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TukTuk rental vs. TukTuk 'Taxi'

Bijgewerkt op: 8 jul. 2023

In our blog about Colombo with children we wrote why we did not choose to rent a TukTuk and use it as a means of transport during our trip through Sri Lanka. Driving a TukTuk yourself is a real hype, you see it a lot. Lots of cool Instagram post and videos from traveling backpackers with beautiful photos and dry images including the words of praise regarding their means of transport: the TukTuk.

But who are you helping with this? The frequently mentioned benefits you hear/read:

  1. Maximum freedom

  2. Cheap

  3. Unique experience

Firstly, what would driving your TukTuk yourself give you any freedom other than letting a Sinhalese driver drive you? Because you can't stop where you want? If you communicate well that is fine, in fact the drivers show you places that you as a tourist simply drive past.

Second, it is not cheaper. The prices vary enormously and you also have to factor in the start and return fees.

The third argument, unique experience. Right, but what is unique? Of course it is unique to drive a TukTuk for the first time. But with you, a lot of tourists do this too. And again, who better to show you the most beautiful places than a local does? In addition, super relaxed to cover 200 kilometers by TukTuk at 40 km/h at > 30 degrees.

Using a TukTuk as a taxi (i.e. letting you drive) instead of renting a TukTuk through a rental company and driving yourself can have many benefits for the local economy.

Fourthly, using a TukTuk taxi creates direct employment for local drivers. By hiring them, you help create and maintain jobs in the transportation industry. This has a positive impact on the income of these drivers and their families, enabling them to improve their livelihoods.

Tuktuk in Colombo
Shamila, Coconut and Mango next to our Driver Ranjeeth.

In addition, the use of TukTuk taxis contributes to the local economy because the drivers are often part of cooperatives or local taxi companies. These companies pay taxes, permits and other charges, contributing to the local government and community. Thus, the money earned from the TukTuk taxis largely remains in the local economy and can be invested in community development.

In addition, the use of TukTuk taxis increases tourism activities and spending. Travelers who choose to take a TukTuk taxi contribute directly to the local economy by paying transportation costs. In addition, drivers can advise tourists on local attractions, restaurants and shops, generating additional income for other businesses in the area.

Finally, using TukTuk taxis provides an authentic and cultural experience for travelers. Interacting with local drivers gives a chance to learn more about the culture, traditions and daily life of the region. This creates a valuable exchange between the local population and tourists, and contributes to a positive experience of the destination.

In short, using TukTuk taxis has many benefits for the local economy. It creates employment, stimulates local businesses and contributes to community development. In addition, it offers travelers a unique experience and the opportunity to have a positive impact during their journey.

So, next time you're traveling and need a TukTuk, consider supporting a local driver and contributing to the destination's thriving economy.

Another option is to opt for the 'pick me' app, the Sinhala version of Uber. Safe, reliable and very reasonably priced.

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