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I didn’t realize just how many people are looking for private drivers and private tour guides in Taiwan until I started my Taiwan Travel Planning group. It is definitely one of the most common FAQs about Taiwan. People in the group are constantly asking for private driver, car charter, and private guide recommendations.
However, hiring a private driver in Taiwan that you found in a Facebook group or a recommendation from other travelers has some potential legal and insurance issues.
I’ve put together this article to clarify these issues, and to give some Taiwan driver and private guide recommendations that I have personally vetted.
Legal Concerns about Hiring Drivers/Guides in Taiwan
Here is an important fact about Taiwan: In order for a driver in Taiwan to take you around, they legally must have a commercial driver’s license. Driving anyone besides your friends/family for pay without a commercial driver’s license is illegal.
Second, even with a commercial driving license, these drivers are not legally allowed to introduce places to you (i.e. be a guide) unless they ALSO have a tour guide license. Last but not least, among those guides in Taiwan with a tour guide license, only a very small percentage of them have an English tour guide license.
Besides this legal concern, going with an unlicensed driver or guide could cause you major insurance problems if something bad happens on your Taiwan trip. Licensed guides and drivers usually work through a travel agency, which provides additional insurance besides whatever travel insurance you may or may not happen. In other words, if something bad happens while touring with an unlicensed guide, it could cost you a lot of money.
Taiwan Private Driver Recommendations
If you need a single-day or multi-day driver in Taiwan, I recommend the following three, all licensed:
- ParkBus Taiwan ([email protected]) is a day and multi-day tour provider focussing on nature-based and cultural experiences across Taiwan. They have access to a network of private drivers and guides for destinations around Taiwan. They can also arrange buses for larger groups and provide custom tour planning
- David M. Liaw of My Taiwan Journey is an enthusiastic member of my Facebook group, often sharing his detailed knowledge of Taiwan’s remote high mountain roads. He has a commercial driving license and English tour guide license.
- Steven Hsieh of Love Travel has a commercial driving license and can take you anywhere in Taiwan. His travel agency can also provide car rentals.
You can also find single-day drivers for various locations in Taiwan on Klook. If you sign up for Klook with this link first, you’ll get a free credit applied to your first booking.
All of these are licensed and insured, so I highly recommend them. The ones that say “private driver” (or “car charter” on Klook) means that can take you around to multiple spots, with a customized schedule. The ones that say “private transfer” means that just take you from Point A to Point B. Shared transfer means that it will be in a van or minibus with other travelers.
- Private Driver for Taipei (half-day and full-day available, and can do day trips from Taipei)
- Private Driver for Yangmingshan National Park (see the most famous hikes in Yangmingshan)
- Private Driver for Jiufen and Shifen area (see my Jiufen and Shifen guides)
- Private Driver for Yilan (see my Yilan guide)
- Private Driver for East Coast (see my Taiwan east coast guide)
- Priavte Driver for Taroko Gorge (see my Taroko Gorge guide)
- Shared Transfer from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake (see my Sun Moon Lake guide)
- Private Transfer from Taichung to Cingjing Farm
- Shared Transfer from Taichung to Cingjing Farm
- Private or shared transfer from Sun Moon Lake to Cingjing Farm
- Private Driver for visiting Sun Moon Lake and Cingjing Farm in one day
- Private transfer from Kaohsiung to Kenting (see my Kaohsiung guide)
- Private Driver for Tainan (see my Tainan guide)
- 3-Day Driver from Taipei to Cingjing Farm, Sun Moon Lake, and Alishan (see my Alishan guide)
- Private transfer from any city to Alishan
- Private transfer from Taichung to Alishan (with stop in Fenqihu!)
You can also get licensed private drivers on the Tripool app. These can be booked for point-to-point trips anywhere in Taiwan or for an hourly rate. For point-to-point service, there is a surcharge for making stops on the way. There may also be a surcharge for going to high-elevation places like Alishan. Any questions you have about it are likely answered on their FAQ page.
