Broken taxi meter scam

Taxi drivers—even legal ones with meters—will sometimes try to get a fat, unintended tip out of you

Standard taxi fares and charges will be posted in any legitimate cab in Italy--in many places, in both Italian and English
In many countries, the standard taxi fares and charges will be posted in any legitimate cab (like this one in Bologna, Italy).
If the meter is not on, insist that it be turned on. Make sure it corresponds to whatever per-kilometer/per-minute rates are posted (most taxis post rates). 

In developed countries

In most developed countries, the initial "flag-fall" charge plus a per-kilometer amount (or charge for time stuck in traffic) is standard.

However, if you're taking a long trip—say, to the airport—taxis will often charge a flat fee, and this is legit. 

Before you leave, check what this flat rate should be at the airport's own website—or, failing that, with the local tourist office, hotel desk, or your guidebook.

In developing countries

In many developing countries, no matter where you're going, you almost always haggle a flat rate before getting in the cab.

Again, check your guidebook for the local norms.

Legitimate charges beyond the actual fare

The following small, extra charges (never more than $1 to $3) are usually legitimate:

If none of those conditions applies, question any "extra" fee the taxi driver tries to foist off on you.

Tours Under $995 G Adventures

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in November 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.