Things to watch out for when taking a taxi

We all know those yellow, speeding cars: taxis. However, there are some things you should pay attention to before taking a taxi.
If you want to take a taxi, it is important to know if the taxi is reliable. Illegal taxi drivers are often not properly insured and may charge high rates. Also, they probably don’t have a driver’s pass, so you can’t check their identity.

Don’t get lost
You may ask yourself: Who doesn’t get lost in a foreign country? The easiest way to avoid getting lost is to look for directions online in advance. Make sure you write down the address in your phone or notebook – and a phone number of someone who can track down your driver. Explore your situation with the driver, pretending you know where you’re going even if you don’t. If the driver thinks you don’t know the address, he may take the long route or refuse your ride.

Ask for a taxi receipt
Even if you don’t get paid for your work, you should always ask for a taxi receipt. This may seem redundant, but you never know which day you might forget your backpack/guitar/phone on the back seat. The biggest mistake is to put your valuables in the boot and then forget to pick them up when you get out of the taxi. The driver sometimes forgets that you have luggage. The taxis at Taxi Centrale Breda fortunately never forget this.

Be aware of fake bills
Although it is not always easy to identify counterfeit money, do stay alert when exchanging money with taxi drivers. Some drivers carry fake money and can easily exchange a genuine 100-RMB bill for a fake one. I know someone who was a victim of this exchange. Counterfeit money is usually thicker and feels like writing paper.

Ask them to stop the meter
Don’t be shy about asking the driver to stop the meter, especially if he’s taking the long route, there’s a lot of traffic, or if you’re both lost.

Keep looking for several taxis instead of focusing on just one
Taxis have become scarce in some countries, with drivers earning enough to support themselves despite their lazy, laid-back, arrogant attitude. Between the times of about 5-7pm and midnight-3am, drivers often change shifts and have become very picky about which direction they want to drive and what types of passengers they want to take. The biggest offenders are taxi drivers who hang around late at night. Their common tactic is to refuse to use the meter. If you are looking for a taxi during busy hours and shift changes, remember to be extra aggressive. It really helps if you just walk an extra block instead of standing around other people looking for a taxi; they’re likely to steal yours.

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