Posted in: Misc

Uber in Kuala Lumpur – Hands On


Riding Uber in Kuala Lumpur! Wait this is not a Nuke Tips post!

Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with Uber nor do they sponsor it!

Everyone pretty much knows that the taxi services in Kuala Lumpur leave much to be desired so I wanted to share my experience in using Uber (while my next Nuke post will be up this coming Wednesday).


^A typical taxis seen around Kuala Lumpur. Photo credit: Wikipedia

The following list are some of the common issues with local taxis:

  1. Majority of the drivers don’t use the meter.
  2. Rarely you can find a comfy and good condition vehicle (read: boneshaker vehicle).
  3. Rude and arrogant drivers (for 9 out of 10 taxis that you attempt to flag down on the road).
  4. Stale and tobacco flavour air freshener if you’re unlucky.
  5. Did I mention it is really really expensive? (e.g.: a ride from Mandarin Pacific Hotel at Petaling Street to KL Sentral cost at least RM20)

How many rides have I taken?

I rode 31 trips of Uber since early this year after using a promotion code on Twitter that offer RM30 worth of ride.


As seen in the above screenshot, there is my profile (without a photo of my mugshot and obvious censor).

So a quick rundown before you can use Uber:

  1. You need a credit card or Visa/MasterCard/Amex/any major service debit card linked to your Uber account.
  2. Obviously a smartphone with your active phone number.
  3. At least 3G connection with GPS and Wifi enabled.

The very first trip was a Uber Black ride which happens to be a Nissan Teana and the trip only cost RM9 from Mandarin Pacific hotel at Petaling Street to KL Sentral!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, U Mobile was having a bad hair day I mean minute that resulted in the canceled trip for my second ride. Luckily the driver still managed to pick me up and mentioned about a passenger cancelling his pickup which happen to be me. So long story short, the ride only cost me RM6.50 from Kenanga Point to Sungei Wang Plaza.

On average, it takes around 5 to 10 mins for the driver to reach your requested pickup location from my experience.

My last trip was comfortable too with a nice comfy ride from Kelana Square back to Kenanga Point. In this case, I usually walk to Paradigm Mall as my office area aka Kelana Centre Point can be a frustrating pickup place for most drivers as they are not familiar with the location… but luckily this young gentleman was having his dinner at Kelana Square and to not waste time, I detour to Kelana Square as it is a 1 min walk from Paradigm Mall.

Not everything is comfy ride right?


Out of those 31 trips, there is only one trip that I slightly disappointed since the driver drove really slow on the Federal Highway (40KMph!) and one cancelled trip due to the driver failure to make sure his GPS is functioning (although I don’t buy his excuse since without GPS, how do they even pickup passengers?).

Although to be fair, not everything will be perfect but overall, most of my journey are excellent!

Technically, Uber is not legal right?

Well there is a risk that the local police might stop the car you’re on but I’ve yet to encounter such event.

I mean do you prefer to obey the law by riding expensive junk service by the local taxis or getting a fairer and better service through Uber?

Here’s my tips if you’re planning to use Uber regularly:

  1. Do chit-chat with the driver so that you learn the proper pickup location term. For example, there is two pickup place at Paradigm Mall at Kelana Jaya which is identify as lower lobby or upper lobby (fondly known as Coffee Bean entrance).
  2. If you get the screen where the Uber app ask to verify your phone, exit it and make sure you have enable your GPS, Wifi and mobile data.
  3. Look out for promo code frequently that Uber will email to you!
  4. Also try to SMS/text the driver indicating your location or at least your whereabouts so they can identify your pickup location better. Usually they will call you if they are near to your requested pickup location from my conversation with the drivers.
  5. If you’re not happy with your ride or pickup, Uber customer service is excellent! They reply promptly and didn’t charge my cancelled ride if you politely explained your situation.

With that said, if you’re in Malaysia and planning to give Uber a try, remember to use the referral code if this is your very first time! (obvious advertisement is obvious)