The end of the year festivities in Goa is almost upon us. As vacationers get busy planning their itineraries, booking flights, hotels and managing their finances, the one thing that they fail to account for is last-mile connectivity within Goa as well as travel within this vast Union Territory.
Goa’s road transportation woes are common knowledge. While public transport is somewhat sketchy, cabs and taxis within Goa are very expensive with taxi drivers charging arbitrary rates with impunity. The vacationer accounts for most expenses but often fails to take into account just how expensive travelling within Goa can get.
Travellers have no visibility on how the rates are calculated and whether such a thing as a transparent rate card even exists. In the absence of Ola and Uber- a consequence of the Taxi Union’s stranglehold over the state government; the only option for the consumer is the taxi stands. This article will help you figure out the best ways to rent a car in Goa as well as what to look out for.
Transparent Billing and Paperwork
It is very difficult to get visibility on the pricing models of taxis that operate within Goa. Additionally, getting invoices is next to impossible and the lack of paperwork becomes a huge pain point especially for corporate travellers. Hidden charges, additional expenses and unforeseen extras add to the overall opacity of the entire system.
The uncertainty of travelling within the state can partially be allayed by services like Savaari Car Rentals or GoaMiles, which are cheaper than the taxi you might hail on the road, and which are also a lot more transparent in terms of the pricing. With such services, you can pre-book a cab in Goa, allowing you complete visibility on the costs you will incur.
The fact is that in this case, the billing process is transparent, providing the exact fare breakup, thus ensuring there are no hidden charges or unpleasant surprises at the end of the trip so consumers can travel with peace of mind. In addition to this, it is important to get a driver who is highly trained and well-versed in all the routes, sights to see and places to eat and will add value to a vacationers journey with timely recommendations.
For corporate travellers, going through online channels is the best option, as they will receive an invoice at the end of their trip with all the requisite paperwork, making the whole process of claiming expenses a breeze.
Customizability, Special Requests and a Host of Options
Individual taxi operators have a predefined fleet of cars with little or no customizability. Taxis are reluctant about taking detours or deviating from the agreed-upon route; making road trips uncomfortable and inconvenient. Savaari’s cab service in Goa has an extremely prolific inventory; allowing the customer to choose the car that best suits their needs.
From hatchbacks to Premium Sedans to Innovas, SUVs and even Luxury vehicles like Toyota Camry or the Mercedes E Class. Another thing potential customers need to watch out for is the kind of packages that a cab service or a taxi is offering. Whether it is hourly rentals- 8 hours/ 80 Km, 12 hours/120 km or outstation round trip packages to various sightseeing destinations, it is important to choose the package that gives the most value for money and is the most relevant to one’s requirements.
Travellers should also ascertain whether they have the freedom of carving their own itinerary, taking unplanned detours and turning their road trip into a spontaneous and joyful experience. Further, in the case of special requirements such as a Hindi or an English speaking driver, or a car with a luggage carrier, travellers should check beforehand with the service provider.
Safety, Reliability, Accountability
Independent taxis have the disadvantage of not really having any safety features built into them. Travellers are at the mercy of the taxi driver and getting help in Goa’s remote highways and unpopulated areas can be a challenge. Further, there is no guarantee of reliability as the only person accountable for a vacationers trip is the taxi driver.
In case there is a last-minute cancellation or a no-show, customers have to scramble and figure out an alternative. It is important that travellers book with service providers who take their customers’ safety very seriously. Drivers should be highly-trained and should prioritize the safety of their passengers. Further, there needs to be 24×7 call centre support so as to ensure that if there is any issue before, during or after the trip, it can be immediately addressed and resolved.
Flexibility in Payment
Almost all taxis in Goa will insist on cash payments, which places the additional burden of carrying or withdrawing large amounts on the traveller. A few online cab service in Goa allow travellers the option of paying part of the trip amount, the entire trip amount or paying at the end of the trip, depending on their preference.
Further, international tourists should have the option to pay via Paypal or their international credit cards, making the whole booking experience seamless. One should also check if the service provider charges a booking fee or a cancellation fee. In case there is a last-minute change of plans, travellers should have the option to cancel their booking at no cost.
One Cab for All Trips
Another common issue travellers encounter is the lack of flexibility when it comes to different trip types. Travellers might be hard-pressed to find a taxi in North Goa willing to take them to a beach in South Goa. Similarly, many taxi operators refuse outstation trips, longer itineraries and refuse to ferry passengers to specific destinations within the state.
All these problems are rather irksome for travellers who value convenience and comfort and just need to get from one point to another. With cab providers like Savaari Car Rentals or GoaMiles, there is no danger of your driver denying duty, or refusing to take you to the destination you have booked your cab for or cancelling at the last minute upon finding out your destination.
To summarize, while booking a cab in Goa, travellers should ensure that:
– They are fully aware of all hidden charges (if any).
– Their cab is reliable and safe.
– The chauffeur is well-versed in local routes and the bylanes of Goa.
– They will have the flexibility to be spontaneous, take unplanned detours and make the most of their road trip.
– There are no last-minute cancellations and the destination is being serviced by the taxi operator.