Smart Money: Avoid getting ripped off by Taxi drivers

If you are traveling somewhere that you won’t have access to a car, then you more than likely will end up using a taxi at some point in the trip. While most taxi drivers and nice people who will not only provide transportation, but also share some great local knowledge, there are many who will take advantage.

The worst part about using a taxi is when the location that you are trying to get to is only 5 minutes away, wand somehow the fare ends up being way higher than you thought it should be. This happens to everybody. I hate getting frustrated and trying to argue with the taxi driver that the fare should be about ten or fifteen dollars cheaper. More often than not we just end up paying the cab driver and walk away blaming about how we got ripped off again. Here are some smart money tips to avoid getting ripped off by taxi drivers.

I.      Ask a local resident:

Whenever I arrive in a new destination, before even stepping out of my hotel, I always make sure to ask a reliable local how the taxi system works. Such reliable people include the staff in the guesthouse, the official information booth at the airport. Here are a few questions that would help:

  • Does the taxi use meters?
  • Do they have flat rates?
  • How much should it cost to reach my destination?

II.     Pretend you live in the area:

If you get into the cab with a map and ask how much it will cost or if you don’t know how to say the name of the place that you are going, then you are basically announcing that you aren’t from around there. The best thing to do is just nod at the cab driver when you get in and maybe even strike up a conversation. Doing these will let him know that you already know how much it should cost and they will assume that you’re a local.

III.     Negotiate a price before you get in:

You are even able to ask the driver how much you think it will cost and once they give you an estimate, you might be able to get it $5 or $10 cheaper. If they won’t budge on their price at all then you can just say you won’t take their cab and if they want your service then they will reconsider.

Make sure that you are able to see the meter. Some drivers hang their cap over the meter and once you reach the destination then they just tell you what the thing says. Sometimes you will have to test more than one or two cabs to find one that will have a price within your range. If you don’t have the time then you might just end up paying the expensive fee the way it is.

Doing these things will make your trip more enjoyable. Even though you might end up paying more than you think you should, this will save you time and frustration from arguing about what the fare should be.

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