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  • Lewis Taxi Midlands Ltd

Signs You’re Being Scammed: What to Avoid When Taking a Taxi

taxi sign on the roof of a taxi

Taxis are one of the most convenient forms of transportation. Whether you can’t drive, have had a tipple to drink or are visiting somewhere new, taking a taxi to get from one place to another is your best option.


However, with that said, it’s important that you’re careful to avoid scams. Whilst legitimate taxis are reliable, in some cases there are people who will either operate a fake taxi service or will try to scam you for more money than you can expect to pay when using a trustworthy service.


Read on below as we offer our advice from the perspective of a reputable taxi company on how to avoid being scammed when you need to take a taxi.


Do Your Research

If you’re visiting somewhere new or have not taken a taxi before, then before you do take one, do your research on how you can identify reliable and genuine taxi services in the local area.


For example, while anyone could drive a car with a taxi sign on top, legitimate taxis are required to display a white licence plate on the back of the vehicle, giving the licence and registration numbers, type of vehicle and licence expiry date. The driver is also required to display a driver badge, which provides a photograph of the driver, their name, their licence number, the zone they are licensed to operate in and the expiry date of their licence.


Many taxis may also feature stickers or panels on their vehicles that have been provided by the local council to show that they provide an authorised service within that area.


Check Fares Before Your Journey

All taxi services are required by law to display a fare card inside the vehicle, and must have a meter with a maximum fare limit set. This meter must also be switched on when travelling within the licenced boundaries.


When you get into a taxi, check that these are both present, as a lack of a fare card and a meter, or a meter that is switched off, is a sign that you are likely to be overcharged for your journey or are in an illegitimate taxi.


All licensed taxis must operate according to the fares set by the local council whose boundaries they operate within. This means that you can check the tariffs on the council’s official website beforehand, so you can be aware of what you should expect to pay.


Keep Your Maps Open

Another trick some unauthorised or irresponsible taxi drivers may try is to take you on a longer route to your destination in order to hike up the fare. This is especially more likely to happen to you if it’s obvious that you are new to the area.


In order to avoid being scammed in this way, keep the maps open on your mobile phone, so you can track whether or not they are taking you the fastest route and address this with the driver if this seems to be the case.


If you’re looking for a reliable taxi service in the Midlands, then look no further than Lewis Taxis. Despite being a local service, we have a swift online cab booking service, making our responsive services ideal for a variety of situations.


Book a taxi online today, or get in touch with us to set up a personal account for quicker, prioritised bookings.

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