Everyone who has traveled knows the difficulties of finding transportation in a new place. It can be difficult to get to your destination by getting on a local train, or finding the pickup point for the hotel shuttle.
Taxis can be an easy way to travel, but are they safe? Is it safer than Uber and other peer-to-peer taxi hailing services?
These six safety tips will help you navigate your taxi ride so that you don’t feel uncomfortable in the back.
1. It should be professionally organized
In some areas, taxis still have the edge over rideshares or public transit. You should try to arrange a taxi for yourself in this situation. Locals are more likely than foreigners to be familiar with trusted taxi companies. Businesses such as airport taxi services can assist you in finding a driver.
This is also true for hotels. Many times front desk agents can call pre-arranged taxi companies to arrange rides for guests. Higher-end hotels may offer their own car service. This amenity can be added to your hotel folio or removed.
2. Use the meter
Asking for the meter is the best way to ensure that you don’t overpay for a taxi. This situation is highly dependent on the location. There are regulations in some countries that fix a price for certain rides, such as from the airport to downtown, while others let the driver decide, like Paris taxis.
Before you leave the airport, make sure your phone is charged so that you can use Google Maps to follow you to your destination.
Ask the driver to turn the meter on before you leave the house so you don’t get surprised by a large bill.
3. Talk to your agent about negotiating a price
Negotiating a price is your next step if the meter breaks or you are unable to use it. Some cities, particularly when you are leaving from an airport, will regulate how much you pay for your destination. If this is the case, it’s worth speaking to the driver to discuss your destination and what they intend to charge you.
You need a card that will protect you, regardless of whether you are paying a fixed rate for your ride or using the taximeter to pay. Credit cards offer consumer protections that will not leave you vulnerable to fraud. Additionally, you can earn more bonus points by using different travel credit cards.
Cash is not accepted at all.
4. Only use official taxis
Did you know that every person in Almaty (Kazakhstan) is an impromptu taxi driver? Simply hail a car on the street, tell them where you are going, and then hand them some cash when you get there.
This can be a great way to get to your destination, but it is not a safe option. Taxi drivers must adhere to certain regulations. Their cars must meet a specific standard, and they are part of an organization. This is a safer alternative to flagging down a taxi driver on the street.
You will find more taxi drivers in large cities like Cancun, Paris, New York and New York. Sometimes, you’ll also find them in smaller, more mid-sized locations.
5. If possible, choose women-centric options
You might find female-oriented taxi services in some cities. Alarms.org, a website of the National Council for Home Safety and Security (a trade association) conducted a survey of 500 women in October 2019. It found that 45% prefer female drivers to ride with them. There are now specific options for solo female travelers, so you might want to consider booking.
Pink Cab is an Egyptian app that focuses exclusively on women. The company’s drivers are women and will only take female passengers. Just Her Rideshare, a Charlotte-based rideshare company, is another woman-only business that targets women drivers and riders.
Dubai has a ladies-only taxi service called Ladies and Families Taxi. Although all its drivers are women, these specialized cabs can pick up both men and women traveling with their families.
Before you travel, do your research to find out if there are specialty taxis available.
6. Instead, consider using a rideshare app
Uber revolutionized ridesharing when it was launched in 2009. Before Uber’s inception, taxis dominated private transportation. There have been many competitors to the taxi market since then.
(in the U.S. and other international options.
Rideshare apps offer a simpler ride, and are especially useful for those who don’t feel comfortable traveling. You will find the ability to share your ride, to save a payment method and to enter a destination directly in the app.
These apps not only eliminate the need to pay cash but they also make sure that riders don’t take “the long route” around. They can also provide proof of your travels and allow you to prove it.
Uber and other apps offer extra safety features such as an app panic button, the ability report unsafe drivers, and the ability record audio during your ride.
However, ridesharing is not without its risks. Uber’s June 2022 safety report stated that 99.9% of Uber’s trips were completed without any safety reports. However, the same report also states that 3,824 sexual assault reports were filed.
Despite not being crime-proof and containing all the information available, ridesharing apps are probably the safest and easiest way to hail a ride.
To safely travel in a taxi
Is it safe to use taxis? Most taxis are safe. Taxis have a long and proud history. Official taxi drivers can usually be relied upon to get you to where you need to go.
Rideshare apps offer another option. They can provide a variety of safety features to ensure your trip is safe. These tips will help you make your next taxi ride as safe as possible.
Maximizing your Rewards
A travel credit card should be able to prioritize what is most important to you. These are our top picks for the top travel credit cards for 2022.