4 tell-tale signs your taxi driver is trying to scam you
Do a quick check before you load your bags in the boot.
1. They weren’t waiting at a designated rank
In many airports, train stations or popular tourist sites around the world, people will approach you and ask if you need a taxi. They might sound legit and even have a printed card or flyer with their details on it, but be skeptical. They could just be opportunistic drivers who prey on unsuspecting tourists. To be certain you are in a genuine taxi, always get one from a designated rank.
2. There’s no meter in the taxi
Meters for calculating the fare are now found in taxis all over the world, so look out for it as soon as your cab pulls up. Even if you have agreed on a set fare (as is common in many places for standard trips from the airport) there should still be a meter inside, albeit turned off. Once the cab starts, make sure the meter is turned on and ticking over at a reasonable speed.
3. The driver seems unsure of your destination
In most cities, official taxi drivers have to go through training and be familiar with the common destinations in the city. This should include airports, train stations, cruise ports, major hotels and popular tourist sites. Before your journey begins, make sure your driver knows where you are going. It is a good idea to write down the name and address of your hotel so you can show them – they should be able to look it up on GPS or an old fashioned map. Don't start the journey if you don’t feel confident about where you’re headed.
4. Safety features are non-existent
No seatbelt? Then no go. Even though many people seem happy to drive around foreign countries without the standard safety features they have in their own cars at home, we don’t recommend it. Some major foreign cities have shocking road statistics, so you don’t want to put yourself in danger. Authorised taxis should always have seat belts.