How it works:
- Version 1: white taxis are fitted with meters but some will refuse to use them and charge you an inflated flat fare – likely to face this when going to the pyramids in Giza as it is not worth the trip for drivers who usually come back with an empty car from there.
- Version 2: rigged meters that jump too fast or too much.
- Version 3: some will take a longer route or drive through traffic to inflate the fares.
- Version 4: bringing you to low quality shops/restaurants where they get a cut; stopping halfway claiming that you need to take an expensive camel/horse ride to continue; dropping you at a wrong entrance where accomplices (unofficial guides) lie in wait.
- Version 5: Valley of the Kings ticket office trick.
- Version 6: currency switcheroo.
- Version 7: price quote scam.
Places to beware:
- Sharm el Sheikh
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots (e.g. Hurghada: Senzo Mall).
- Photo: take a photo of the taxi number and driver’s license.
- Overcharging: ensure meter is turned on or research a fair price to negotiate with – check online fare estimators, your hotel/hostel staff or taxi booking apps (e.g. Uber).
- Longhauling: be very clear when communicating your destination. Check your phone’s GPS to see if you are headed in the correct direction, though detours may be taken to avoid jams.
- Rigged meter red flags: tampered/missing meter seal, only fare is displayed, driver clicking a hidden switch, driving slowly at a high speed area to prevent meter from jumping wildly.
- Alternative: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform) has 10+ transport options.