How it works:
- Border crossing: when going to the Ecuador-Peru border, your driver claims that Peruvian taxis only accept Peruvian currency and so offers to change money with you (at a very bad rate). Note that Peruvian drivers do take USD which is used in Ecuador.
- Longhauling: taking a detour or longer route to inflate the fare.
- Rigged meter: unlicensed taxis and mini cabs in Quito are notorious for this – meters which jump too fast or too much.
- Commission: many are given a commission to bring you to tourist traps (e.g. restaurants, hotels, places of attractions).
Places to beware:
- Guayaquil, Quito (e.g. tourist attractions, hotels, airports, transportation hubs)
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots (e.g. Teleferico Quito).
- Photo: take a photo of the taxi number and driver’s license.
- Border crossing: only change at a proper money exchange.
- 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.
- Alternatively, you can use taxi booking apps likes EasyTaxi, Cabify, Uber, UniTaxi. Day tour platforms like GetYourGuide (leading globally) also has 2 transport options.