Should I take Uber or a Taxi from MIA to South Beach?

Feb 8, 2015

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TPG reader David tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy– “Miami Airport (MIA) to South Beach and vice versa. Which should I take: Uber or airport taxi?” 

Today I’m answering questions from the gorgeous Andaz Maui in Hawaii. Here’s the deal: I love Uber. I’ve used it all around the world, from Paris to to Los Angeles, but I really dislike Uber in Miami for several reasons.

I’m certainly happy that Uber X exists in Miami. We’re certainly better off with it than without it; sometimes on busy weekends you can’t get a taxi in Miami, like during Art Basel, and Uber X makes it feasible to get around.

However, it is just Uber X, meaning no official drivers. Basically anyone who wants to drive can, and I’ve had more than a few frustrating situations with drivers having no idea where they’re going. It’s also actually illegal in Miami, so when you get picked up at the airport, they have to be really shady about it so they don’t get in trouble. I’ve been asked to sit in the front seat before so the airport police won’t catch on. Also, they can’t really hang out at the airport and wait, so they often have to make the loop around. I’ve had instances where it says four minutes, and forty-four minutes later, I’m still waiting!

As much as I dislike Miami taxis, I dislike Miami Uber X even more. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
As much as I dislike Miami taxis, Miami Uber X has its problems too. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As much as I dislike Miami taxis (they never let you use credit cards and are often shady) at least they usually know where they’re going, and you can typically get one right away when you leave the airport. Taxis to South Beach are typically about $35. Uber might be slightly cheaper (especially if you have an Uber credit), but it may be more hassle than it’s worth.

I can’t wait until Uber (and not just Uber X) is actually legal in Miami, and they bring in official black cars and drivers. If you ever want to get a black car from Miami airport to South Beach, that 15-minute ride is going to cost you about $90+!

So really, both of the options kinda stink, but I would probably go with a taxi. Good luck and let’s hope Uber becomes legal in Miami soon!

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

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