How it works:
- Version 1: not using the meter and charging an inflated flat fare.
- Version 2: rigging the meter to jump too fast or too much.
- Version 3: taking a longer route or driving into traffic to inflate the fare.
- Version 4: there are cab drivers who target those too drunk or disoriented outside clubs by driving them around town to inflate the fare or somewhere secluded to then rob.
- Version 5: claims a place is closed and brings you to another place where he gets a commission.
Places to beware:
- Florianopolis, Rio de Janeiro (e.g. tourist attractions, hotels, airport, transportation hubs)
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots (e.g. Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Mountain).
- 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, 99 Taxis, Easy Taxi, Cabify).
- 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.
- 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.
- Alternative: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform) has 30+ transport options.