Finally, you can find contact information for some private drivers if you do a search in my Facebook group. However, unless I was the one recommending them, I can’t guarantee that they are licensed and/or legit.
Please don’t post a question asking for private drivers in my group, though. I am no longer accepting such posts because there are so many of them, and because I can’t control or guarantee that the recommendations you receive there will be licensed/legal.
Taiwan Private Guide Recommendations
If you want someone to drive you around and also introduce places to you (i.e. be a tour guide), then I again recommend Parkbus Taiwan or David M. Liaw of My Taiwan Journey.
If you’re looking for a private guide for a single day or destination in Taiwan, a lot of them can be found on Klook. Klook is a platform that lists guided tours from a variety of local providers. These are small group tours with English speaking guides. Most of them drop you at the destinations and give you some space to explore by yourself.
If you sign up for any of the Klook ones with this link first, you’ll get a free credit applied to your first booking.
- Guided day tour of Taipei’s landmarks
- Guided day tour to Beitou and Yangmingshan
- Guided day tour to Shifen, Jiufen, and Yehliu (including Golden Waterfall in photo above!)
- Guided day tour to Heping Island in Keelung, Jiufen, and Shifen (see my Keelung guide)
- Guided day tour to Taipingshan from Taipei
- Guided day tour Taroko Gorge from Taipei or from Hualien on Klook, or these ones by IslandLife Taiwan
- Guided day tour to Sun Moon Lake (read about all my recommended Sun Moon lake guided tours here)
- Guided day tour in Taichung (see my Taichung guide)
- Guided day tour from Chiayi to Alishan, Kaohsiung to Alishan or Taichung to Alishan
- Guided day tour of Kenting
- Guided Tainan tour from Kaohsiung
- Guided Kaohsiung day tour (including Fo Guang Shan Monastery)
You can also find some recommended private tour guides in Taiwan if you do a search in my Facebook group. However, a few of the most highly recommended ones did not wish to be included in this article or officially recommended by me because they are already too busy and popular.
One of these English-speaking tour guides me that he already received so many requests after being recommended by word of mouth and by my group that he now has to pass on most requests to other guides that he knows. Like I said above, please don’t make a post in my group asking for a private guide, because I can’t control or guarantee that the offers you receive will be legal or legit guides.
Other Guided Tours in Taiwan
If you’d like to get out of the city for a day of hiking without worrying about the logistics, Parkbus Taiwan offers a variety of day trips around the island, often to remote or difficult-to-reach forest recreation areas. Use the discount code Spiritual10 to get 10% off any of them!
For multi-day fully personalized luxury tours of Taiwan, I recommend Life of Taiwan. They can do all the planning for you, prepare intimate cultural experiences, and they stay at some of the best hotels in Taiwan. They have family, tea, and culture-focused tours. They aren’t cheap, so please only make serious inquiries, and let them know that Nick sent you over.
Here are some other guided tours of Taiwan:
- This 5-day tour of Taiwan is a large tour English bus tour that visits several of Taiwan’s most famous attractions in a short period of time. It is only available on certain days and does not include Taipei, so you should include a few days of exploring Taipei on your own before or after your trip.
- If you prefer to go in a car with your own group, here’s a similar 5 day guided tour by car around Taiwan.
- This 3-Day Alishan and Sun Moon Lake tour departs from taipei, allowing you to see these two famous attractions without figuring out the complicated public transportation to them.
- This 4-day East Coast tour covers the remote east coast including Yilan, Hualien, and Taitung
If the above don’t match what you are looking for, then I suggest you consult a travel agent in your country to see what they have for Taiwan. I don’t recommend find guides in Facebook groups because you have no way to know who they really are and whether they are licensed or not.
I hope this clears up any questions you had about hiring a private guide or private driver in Taiwan. If you are a licensed private driver or guide in Taiwan and would like me to recommend you here, or you had a good experience with one, please don’t hesitate to contact me and share the details.
Also see my recommended Taiwan itinerary and favorite places to visit in Taiwan for more information for planning your trip.