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Make Sure It’s Legal and 5 Other Safe Taxi Tips for Your Employees

Rather than walking or driving to an unfamiliar territory, it’s generally a safe option using a taxi for transit. However, just like any type of transportation, it comes with its fair share of risks. Ensure you are insured appropriately, visit and advise your travellers are following these essential tips when travelling by minicab, taxi or private hire cars.

1) Make Sure It’s Legal: Always makes sure to go for a cab that’s well-marked fitted with a taxi roof lighted sign containing a prominent logo. Be on the lookout for a meter, ID badge, radio, an interior door handle that works and an empty backseat.

Note: Chances are that taxis are less developed countries might not have meters or other features of a regulated and licensed vehicle. To get additional information and advice concerning the taxi landscape of your geographical location, go to the State Department’s Country Information pages. Input your destination in the box, press ‘go’ and then continue scrolling down until you reach the Travel & Transportation section.

2) Call, Don’t Hail: If possible, consider calling for a cab rather than hailing for one. For instance, your hotel concierge will be more than happy to call you a taxi. There’s no doubting that this can be a pain, but by researching ahead of time (we love!) you will be in a good position. When making the call for a taxi, make sure to speak in private and with a soft voice because there may be criminals preying on unsuspecting travelers by masquerading as drivers. You can familiarize yourself with key local lingo before embarking on your trip.

3) Get a Quote:  It’s a good idea knowing the amount you will pay ahead of time and also confirm with the arriving driver on the predetermined amount before agreeing to get into the taxi. Hotels usually utilize the services of preferred taxi providers, so you can easily confirm the rates with the concierge. But, if you’re solo, you can use an app such as Taxometer or A-Rix Meter. These apps are so efficient that they account for the conversion rates, which assist in reducing the risk of getting shortchanged. Just in case, carry some local change with you because not all the taxis have credit card machines. Also, ensure to keep in mind local tipping etiquette guidelines.

4) Keep a Low Profile: The less you are accessible to the driver, the better; so make sure to sit at the back. Chatty? Keep it vague and light and watch out not to disclose too much information about you. Keep your personal belongings close and your phone at hand. If your bags have been put at the back, don’t pay until they have been unloaded. And as you near your destination, you can use Google Maps to assist you in getting a handle of where things are found. Gather all your belongings, pay the driver and exit the taxi as fast as possible.

5) Snap a Photo: In case things were to go sideways, having the driver’s name, taxi company and driver ID number can really come in handy. Why is this? Well, that information could prove vital if you are needed to file a travel insurance claim or police report. These details are usually showcased in the cab’s backseat. So once you have settled in, subtly take a snap.

6) Be App Savvy: If you’ve called Lyft or Uber, ensure that the license plate number of the vehicle picking you up matches the plate number you have requested from the app. Secondly, look over the picture and name of the driver displayed in the app matches the person driving the car. Uber has a feature called ‘Share my ETA’ that lets family and friends know your location in real-time.  You can review all their safety measures before getting into the cab.

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