How it works:
- Version 1: taxis must use the meter and haggling is prohibited. However, some will still quote an inflate flat fare.
- Version 2: a driver may use the meter, but choose to take a detour or longer route to inflate the fare.
- Version 3: your driver asks if you would like a city tour for a nominal fee. If you agree, he will drive you to places where gets a commission, or overcharges you on tickets for attractions.
- Version 4: your driver tells you that your hotel is shut down for renovations or fully booked and offers to bring you to another hotel.
Places to beware:
- Johor Bahru
- Kota Kinabalu
- Kuala Lumpur
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots (e.g. Bukit Bintang, Langkawi ferry terminal).
- 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. MyTeksi, EasyTaxi, Grab).
- 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.
- Recommendations: take with a pinch of salt and avoid taxi tours unless you have done your research and know what you want.
- Alternative: Klook (best day tour platform in Asia) has 10+ other transport options.