Taxis in Europe

For one reason or another, you might find yourself in need of cab while on vacation in Europe. However, even experienced travelers can feel apprehensive about catching a ride out of fear of getting scammed. The tips below can help you a hail a cab with confidence.

Use taxi stands

Ignore drivers that approach you and head to the nearest taxi stand. Taxi stands are usually marked on maps with a “T” or you can ask a local to point you in the direction of the nearest one.  

Have your hotel call you a cab

When staying at a nice hotel you can rely on them to call a reputable cab company. Just remember, when you call ahead for a cab, they’ll arrive with a couple of Euros already on the meter.

Find out how much your trip should cost

 It’s a good idea to ask a concierge or your travel director about how much you should expect to pay for the ride so there aren’t any surprises. Don’t sweat a difference of a couple of Euros, since some extra charges for luggage or late night rides are legitimate. But if a cabbie charges you 2x or 3x the rate you expected just leave a reasonable amount on the back seat and get out. 

Know the address of your destination

Don’t assume that your driver knows every restaurant or hotel in the city. Know how to say the address and have it written down just in case.

Broken meter? Get out

If a driver claims their meter is broken just get of the cab. Avoid the temptation to stay in the cab even if they offer to turn it on as you’re leaving. If they tried to scam you once, they’ll probably look for another way to rip you off.

Carry change

One of the most common taxi ploys, some drivers will claim they don’t have change. Carrying small bills and coins makes this a non-issue. When you pay your driver, pay them slowly and count as you go so that they can’t claim you’ve underpaid. Watch you driver closely as they give you your change, as another frequent scam is to swap larger bills for smaller ones.

Avoid flat fees

Be wary of flat fees. More often than not these rates are higher than what you’d normally pay for a metered trip.

Say no to driver recommendations

If a friendly driver recommends taking you to a restaurant or shop, politely refuse by telling them you’re meeting a friend at your destination and you don’t want to be late. Otherwise you could end up in a seedy establishment pressured to buy a meal or goods that you don’t want in hopes that the driver will receive a small kick back.

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