Monday, March 21, 2011

Drinking? Hire a Designated Driver!

The drinking culture is alive and, well, drunk in Korea. Couple that with the fact that almost everyone has a car, and you can see where things have the potential to go. So what's a man to do when he wants to go out and get smashed, but doesn't want to leave his car at the bar?

Enter: The Designated Driver for Hire

In many Korean cities and towns there is a service called Daeri Unjeon [대리운전] (lit: "substitute driver"). When you're ready to go home, the substitute driver will show up at your place of drinking and drive you home - in your own car. Someone else will come to pick up the driver later.

The kicker: When I used the  대리운전 for the first time over the weekend, it was the same price as a taxi. Exactly.

Apparently this service is catching on in some US cities as well.

The next time you're at the bar, ask the staff for the number for a substitute driver, and store it in your phone. You never know when you might need it.


  1. I've just spent 30 minutes looking through your impressive blog. Some great insights into Korean culture with more analysis and interest than that offered in many other sites. I added you to my blog list, I hope that's okay.

  2. thanks a lot nick, i dig your site and your take on korean culture as well. i added you to my bloglist and will definitely be back.

  3. We need this knowledge to be wide spread, it's a service that most US states will take advantage of. The only drawback is that if it's just as pricey as a taxi, why not just take a taxi instead of your car? It should be competitive enough to make a designated driver for higher more desirable.

  4. Anonymous12:12 PM

    There's a similar service where I live in the states. You call a number, and a guy will show up on a little collapsible motorscooter that can be put in the trunk of your car. He'll drive you home, take a small fee, and hop onto his scooter to go drive someone else home. Pretty nifty.

  5. This is a really cool alternative to taking a taxi. I would love to have my car on a night out then to get a taxi, especially if its the same price!

  6. The 대리운전 service will not necessarily have to be less costly than getting a cab home to be competitive. Most people are looking to have their car driven home, so that they can drive to work the next day. Most would be willing to pay just as much or even more than a taxi for this.

  7. Wow it's a great post. Designated Drivers offer driving service to avoid drunk driving. They drive you and your car home safely and affordably. Thanks for sharing...
    Designated Driver Service


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