How it works:
- Situation: like anywhere in the world, there are both good and bad drivers, and the following are the common tricks shady drivers use in Romania. You may encounter these more often in Bucharest (even with a taxi taken from the official booth) than in other cities in Romania.
- Version 1: quoting you an inflated flat fare instead of using the meter which they claim is not working.
- Version 2: using a rigged meter.
- Version 3: bringing you on a long trip by pretending that you gave a wrong address so as to inflate the fare.
- Version 4: swapping a 100 L note to a 10 L note and claiming that you have only given a 10 L note which is not enough for the fare.
- Version 5: driving off with/stealing your luggage
- Brasov: train station
- Bucharest: airport, main transportation hubs (e.g. Gara de Nord)
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots (e.g. Muzeul National al Satului “Dimitrie Gusti”, Palace of Parliament, etc).
- Photo: take a photo of the car plate 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, taxify). Use the taxis with the cheaper rates displayed (e.g. 1.39-1.65 Lei/km) and not the ones with the inflated prices (e.g. 3.50 Lei/km).
- 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.