Can You Hire a Private Driver in Samoa?
Yes, you can and it’s very common to hire a driver in Samoa. Hiring a driver for a couple of hours to even a few days can be a cost-effective way to see the sights in Samoa. It often works out the same or a little more expensive than hiring a car, making it a good alternative to car rental without the stress of having to drive in a foreign country yourself. Private drivers will take you where you ask them to go, giving you full flexibility to explore Samoa at your own pace. However, private drivers aren’t exactly easy to find until you arrive on the islands. We’ll explain further in this guide to hiring a driver in Samoa.
3 Tips for Hiring a Driver in Samoa
- Approach drivers with a plan of attractions you want to visit and which accommodation you’re staying at; remember you’re more in control of your itinerary when hiring a driver. If you’d rather leave your day trip itinerary to the experts, a guided tour with a tour company may be the preferable option – see the 10 Best Day Tours of Samoa for examples
- Have a good rapport with your taxi driver from the airport? Ask if they offer day hires for sightseeing and get their phone number!
- Hiring a driver through your accommodation is a good way to ensure the driver works well with tourists, for example, by providing some commentary as opposed to the occasional taxi driver who does not speak English well.
Where to Hire a Driver in Samoa
Although Samoa is made up of approximately 10 islands, it’s only the two largest islands where you can hire a driver (they are the only islands with roads!)
Drivers can be hired on the islands of Upolu and Savai’i. On Upolu, the easiest places to hire a driver from are Faleolo International Airport and the capital Apia, while Savai’i’s private drivers are easiest hired from Salelologa where the ferry terminal is located, as well as at some of the island’s resorts.
How to Hire a Driver in Samoa
Now that you know “where”, the next question is “how do you hire a driver in Samoa?” There are three main ways to hire a private driver in Samoa and, no, they’re not easy to find with a quick Google search!
Hiring a Taxi Driver
Many taxi drivers across Samoa are happy to transport passengers to various sights, charging a flat rate for the day or an hourly rate if it looks like the trip isn’t going to take that long.
How to Hire a Taxi Driver in Samoa
Taxi drivers in Samoa are pretty old-school when it comes to “marketing” their services. You won’t find any websites and the most you may find online is a Facebook Page. But for the most part, taxi operators can only be accessed via their Samoa telephone number. With that in mind, check out some Samoa taxi driver numbers in Taxis in Samoa: Taxi Fares, How to Use & More and make a few calls for quotes.
On the other hand, many travellers in Samoa who have a good rapport with taxi drivers when travelling from the airport simply ask if they offer private driver services, get their phone number and work it out from there.
Tips for Hiring a Taxi Driver in Samoa
- When asking for a quote, go in with a plan of some places you’d like to visit and your accommodation
- Note that you might not be able to see everything in one day; the islands are pretty big, so you could be hiring for two or three days
- Try to get a taxi driver that speaks good English, otherwise, you can miss out on a lot of interesting information as you’re travelling.
Learn more about taxi drivers in Samoa using Taxis in Samoa: Taxi Fares, How to Use & More.
Hiring a Private Driver Through Your Accommodation
One of the best ways to book a private driver in Samoa is through your accommodation – they all have either local tour guides or taxi drivers who they are working with and know are qualified to provide a decent service for tourists.
If you want to have a driver booked before you arrive in Samoa, perhaps to pick you up from the airport, then email your chosen accommodation and ask for a private driver or if they can put you in touch with one.
Alternatively, you can always ask to hire a driver at your accommodation’s reception or travel desk once you are in Samoa.
Haven’t booked your accommodation yet? Start with Where to Stay in Samoa: The Best Accommodations in Samoa.
Hiring a Private Driver with a Car Rental Company
One final way you can hire a private driver in Samoa is by hiring a driver through a car rental company. This is one of the easiest ways to book a driver before you arrive in Samoa, as Samoa’s car rental companies tend to have an online presence where they can be contacted through their website, email or Facebook.
On the downside, this is also one of the most expensive ways to hire a driver in Samoa, as you’ll be charged the cost of the vehicle rental, driver service and for fuel used.
The Cost of Private Drivers in Samoa
Private drivers play by their own rules when it comes to pricing so, in most cases, it all comes down to negotiation when hiring a driver in Samoa.
Hiring a private driver in Samoa for the day usually comes between ST$160 and $200.
With this price being comparable to renting a car for the day, especially considering that those hiring a car also have to pay for fuel and a Temporary Driver’s License, scoring a private driver for the day at this price is arguably a very good deal. Compare hiring a driver to the cost of renting a car yourself by checking out The Cost of Renting a Car in Samoa: Full Car Rental Cost Breakdown.
Expect more competitive rates for hiring a driver on Upolu, while most quotes that we see from Savai’i are usually around the ST$200 mark.
As mentioned, hiring a driver through a car rental company is likely to cost more than the estimate stated above.
More About Hiring a Private Driver in Samoa
That’s it for our advice on how to hire a driver in Samoa. For more tips on hiring a driver, as well as other ways of getting around, take a look at the following guides:
- Which is Better, Renting a Car or Using a Taxi in Samoa?
- What You Need to Hire a Car in Samoa
- 10 Best Sightseeing Tours in Samoa
Finally, for more transport options, take a look at Samoa Transport Guide: 14 Best Ways to Get Around Samoa.