Hoi An Private Cars and Transfer Services

Ever wanted to hire a private driver while on vacation but thought it will be too much of a luxury? Well, guess again. Hoi An has some of the most affordable private transfer services in the world. Seriously, it’s so budget friendly, you can’t even call it a luxury! Since public services can be quite complicated here, the simplicity of private transport makes it an even more attractive option.

So, arrange for your own personal driver to be holding your name card up at the airport. Ready to relieve you of your bags and cares after a long haul flight. Get picked up from your hotel for that day trip to Da Nang and visit the Golden Bridge at your own leisure. Sit back in your air-conditioned car and enjoy not having to ride your bike in the tropical heat.

Below is everything you need to know about the best transfer services from Da Nang to Hoi An: which to choose, how to book and what to expect.

Hotel staff greet travelers at Da Nang Airport - Transfer Services
Hotel staff greet travellers at Da Nang Airport for their private transfer to Hoi An. .

Are Private Car Transfer Services Cheaper than Taxis?

Yes! Private transfers are cheaper than taxis and Grab cars (SE Asian taxi app). This is because taxi drivers in Vietnam don’t get a base salary. They get paid a commission of the fare charged. Usually making just 30% of each fare, so the overall fare is inflated to cover this.

On the contrary, private drivers either work for themselves or enjoy base salary and commissions. Meaning they can be more competitive. Out of the 20,000 VND (.90 USD), they charge for an airport fare, they either earn the whole amount or a small commission on top of their monthly salary. After costs, they are still making the same, if not more, than cab drivers.

Hidden Hint: Private cars have more flexibility to bargain the price with you. Especially for return day trips that include waiting time.

Which leaves us to what is important to remember in Hoi An. Private transfers are ideal for longer trips on the outskirts of Hoi An. They are more affordable and just as reliable as taxis or Grabs. Leave the latter for short in-town distances, where private cars will not assist you. They prefer to take on longer rides.  

Hoi An Private Car Prices

DestinationHoi An to Hue
One way
Hoi An to Ba Na Hills
Return
Hoi An to My Son
Return
Hoi An to Da Nang Airport
One way
Price in VND1,100,000 VND550,000 VND650,000 VND250,000 VND
Price in USD47 USD25 USD30 USD10 USD
Mai Linh taxi drivers wait for passengers - Transfer Services -
Vietnam’s Mai Linh taxi drivers wait for passengers in Hoi An. Mai Linh Taxi phone number: 02353 929292

What are the Benefits of Using a Private Car Transfer Service?

Private transfers are for anyone wishing to travel to the outskirts of Hoi An hassle-free, at their own leisure and likes door-to-door service. If you’re more of a car person, don’t really like riding motorbikes and usually rent cars or use taxis on vacation, then a private transfer is for you. In fact, hiring a driver is basically your only valid option. We would never advise you to rent a car here. Many driving rules remain a mystery, making traffic unpredictable and dangerous if you’re not a local.

Private transfers are an excellent option for families wishing for flexibility so they aren’t reliant on other travellers. By hiring a driver, you don’t have to drag your journey out any longer with multiple shuttle drop-offs. You also have the option of curtailing your trip if the littlies get tired, overheated or are unwell.

Finally, private transfers are ideal for groups of 3 or more who prefer riding together and sharing the experience along the way. In this fashion, you can sit back with your friends, enjoy the scenery, your own music and of course the cost split. In fact, the bigger your group the better off you are with a private car. Surprisingly enough, in the mecca of scooters, cars here are big, new and very luxurious. Well, if you think that the average Vietnamese can transport at least four generations of his family on their scooter, all at the same time. Their cars should be able to carry more people to add real value!

Minibus driver poses on his vehicle - Transfer Services
A minibus driver poses by the Hoi An painting decorating his vehicle

Private Car Transfer Options

When hiring a private car in Hoi An, you have 3 options: 4 seater/ 7 seater/ 16 seater. Of course, the cost varies between the three options, but the increase in price is not proportional to the increase in the number of people. Renting a 7 seater is slightly more expensive than a 4 seater and respectively a 16 seater is slightly more expensive than a 7 seater. Keep this in mind when booking, especially if you have a group of 4 with a lot of luggage. It’s definitely cheaper to book a 7 seater, so you can have extra room for your luggage than two 4 seaters.

How To Book a Private Transfer Car 

The best and easiest way to book a private transfer service in Hoi An is through your hotel. They usually have a trustworthy driver they collaborate with and can arrange for your airport or any other long distance transfer. Most hotels charge a little extra – usually 50,000 VND (2.2 USD) – for the service they provide. But the final price is still less than the cost of a metered taxi or Grab, plus it saves you from the hassle of organising it yourself.

If you wish to, you can contact the driver yourself, to avoid the extra charge. But you will be facing at least two main problems. First, you will need to find the number of a trustworthy driver. Quite challenging by itself if you are in town only for a couple of days and don’t really know anyone here. Secondly, there’s likely to be a communication barrier, since most drivers speak basic to no English.

Man opening his vehicle
Contact your driver directly for the best price

Hidden Hint: What’s App or Messenger are very popular in Hoi An for booking private transfers. They break down the language barrier. Even if your driver doesn’t speak English, he can use Google translate and text you back.

