How To Avoid Taxi Cab Rip Offs

August 4, 2008 | By | 3 Replies More
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Taxi Cabs New YorkIf you’re like me, there’s always an unsettling feeling when you hop into a taxi cab that you’ll be taken “for a ride” on a convoluted route to your destination just to bump up the fare. Here are some basic taxi cab safety tips to avoid this situation:

#1. Do Your Homework. Before venturing off to a new city, check to see how much cab fares should be. There’s a terrific internet site built just for this purpose. makes it easy to enter a destination, then two prominent points within the city (Logan Airport to City Hall Plaza for instance), and the time of day. The site will deliver an estimated fare, the amount of time it should take to make the trip, and a map of the suggested route. It even makes allowances for traffic, airport surcharges, and calculates an average gratuity. And there’s more, the names and phone numbers of reputable taxi companies are listed. This is an awesome site. If you’re at an airport and can’t check online, stop by the Travelers Information Desk and ask them how much an average fare into the city should be.

#2. Whenever possible call ahead for a cab so you’ll have control over which cab company will be driving you and have contact information if something goes wrong. If you need to flag a taxi in the city, walk to the nearest hotel and have the doorman secure a cab for you.

#3. Ask “how much?” BEFORE you get into the cab. This can be accomplished by opening the front passenger door, and asking how much is it from here to there. If the price seems too high, you can say “no, that’s too much, I was expecting it to be $____, and go from there.

#4. Make sure the meter gets reset to ‘0’, so you’re not paying for extra money on the meter. Some cities have a basic pick up fee on the meter – ask about it before the cab departs.

#5. Ask for a receipt before exiting of the cab. Take a moment to jot down the cab ID number and the driver’s name. This way you’ll have the company information and the cab ID in case you need to file a complaint – or if you’ve inadvertently left something behind.

Do you have some taxi tips you always use? Share them with us in the comments!

Category: How To, Transportation, Travel Health & Safety