Taxis are plentiful, clean, safe, and inexpensive in Korea. They can be found at taxi stands in most busy city areas or hailed on the streets. There are also certain taxis that can be requested by phone, however, the fare is slightly higher than regular taxis. An increasing number of taxi drivers nowadays speak some English which may prove extremely useful for first-time visitors.
Beginning March 2007, credit cards and pre-paid money cards used for buses and subways in Seoul will be accepted in taxis through the city’s newly introduced system. As new technology is being installed in all taxis, it will take another 3 to 4 years to fully implement the revised system. Only deluxe taxis are currently equipped with the new system.
The fare system is based on both distance and time.
Fares begin at ￦2,400 for the first 2 kilometers and go up incrementally ￦100 every 144 meters beyond that.
If the taxi is going less than 15 kilometers per hour, an additional charge of ￦100 per 35 seconds is added to the fare.
The fare between Incheon International Airport and downtown Seoul is usually around ￦50,000 (including toll), although it can be a little higher if traffic is congested.
Fares increase 20 percent between midnight and 4 a.m.
[Look inside of Taxi]
Receipt Issuance Machine
Guide to Free Interpreter
The taxi brands “Kind Call Taxi” and “KT Powertel” are equipped with a receipt issuance machine and a wireless data terminal with an automatic vehicle locations system (a 24-hour call center checks real-time taxi availability and dispatches the closest one). The fare is the same as that of regular taxis and a small fee of 1,000 won is added for call usage. Services are available in Korean only.
Kind Call Taxi: ☎ 1588-3382www.kindcall.com(Kor) / KT Powertel: ☎ 1588-0082
Deluxe taxis called “mobeom” taxi in Korean, are black with a yellow sign on the top and the words “Deluxe Taxi” written on the sides. They offer more passenger space and a much higher standard of service. Fares are ￦4,500 for the first 3 kilometers and ￦200 for each additional 164 meters or each 39 seconds if the speed drops below 15 kilometers per hour. The usual fare between Incheon Int’l Airport and downtown is about ￦80,000 won (including toll). Receipts are given. There is no late-night surcharge. Deluxe taxis can be taken at stands located at hotels, stations, bus terminals, and major city streets. They can also be called at ☎ 02-558-8000 (English and Japanese).
Eight-passenger van taxis are also available for larger groups. They are equipped with simultaneous foreign language interpretation by phone, receipt-issuing equipment, and a credit card processing terminal. Fares are the same as deluxe taxis. Passengers also carrying large amounts of baggage may find them convenient. They can be called at ☎ 02-888-2000.
*** ATTENTION: When calling for a 'JUMBO TAXI' make sure not to mistake them for 'call vans'. Although very similar in appearance, 'call vans' charges by size and number of luggage and negotiate taxi fare with passangers instead of charging by the meter. If you need a 'JUMBO TAXI', check for the 'JUMBO TAXI' label on the side of the van.
From May 1, 2009, Korea launched a special “international taxi” service, where the taxi drivers are able to speak English or Japanese. These taxis operate on a 100% reservations basis, and taxi fees can be calculated by meter, by destination, or by time. For example, if you chose to hire a regular taxi for three hours it will cost 50,000 won, and you can even hire it for a day for 120,000won. The fees for these new international taxis can be paid in cash or with international credit cards (VISA, MASTER, AMEX, JCB).
Furthermore, Incheon and Gimpo airports are providing international taxi information desks where foreigners are able to make taxi reservations, check the status of existing reservations, and also receive a range of other helpful information. There is also a special waiting area for the international taxis.
Non-Korean speakers can make enquiries and reservations for the international taxis by calling an exclusive call center (1644-2255). The service is available in English and Japanese, and lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Reservations may also be made online at www.internationaltaxi.co.kr.
☞ Location of the international taxi information desks:
- Incheon airport: Between Gate 8 and Gate 9 on the arrival floor
- Gimpo airport: Between Gate 2 and Gate 3 on the arrival floor
☞ Make reservations: Click here! (English)