I came back from a 8d trip, with a family of 8pax. We covered basically Taipei > Hualien and back to Taipei. Instead of taking a bigger car/van which could fit all of us, we opted for 2 smaller cars instead, coz half of the group are elderly folks, and we wanted to travel comfortably with enough space for luggage too.
It's our first time hiring a full-day driver, and I'd say ours, Mr Jin and Mr Wong, are both superb. Not only knowledgeable, they are careful and responsible drivers too. Very helpful with taking care of the elderly and also caarrying our luggage, and also recommending places which initially werent in our list of itineraries. They also informed us on what attractions are worth visiting, and what's special there. To us, they are not mere drivers, they seemed like local tour guides to us. Another thing to note, they DON'T force/bring us to go to places (eg: souvenir shops) which they could get commissions from, or if we dont want to go.
Mr Jin is based in Hualien (he's extremely knowledgeable especially if it comes to places like Taroko Gorge, Hehuanshan, etc... and Mr Wong is based in Taipei. But both of them fetch ppl around Taiwan too. In terms of prices, it usually depends on your route and places you wish to go to, from there they will quote you the price. Both have been very nice, i'd quote a few eg here:
- Initially our day trip is scheduled for 8 hrs per day, but most of the time, we actually exceeded and used up to 12 hrs
- On the day to Jiufen, we were supposed to top up another amount if we wish to go to PingXi and Shifen Waterfall (this was agreed upon in our email correspondence. The night before, I told Mr Jin that we would cancel that part as time didnt permit. But the next morning, both drivers managed to arrange for us and brought us there, and in the end didnt charge a single cent extra too!
- they also treated us local snacks/food from shops that tourists normally don't frequent, and didnt want to accept any cash for them
You can also arrange with them for pickup/send off to Taoyuan airport. The rate is definitely cheaper than hotel arrangement or other cabbies' arrangement. Do PM me if anyone's interested for their contacts :) Mr Jin especially is fully booked most of the time, so do plan your trip early if you wish to hire him.