At some point during your vacation, you will likely find yourself in need of a cab. Even experienced travelers can feel apprehensive about navigating a new city and getting a reasonable fare. Follow our tips below and hail a cab with confidence.
Use Reputable Taxis
Taxi stands are usually marked with a "T" or ask a local to point you to the nearest one. Ignore drivers that approach you off the street and make sure your driver's license is clearly visible in the cab.
You can also have your hotel call you a cab. Just remember that when you call ahead for a taxi, they will already have a couple of Euros on the meter when they arrive.
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 worry about a difference of a couple of Euros - extra charges for luggage or late night hours are legitimate - but if a driver tries to charge you twice or thrice as much as you expected, just leave a reasonable amount on the back seat and get out.
For the most part, avoid flat fees as these rates tend to be higher than what you would normally pay. Exceptions here include rides to airports or other out of city destinations.
Know the Address of Your Destination
Have the address of your restaurant written down, and pick up a business card from your hotel. Don't assume that your driver will know the locations of every hotel or restaurant in the city.
Carry Change and Avoid Broken Meters
Your driver might claim not to have change for your fare. This common ploy is easily avoided by carrying small bills and coins. Slowly count out your change as you pay the driver, so they can't claim you underpaid and watch closely as they give you change to make sure they do not try to swap out bills.
If a driver claims their meter is broken, get out of the cab. Even if they offer to turn it on as you're leaving, find another taxi. If they've tried to scam you once, they will likely look for another way to rip you off.
Decline Driver Recommendations
If a friendly taxi driver offers to take you to a particular restaurant or store, politely decline and tell them you are meeting a friend at your destination. They may have good intentions, or you might end up somewhere less reputable and pressured to purchase something for the driver to receive a small commission.