 

Transfer Service Companies

The third option is to contact a transfer service company. There are quite a few offices in Hoi An that offer private transfers and tours. An email or phone call to them will have a driver at your hotel in no time.  

Keep in mind that private cars need to be booked in advance. The driver might need from a few minutes to a few days notice. This will depend on how far you would like to go and how late in the day you need a driver. A typical rule of thumb is to contact the driver at least 24 hours before your trip. Please note that although you can occupy a driver 24/7, the cost of the ride slightly increases after 22:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.

A private driver arrives in Hoi An - Transfer Services
A private driver arrives in Hoi An. You can expect very professional service from these drivers

Private Transfer Destinations

Da Nang Airport, Train Station & Da Nang City Centre 

The most common reason to book a private transfer in Hoi An is to go to Da Nang, just 30km north of Hoi An. Mainly because both the closest airport and train station are located there.

The truth is, there are quite a few transfer options to reach Da Nang from Hoi An. You can take the local bus, shuttle bus, tourist bus, metered taxis, Grab cars, motorbike or private car. Refer to our article on How to Get from Da Nang to Hoi An for further information.

Our preferred option is to hire a private car. It will save you both money and time, plus it will make you feel extra pampered. Your driver will meet you at your hotel, help you with your luggage and take you directly to your destination.

Most private cars are new, spacious and very clean. For around 200,000 VND (8.5 USD) you and your group can enjoy a comfortable ride for the final leg of your Hoi An trip. If you divide the cost to the number of persons that a 4 seater can sit, then we are talking about only 50,000 VND (2 USD)/ per person. A really great deal!

A driver collects his passengers
A driver collects his passengers for the trip from Hoi An to Da Nang

Private Car Day Trips from Hoi An

Another popular reason to hire a private car is to take a short day trip to one of the areas surrounding Hoi An. There’s so much to see around here: historical monuments, stunning passes, breathtaking views and surreal fantasy parks. From Hoi An you can easily get a driver to visit Ba Na Hills, My Son, Marble Mountains, Tam Thanh Mural Village, Da Nang City, Hai Van Pass, Elephant Springs, Lady Buddha, the Son Tra Peninsula, Monkey Mountain and even Hue.  

Hidden Hint: Some of these destinations can easily be combined in to one day when you hire a private car. Ask your hotel, agency or driver for more information.

Benefits of Using Private Car Transfers for Day Trips

Private transfers to Hoi An’s outskirts are common and as such fairly priced, offering great value for money. There’s nothing like having your own personal driver waiting for you, in an air-conditioned car, after a long day exploring and sightseeing under the hot tropical sun.

Price and trip duration varies according to the size of the car you need, the number of places you visit, the hours you’re there and if you would like a tour guide with you. A very good indicator of how much it will cost you to hire a driver for such a trip is Hoi An Transfer’s travel agency website. Here you get an instant quote, simply by selecting your desired destination, type of trip (one way or round) and a number of people.

Hidden Hint: If you’re booking a return trip, make sure you have internet access on your phone and the driver’s Whats App details, for pick up. Don’t stick to plate number, another driver and/or car may pick you up.

The Golden Hand Bridge at Ba Na Hills
The Golden Hand Bridge at Ba Na Hills is one of the most common private car trips from Hoi An. Photo: Kristen Wells

What to Expect When Hiring a Private Car 

Hiring a private car is as random as ordering a taxi. You never know what kind of car or driver you’re going to get. On a positive note, most of the cars we have come across in our time there have been quite luxurious and great value for money. The tricky part in Hoi An is the driver and their overall communication. Since most of them speak very basic, if any, English. What’s more, if you happen to travel after hours, most of them tend to speed as soon as they find an empty road. A good idea would be to have your phone charged and google translate ready.  This way you can tell them to slow down (đi chậm) or convey anything else you might need.

The best way to get a quality driver is to book through your hotel or a highly recommended office or agency. Hidden recommends Same Same But Better transport services. The owner, Mr Vu, has been in the hospitality industry for more than 10 years, speaks excellent English and delivers high-level service. The best way to reach him is to send a message through Facebook. He replies within minutes with very competitive prices.

Besides Da Nang city centre, airport and train station transfers, he also covers all sorts of destinations from Hoi An and more importantly – knows his way around. Besides transport, he can also help you with great travel tips on nearby destinations. He manages three cars (4, 7 and 16 seaters) and occupies three drivers. Contact him for airport transfers preferably the day before (but he can do the same day if you forget!)  For any other trip or after-hours pickups, he needs a day’s notice.

Private transfers
Private transfers are available by car, 7 seater and minibus.

Hidden Thoughts

Private car transfer is definitely one of the best ways to get to Hoi An from Da Nang and for day trips around Hoi An. First and foremost because it is so budget friendly, especially for big groups of friends and families. It’s also ideal for older couples allowing flexibility to change your plans if necessary. You feel like you’re being treated to a posher lifestyle! That is the best part of Southeast Asia after all, that you can suddenly afford all sorts of previously unattainable luxuries!

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