app will provide an estimated fare. If you’re okay with the fare, you can proceed to confirm the ride.

Where is Uber Available in Korea?

Uber is available in most major cities in South Korea, including Seoul, Incheon, and the Gyeonggi province. However, its presence isn’t as widespread as some local transportation apps like Kakao Taxi.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Uber in Korea

Like any service, Uber in Korea has its pros and cons.


  • The fare is displayed upfront, ensuring no surprises at the end of your ride.
  • The app is available in English, which can be helpful for foreigners.
  • All payments are handled through the app, so there’s no need to worry about carrying cash.


  • Due to the limited number of Uber vehicles in Korea, getting a ride during peak hours can be challenging.
  • Uber is often more expensive than other local transportation options.
  • The service area is less expansive than local apps like Kakao Taxi.

Alternatives to Uber in Korea

If Uber doesn’t fit your needs, there are local alternatives such as Kakao Taxi and Tada. These services have a more extensive network of vehicles and are often cheaper than Uber.

In conclusion, while using Uber in Korea does have its challenges, it can still be a viable option for travelers seeking a familiar, English-friendly service.

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