Make Sure It’s Legal and 5 Other Safe Taxi Tips for Your Employees

Traveling by taxi is generally a safe alternative to driving or even walking in an unfamiliar destination, but like any other form of transportation, it’s not entirely without risk. Make sure your travelers keep these crucial tips in mind when traveling by taxi, mini cab or other private hire vehicles:taxi

1) Make Sure It’s Legal: Always choose a well-marked cab with a lighted taxi roof sign that contains a prominent logo. You should see an empty backseat, interior door handle that actually works, meter, radio, and ID badge. Many cities require the purchase of a license called a medallion (a swatch of medal that is generally on the back of the cab)—this shows that the taxi is legal and has been checked by city officials.

Important note: Taxi cabs in developing countries may not have meters or other characteristics of a licensed/regulated vehicle. For information and advice about the taxi landscape of your destination, visit the State Department’s Country Information pages. Simply enter your destination in the box, select “go” and then scroll down to the Travel & Transportation section.

2) Call, Don’t Hail: Whenever possible, call for a taxi instead of hailing one – your hotel concierge can happily call a taxi for you, free of charge. Yes, this can be a bit of a pain, but if you do a little research ahead of time (we love!) you’ll be in good shape. When calling for a cab, speak softly and in private as there are criminals who prey on unsuspecting travelers by pretending to be drivers. Don’t know the local language? Brush up on some key words before you go.

3) Get a Quote:
It’s important to not only have an idea of what you’ll be paying ahead of time, but to also confirm this amount with your driver prior to getting into the cab. Hotels generally use a preferred network of taxi providers, so it’s easy to confirm the going rates with them. However, when you’re on your own, try using an app like A-Rix Meter or Taxometer. These apps even take conversion rates into account, which helps reduce the risk of getting shortchanged.  Keep some local currency with you just in case (not all cabs have credit card machines) and keep local tipping etiquette guidelines top of mind.

4) Keep a Low Profile: The less accessible you are the better, so always sit in the back seat. Feeling chatty? Keep the conversation light, and be careful not to disclose any personal details about yourself. Have your phone handy and your personal belongings close to you.  If you must put your bags in the trunk, don’t pay your fare until after your baggage has been unloaded. And as you’re approaching your destination (apps like Google Maps can help you get a handle on where things are located), get prepared to exit the cab as quickly as possible by having your payment ready and gathering all of your belongings.

5) Snap a Photo: In the event something were to go wrong, it’s worth having the taxi company, driver’s name, and driver ID number handy. Why? This information could be important if you need to file a police report or travel insurance claim. You can usually find these details displayed in the backseat of most cabs, so feel free to snap a pic (ever so subtly!) once you’re settled.

6) Be App Savvy: If you’re using a service like Uber or Lyft, make sure the license plate number in the app matches the one in the car that’s picking you up. Second, check that the name and picture of your driver in the app matches the one who’s driving the car. Uber also has a tool called ‘Share my ETA’ so you can let your friends and family know where you are in real time. And while both companies provide thorough background checks on their drivers, check out these additional safety measures before hopping into the car.

Does your company need help with proactively educating your employees on proper travel safety best practices like these? Contact us today.

Safe Travels!


  1. Ted Smith says:

    Thank you so much for all of these tips on hiring taxi’s. I really like the tip to use an app. That is so cool how there is an app where you can reserve a cab ride. I would agree though that you should make sure that the right cab is picking you up. If it isn’t the right cab, something could be terribly wrong.

  2. Shirley Williams says:

    It’s definitely interesting to see all of these tips. I think it’s really good to follow all of these tips, especially calling for a cab instead of hailing one whenever you can. Following these tips could save you a lot of trouble. Hopefully people are able to understand that easily in the future.

  3. These tips are necessary and more of women along with these I would like to add that keep your phone in unlock mode and a number on speed dial which reduces risk and act brave. Thanks sir for informing us.

  4. This weekend, I will be hiring a cab for the first time and so I really appreciate your tip about keeping a low profile. I will be having a lot of luggage with me and so I will most likely have to put my things in the trunk and so I will definitely make sure to pay my fare after I get them. However, what should I do if the driver demands that I pay before I get out of the vehicle?

  5. You have some great tips here for taking taxi cabs. I like the idea of calling a head and getting a quote from the driver. That takes away any danger or detours or raised prices. I will have to remember this next time I travel.

  6. I love to travel, and as you mentioned, taxis can be a great alternative to walking or driving. These tips are great to make sure you get good, safe service. As you said, I think it’s always smart to call for a taxi ahead of time. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll be sure to keep these tips in mind for my next city adventure!

  7. You really have interesting tips and valuable information here. Thanks for this.

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