Uber works in Argentina. Uber Eats is gone but Uber ride sharing still functions. And Uber can be convenient at times in Argentina. Particularly in Buenos Aires when you’re travelling from the Airport or Buquebus terminals.
Uber Is A Grey Area In Argentina – When To Call An Uber In Buenos Aires
If the taxis see you using an Uber you’ll get a nasty look. And an Uber won’t be allowed into the same pickup and drop-off zones as the taxis. But nothing ever escalates and I’ve never seen anything resembling the violence international media describes. Yet I only use Uber when a taxi driver is trying to run a scam.
In Buenos Aires you’ll find taxi drivers trying to scam tourists around the Buquebus terminal and at Ezeiza International Airport. There will usually be a few taxis (or what look like taxis) lined up waiting for foreigners.
These taxis targeting foreigners will try to drive you to your destination for a ‘fixed fee’. Which will be several times what it would cost with the meter running.
Taxis in Buenos Aires that are doing the right thing, have meters in the upper section of the passenger side windshield. And they will have the details for their taxi company on the door of the cab.
If a taxi doesn’t have a meter stuck to the windshield or company details on the door of the cab, it’s a scam. If they’re telling you its a ‘fixed fee’ to your destination then it’s a scam.
In either scenario I will give the cab driver trying to scam me a few choice words in Spanish. And then I’ll let them watch me call an Uber.
It’s only really in the types of scenarios where I find myself dealing with taxi scams that I will preference an Uber over a cab. Because in Buenos Aires getting a cab is often much quicker, easier and cheaper.
Set Uber To Cash Payment In Buenos Aires
Don’t pay Uber with a foreign credit card in Argentina. You’ll get the official exchange rate applied to your transactions if you pay for your Uber using a foreign credit card.
The official exchange rate applied to electronic transactions is often 2.5x less than the real exchange rate known as the Dolar Blue. Meaning your Uber ride will cost 2.5x what it would be if you paid cash.
The other thing I’ve noticed with Uber is that their prices in peso cash are often much higher than what a real metered Buenos Aires cab costs. And this is likely something to do with Uber adding its fee, which it calculates at the offical rate, on top of the transaction.
This added fee is one of the reasons why some Uber drivers in Buenos Aires won’t pick you up if you’re paying by card. While others won’t pick you up if you’re paying cash.
Ubers in Buenos Aires will randomly cancel your pickup if they don’t like your payment method. Or if it isn’t the payment method they want that day.
They will also randomly cancel your pickup if they don’t like your pickup location or destination. Or they will all go offline and then surge pricing will go nuts and you’ll see prices like A$20,000 for a ride that a metered cab would charge A$800 for.
Final Thoughts – Uber In Buenos Aires
Uber is my sometimes app. I’ll use it only if a cab driver is trying to scam me and I can’t find another cab. Which is extremely rare. In Buenos Aires, cabs are everywhere, beeping, all of the time.
You’d be hard pressed to find a street without cabs. And often if you walk to the next corner you’ll find hundreds of them.
At all hours of the day and night in Buenos Aires there are cabs cruising around with their little ‘libre’ (free) lights on indicating they’re available. They’ll be cruising slowly by and honking at you to see if you want a ride. Even if you’re only going one block.
In comparison to the ever abundant supply of taxis, an Uber will be 10-20 minutes away. Cabs are (most of the time) more convenient and cheaper.
Where Can I Get More Information About Buenos Aires?
If you’re interested in Buenos Aires or Argentina in general you should visit our Complete Buenos Aires City Guide.
The Complete Buenos Aires City Guide is updated regularly. And it seeks to answer all of your questions regarding Buenos Aires and Argentina in one place.
You can read the Complete Buenos Aires City Guide for free here.