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Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

Kansas City...
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Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

Hi everyone,

I have not been to Jamaica but am going for the first time with my wife in late April. I am looking into hiring a driver for transfers/and or tours and have been quoted some prices. It is my understanding that many things in Jamaica are "haggleable." Have any of you haggled over prices with private tour drivers? If so what was your experience and how much were you able to "haggle down?"

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio
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1. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

I suppose you could tell the driver you prefer about a cheaper quote you got and see if s/he'll match it. I generally pay private drivers what they quote since I've used them all for years and know their prices are fair.

Short-run taxi trips are another matter because i'll take any red plate that pulls over for me, in general.. I offer a price and ask if they'll accept it. No haggling, just an offer they can decline or accept. No bad feelings that way. But you need to know a fair price in advance.

Norwalk, Connecticut
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2. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

If you are smart enough to plan you private tour with a driver BEFORE going on vacation ...you can eliminate ALL OF that nonesense AHEAD OF TIME !

BTW--You do NOT HAGGLE with a private driver that has posted rates here or on the internet once you arrive in Jamaica.

You do haggle with some driver you know nothing about and you've flagged down on the streets.

Me personally --I do not want to haggle --so I set my private drivers up befrore I travel whenever I can do so.

If I am given a fair price --I pay the man. Period !!

massachusetts
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517 posts
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3. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

if the price seems reasonable, get in . remember these guys are struggling too.To haggle to much becomes disrespectfull .enjoy Jamaica

massachusetts
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517 posts
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4. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

barter sounds nicer than haggle.

Bodega, California
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5. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

Well, barter is not the right word either, unless you have something of value to TRADE, but that doesn't fly in Jamaica anymore.

I have drivers I use when I'm there - a few of them so if one is not available, perhaps the other is etc. These guys have been my drivers and friends for decades but when I ask a price from them and it seems high, I'll question it, negotiate it to a lower rate perhaps with some concessions, i.e., lunch/dinner, inclusion in the activity etc. Basically after many years using the same drivers we are mostly on the same page regarding ride prices, near and far.

For example: We'd hire a van to take us to Rebel Salute when it was in St. Elizabeth, from Negril. Along with the negotiated price we would pay for our driver's dinner and his ticket into the show.

Another example: Our motorcycle broke down in Long Bay (by Port Antonio) and we were placed in a position where we had to hire a driver there, we knew just about no one there, to take us back to Negril. Originally our driver wanted $300USD but we negotiated the price down to $200 and allowed him to pick up his route passengers between Long Bay and Buff Bay. It added some time to our trip but were none worse the wear for it and it save us $100.

Remember when you are negotiating though that gas prices are very high in Jamaica and there are a whole new slew of taxes that have been imposed on properly licensed drivers there. Transportation costs have gone up. I don't agree that you necessarily have to book your drivers in advance online but there are many that can be contacted so that you can compare prices and you can book when you get there.

Kansas City...
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6. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

Thank you all for the feedback.

As I am a first time traveler to Jamaica I am just trying to get a better understanding of the general process and fairness of transport costs. I didn't know if most private drivers quoted a high price expecting to hear a counteroffer, then meeting in the middle. I do like a deal but understand that the drivers have families, homes, etc. I plan on tipping well. I am the kind of traveler that likes to plan ahead for my major events on vacation such as hiring a driver for a half day or day, and being more spontaneous (with researching the area well ahead of time) about going to nearer locations such as the nearby town, museum, or the beach. I have contacted a good number of drivers via e-mail about various customized tours and am seeing that prices can vary quite a bit.

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7. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

Do you recommend a private driver? I will be needing one I Montego Bay later this month?

Central Ohio
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for Negril, Port Antonio
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8. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

When comparing offers do note whether the quote is for 1-2-whatever people, if admission to anything is included or not, if you'll be able to stop along the way, what type of vehicle you will be in.

It helps to compare apples to apples.

Norwalk, Connecticut
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9. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

Some folks like to travel by the seat of their pants as far as the travel goes.....but I am not one of them.

I say make your arangements ahead---because the whole thing of getting a car and driver is a big pain anyway---no matter what.

If you handle it in advance --you have nothing but Peace on your trip--as you will know who is coming for you and the charges in advance.

Its win / win to me all the way around......I just don't want to waste time on my vacation wondering and bagaining with a private car and driver--which I already know I will be hiring anyway. Save time and do it in advance.

10. Re: Haggling with private drivers over Tour and Taxi quotes

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