Whether you are a tourist in the city or a local, taxis allow various forms of relief in our everyday lives; it may save you time and troubles or provide you a shorter way of reaching home. However, you can never know when you might encounter some unexpected trouble if you are not aware of these scams or tricks which are commonly used by taxi drivers around the world. Here are some tips;[irp]
1-The most common scam used by taxi drivers is taking the longer route to your destination so that he can charge you a higher price. You should look at a map if you are new in the city and if something seems amiss ask the driver for an explanation. Drivers will never do this scam if he thinks you have the slightest clue about his intentions. This problem can be avoided if you use the licensed taxicabs and not the unlicensed ones who are giving you a “discounted rate”.
2-Taxi drivers may claim that they don’t have loose change and they may be lying so that you tell them to keep the change. It is important to carry small bills and coins in your pocket always.
3-Some drivers even switch your larger bill with a smaller one when you might not be looking, and can claim you gave that to him. It is advisable to use small bills and count them before handing them over.
4-Some places allow the cabs to charge extra for luggage, several passengers, and toll tax. However, some drivers can also charge you for things that you are not supposed to be charged for such as credit card payment service charges. It is better to know the rules than to get ripped off.
5-When traveling to a new city book your hotel in advance. This is because some drivers may claim that the hotel has closed or is under renovation and may convince you to go to another hotel of his choice. Although he may sound convincing, it is better to demand to be taken to your hotel or just getting out of the taxi.
6-Drivers should be helpful and honest, however, even the dishonest drivers know how to put on a show of being helpful. They may start a conversation with you which may not seem alarming, but they casually smooth their way into asking your personal questions. This can be dangerous if you are new and alone in the city.
7-When hailing a cab, it may be possible that you flag down a private motorist or a criminal. Make sure the driver's cab license is clearly visible and belongs to him before getting in the car.
8-Some cab drivers may tell you that they are out of gas. Do not believe him blindly and see his dash if it so. It is better to check out the fuel gauge while boarding the cab, so that you may get out if the cab has no fuel.
9-Besides these tips, you should also make sure that the meter in the cab is working and that you don’t keep your luggage on top of the taxi or in the trunk, because taxi drivers may intentionally or unintentionally run away with it.