Creatrip: Useful Tips on Taking a Taxi in Korea!

Useful Tips on Taking a Taxi in Korea!

The ultimate guide to using Korean Taxis (The night charge, Types of Taxis, Useful Korean Expressions and more!)

4 years ago

Hello,everyone! We are Creatrip, a group of Korean travel experts.
We proudly present you the latest, useful Korean travel information and tips every day.

Today, Creatrip editor (Me!) will go over the Korean Taxi system with you.

When you are backpacking in Korea, you may have to grab a cab to either free your hands of heavy luggage or avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere.

For many of us, Taxi is the last option for public transportation.

However, you would be worried before you get on the cab. What if you get ripped off by a Korean taxi driver because you are a foreigner? What if you cannot communicate with the driver properly? To relieve you from stress, we prepared this ultimate guide for Korean taxi system. We will explain the types of taxis, Night charges, and useful Korean phrases that can facilitate your communication with the driver.

Taxi in Korea: Color Codes

Korean Taxi is usually in four different colors and each color represents different price settings. By looking at the color of the cab, you can distinguish them into General Taxis, International Taxis, Model Taxis, and Large Taxis.

Taxi in Korea: 1. General Taxi

In Korea, the appearance and the color of a typical taxi vary from one region to the other. In Seoul, general taxis are in orange color, while in other urban areas are in silver color. But usually, general taxis are in one of the three colors: Silver, White, or Orange.

The general taxis are the cheapest and the most commonly found taxis. Most of the times, the general taxi drivers only speak Korean. If you are traveling metropolitan area, the drivers may know how to say simple English phrases. You might encounter some problem with communication. Therefore, make sure you practice the simple Korean phrases I teach you in this post before you hop on one of these taxis.

Taxi in Korea 2. International Taxi

圖片) 國際計程車外觀(圖片來源: 國際計程車)

The International Taxis are also in orange color, just like the general taxis. Yes, I admit. It's difficult to distinguish the two from the appearance. You need to look close to tell the difference.

International Taxis are created for foreign tourists, who cannot communicate in Korea. On the body of the taxi, it should have a sign [인터내셔널 택시(International Taxi 國際計程車)]. 

If you take this cab, you can receive a free translation service in three languages (Chinese, Japanese, and English). You don't have to worry about the language barrier anymore. However, this special taxi is can only be arranged by online reservation or phone reservation. If you are worried about making a reservation via phone call, you don't have to worry about that. The people who take in your call are all fluent in the three languages. International taxi costs a bit more expensive than the general ones because this taxi service is only available for pick-ups.

Taxi in Korea 3. Black Taxi

Black taxis have the most expensive rate across all types of taxis. On the sides of the black body, there are yellow strips with the words "모범택시 (model taxi or premium taxi)," After a decade of accident-free operation with a good safety record, a handful number of taxi drivers are licensed to become model taxi drivers. These black taxis provide spacious seating space and high-quality service. Model taxi drivers usually can speak some English.

When I visited Busan a few years ago, I once took a model taxi. Although I didn't feel the car was is such a fabulous condition, I was impressed by the service. when I got on and off the cab, the driver kindly opened the door for me and helped me with my luggage.  Compared with the general taxi, the black cab has high service standards.

Taxi in Korea: 4. Large Taxi

Large taxis are rare. The large taxis are model taxis. This type of taxis is more suitable for multi-person rides (six to ten people). Please be sure that there is a "대형택시 (JUMBO TAXI)" sign on the body of the car. Do not confuse these large cabs from Call Vans.

The other type of car is "Call Vans", which is mainly a cargo-style taxi service. Unlike the usual taxis transporting passengers, Call Vans do not have a standard billing system. The price varies depending on the size, weight, distance and time of the shipment. Make sure you negotiate the price with the driver before departure. Call Vans may look like large taxis, be careful not to mistake the sign. Call Vans have the words "VAN, 콜밴(CALL VAN)" on the car body.

한국택시:5. Mileage Fare, Taxi Night Charges

Korean Taxi(Seoul)
Taxi TypeBasic FareAdditional Charge (based on the distance and duration)Night Charge
General Taxi₩3,800₩100
Every 142m/35 Seconds
00:00 to 04:00
20% of the total fare
Large, Model (Black) Taxi₩6,500₩200
Every 164m/39 Seconds
International Taxi₩65,000~₩130,000
Fixed rate according to your destination

Remarks: Busan general taxis have a starting fare of 3,300 Won.

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Taxi in Korea 6. Usage Tips

#Find the nearest subway station to your destination

If you are not too sure about how to get to your destination, I would recommend you to tell the driver to drop you off at the nearest subway station. Most of the drivers know metro stations very well. If the driver is not familiar with the area, he can still find the nearest metro station by using the GPS. Many Koreans intentionally ask the driver to drop them off at the subway station near home to protect their own privacy.

#Show the NAVER MAP or KAKAO MAP directions to the driver

By showing the directions from the Naver or Kakao Map application, you can signal the driver that you've already checked the route. You may be able to avoid any rip-offs by this simple gesture. Also, make sure you track the taxi to see if the driver is intentionally taking the longer route.

# Use T-Money Card or Credit Card at the checkout

Although you can pay with cash for the taxi fare, I suggest you use the T-Money or Credit Card instead. 

If you were unhappy with the driver's service (such as rip-offs, taking a detour, malicious price, verbal abuse, etc.) you can make an appeal with your credit card or T-money card payment. If you use the T-Money Card at the checkout, you can call up the taxi company and they can easily look up your ride information. Credit Cards work even better because you can cancel your payment with your receipt.

Also, you can retrieve your personal belongings faster in case you left it in the car. If you pay in cash (and most people don't get receipts), it will be extremely difficult to retrieve your item. If you have a receipt (and you made a credit card payment), the police can quickly identify the taxi and contact the driver immediately.


The KAKAO TAXI app is a bit like UBER, but this service is exclusive to South Korea. Just like Uber, you need to have a Korean mobile phone number in order to register. I recommend you to choose a SIM card with call minutes (and a phone number) in case you need to contact the Kakao Taxi driver. You can also make a reservation in advance. You can get an estimate of the fare and the route. Because the system provides the most efficient driving directions, you don't have to worry about drivers making detours when you use this app. I recommend for those who have basic Korean language literacy to use this app (there is no English option).

Taxi in Korea 7: Useful Korean Phrases

#Please take me to...

……(으)로 가 주세요……(eu)ro ga ju-se-yo ga ju-se-yo.명동역 5번출구로 가 주세요(myeong-dong-yeo o-beon-chul-gu-ro ga ju-se-yo)

#Please pull me off here.

여기 내려 주세요yeo-gi nae-ryeo ju-se-yo

#Thank you for your service.

수고하셨어요 감사합니다su-go-ha-syeo-sso-yo gam-sa-hap-ni-da

The above was a brief introduction to the Korean Taxi service and system. I hope you guys found this information helpful. In fact, Taxi is a very convenient means of transportation in Korea. Especially for those who travel to Seoul, taxi could be cheaper if you move as a group of three to four people. Compared to other countries, the average Korean taxi fare is not expensive. You can reach your destination faster and more comfortably.

If you encounter a misbehaving driver and have any unpleasant experience with the cab, please feel free to contact us through the following link and telephone. Your feedback truly matters to us.  I hope everyone to get pleasant memories from Korea.

One last Reminder: if you want to make an appeal or complaint, you must provide the license license plate number of the cab. The easiest way to get this information is keeping your receipt .

 We will see you next time!