Plendi makes things easier by storing your receipt safely and converting the fare back to your own currency.
This got us thinking about some of the other tricky stuff with foreign taxis. It’s not exactly like hailing one at home. Customs and habits vary from one country to another. Here’s some tips to help you on your way.
How Recognize a Taxi
New York, San Francisco and London Taxis are easy to spot, but it’s not that obvious in certain countries. Some taxis don’t event have a sign.
For example, you recognize taxis in Amsterdam by their blue plates.
In Ireland, a taxi can be any type or color of car, but the yellow roof sign is quite visible.
Taxicabs in Bangkok come in all colors, and all have roof signs.
German taxis are cream-colored with a black and yellow taxi sign on the roof.
Front Seat or Back?
This is the eternal question! It depends on the country, and on you.
In the UK and in Ireland, it seems that if you feel chatty you sit in the front seat and if you’re not in the mood, stay in the back, eyes on your phone.
In Germany, it’s common habit to take the front seat. It’s more friendly.
In Australia, the default is the front seat. If you sit in the back seat, it feels like you’re being chauffeured and it’s difficult to enjoy the conversation.
In Rio, there are no seatbelts in most of the taxis, so it’s safer to sit in the front
But… in the US, sitting on the front seat may be difficult as the taxi drivers have all their stuff on the seat. Also there’s often a divider between the front and rear seats. Maybe to keep the driver safe or to respect passengers’ privacy?
Should I Tip? How Much?
In general, tipping 10% of the fare is the right thing to do, but any attempt to overcharge you or take the “scenic” route cancels this obligation.
In Australia, a driver would be tipped if they initiate a good conversation.
In France, taxi drivers expect a 10% tip, but it’s not compulsory
But be careful..
Offering a tip to a Japanese taxi driver may be seen as an insult to him and his company since in most Asian countries, the correct amount to tip is absolutely nothing
In Italy and Turkey, taxi drivers may keep the change without you telling them to do so.
Should I take the first taxi in the line ?
It seems it’s an international thing. Even if the law says that you can choose whatever taxi you want, it’s normal to take the taxi at the top of line.
But if you want absolutely the big shiny red taxi, you have the right to take it. Other taxi drivers probably won’t be happy because the one in the front has been waiting longer, but C’est la vie!
Travel safe and enjoy your trip !