How it works:
- Situation: drivers in Portugal are actually rather reliable, unfortunately there are some bad eggs which spoil it for the rest.
- Version 1: not using or “forgetting” to use the meter and charging you an inflated flat fare.
- Version 2: adding an inflated luggage fee or brandishing a fake fare sheet with inflated prices.
- Version 3: taking a longer route or detour to inflate the fare.
- Version 4: claiming that a transport option (e.g. Madeira: Monte Cable Car) is closed, and that the only way is to use a taxi.
- Version 5: some offer to bring you on a tour – you end up going to places where they get a commission.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Avoid taxis at tourist spots (e.g. Funchal: cable car) and take a photo of the car plate and driver’s license in case you need to seek recourse.
- 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. Bolt, Free Now, Taxify, Uber, Kapten).
- 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.
- Tours: stick to your plans. If a place is claimed to be closed, see for yourself.
- Alternative: GetYourGuide (best day tour platform in Europe) has 90+ transport options.