Taxi scams are rising at an alarming rate, mostly due to ignorance of travelers. Many feel that it’s not a big deal paying a little extra, because the taxi driver has behaved so nicely throughout the journey. Again there are passengers who tend to ignore little tricks played by unscrupulous drivers, since they don’t want to welcome trouble in an unknown place. While such sentiments are completely understandable, allowing you to be fooled is simply not advisable.
Awareness about common taxi scams can help you adopt tactful steps and handle the situation smartly. Discussed below are five such precautionary measures one should follow to avoid frequent taxi scams.
Know Taxi Meter Rate of Particular Location
The taxi meter rate generally varies from one location to the other. Do a little research about the particular locations’ taxi rates that you are planning to visit for the first time. Internet search is the easiest way to find out taxi meter slabs of major cities worldwide. If you are booking a hotel, call their front desk to have an idea of approximate taxi fare.
Opt For Pre-payment Mode Where Applicable
For the first time visit, it is suggested that you go for a prepaid option. Most airports have prepaid taxi booths from where you can hire a cab. Or you can do online booking of the cab from any reliable operator. If any travel agent is planning your tour, you ask him to arrange the taxicab as well.
Hire Licensed Cabs Only
Make sure you have hired a licensed taxi. You will find official taxi stands at major points of the city. Check out the taxi’s license plate and the driver’s identity. Even if you have done online booking or paid in advance, don’t forget to check their authenticity. Rather than contacting an individual driver, it is always advisable that you go for a trusted cab company. This way you know where to approach in case any problem arises.
Keep the Taxi and Driver Information
As you verify the vehicle and driver identities, do note down these details somewhere, especially the license and livery plate numbers. Use your mobile phone camera to take a picture of the vehicle and note down other relevant information. Send these to a friend or family member, so that they too know where and how you are traveling.
Avoid Unnecessary Discussion or Altercation with Driver
Striking a casual conversation with the driver is not a good idea, even if the journey is a lengthy one. Getting involved in an altercation midway is not recommended. If you doubt any unfair trick like tampered meter, or the driver taking a complicated route, stay calm throughout the journey. You can challenge the fare only after you have reached your destination. Otherwise, you can always lodge a complaint with the cab company, stating the nature of scam.
Hiring taxicab is the best way to reach your destination timely and comfortably. However the journey can sometimes turn unexpectedly expensive. Follow the above mentioned safety measures to know whether you are paying the right fare or not.