Sydney, Australia – Tips on Taking a Taxi

Share Button

Hailing a Taxi

New South Wales and it’s capital, Sydney, is served by a fleet of around 6,000 taxis with over 22,000 taxi drivers, making it the largest fleet in Australia. Taxis in Sydney, Australia are mainly yellow and white, but can come in every color. The most common taxi model in the city is the Ford Falcon. While color and model may vary, a taxi in Sydney can always be recognized by the light on the roof. If the light on top of the taxi is on, it means the taxi is available or hire.

Taxis can usually be flagged down from the side of the street by raising your arm and facing the oncoming traffic. Taxis can be hailed from anywhere in the city but you will have better luck if you are on a busy main road or at a taxi stand. For registered taxi stands around the city see below:

  • Alfred Street, Circular Quay
  • Carrington Street, Four Seasons Premier Menzies Hotel
  • Park Street, McDonalds
  • George Street, Four Seasons Hotel
  • Phillip Street, Chifley Towers
  • York Street, Grace Hotel
  • Market Street, Centrepoint and Pitt Street Mall

Major taxi stands are also available at Sydney Airport and Central Station. All of these city taxi stands are supervised by security guards during the weekends.


Sydney taxis are all licensed and have metered rates. Since a standard fare is charged, do not expect to negotiate with your cab driver; simply keep track of the kilometers via the meter in the front of the taxi.

The initial fare for a taxi in Sydney is $3.50. Every km after the initial fare is $2.14. If you are taking a taxi at night between the hours of 10:00pm – 6:00am expect a 20% surcharge on the per km price. The meter will also charge $55.30 per hour (92.1c per minute) while the vehicle speed is less than 26 km/h or stopped.


  • A $2.40 surcharge is applied when booking a taxi by phone.
  • Any road, ferry, tunnel or airport tolls are charged to the customer and the Harbour Bridge toll is charged to the customer for both ways for any trip.
  • Expect to pay the Sydney Airport toll of $3.50 when leaving or going to the Airport.


Should I tip my taxi driver in Sydney?

  • A tip is not required in Sydney though it is common to round your fare up and give the driver a couple of dollars. If you are inclined to tip your driver, a maximum of 10% would be more than appreciated.

Do taxis accept credit cards?

  • Most taxis accept credit cards, Eftpos, and Cabcharge. While it is unlikely that your Sydney cab won’t accept one of these cards, it does happen, so it is always advisable to carry cash on you as well! Taxis are also permitted to charge a merchandising fee if you choose to pay by card.

How many people can a Sydney taxi hold?

  • Regular Sydney taxis accommodate four people. Larger maxi taxis can be ordered for larger groups (up to 11 people). Maxi taxis do cost more than normal taxis in Sydney.

Is it ever hard to hail a taxi?

  • In Sydney the taxi driver shifts change over at 3:00am and 3:00pm daily. If you are trying to hail a taxi at these times you will have to be patient until the shift has fully changed over.

Do taxis in Sydney accommodate people with disabilities?

  • Most taxi companies in Sydney provide vehicles that are wheelchair accessible. It is also important to note that Sydney has a taxi transport subsidy that allows fare subsidies for people with disabilities.

Airport to City Center

A taxi from the Sydney Airport to the city center should cost about $30- $35. There are sheltered taxi stands outside each terminal with supervisors during peak hours to help you with any questions. The supervisors will be able to help you find a taxi to fit your needs whether you need a maxi taxi, car seat, or wheelchair access.

Please be aware that taxis are not allowed to pick passengers up outside of the taxi stand line!

Madrid, Spain – Tips for Taking a Taxi

Share Button

Hailing a Taxi

The city of Madrid has over 15,600 taxis, which makes hailing a taxi rarely difficult, especially if you are on one of the city’s main streets. To hail a taxi, you raise your arm and stand near the side of the road facing the oncoming traffic, as you would in most cities when hailing a taxi. If you are uncomfortable with hailing a taxi there are also several taxi stands around the city. These taxi stands are designated by a blue sign with a white letter “T”. These stands are mainly outside railway and bus stations and in the center of Madrid.

Taxis in Madrid are white and have a diagonal red stripe on their front door bearing the emblem of the city. When a taxi is free there is a ‘Libre’ (free) sign behind the windshield, and a green light on the roof. The fare number (either 1 or 2) will be shown next to this light.


There is an initial fare of 2.10€ before the taxi begins the designated route. After the initial fare the meter will charge you per km depending on whether or not you are traveling during peak or off-peak times.  To see the rate you will be charged depending on your day of week and time see below:

  • Each kilometre covered in Tariff 1 (A area -City of Madrid- Monday to Friday between 6 am and 9 pm and Saturdays from 6 am to 3 pm except public holidays): 1 € 
  • Each kilometre covered in Tariff 2 (A area Monday to Friday between 9 pm and 6 am, Saturdays between 3 pm and 6 am and on public holidays; and B area -surrounding cities- Monday to Friday between 6 am and 9 pm and Saturdays from 6 am to 3 pm except public holidays): 1.17 €
  • Each kilometre covered in Tariff 3 (B area Monday to Friday from 9 pm to 6 am, Saturdays from 3 pm to 6 am and public holidays): 1.20 €
  • Each hour of service at a speed below cruise speed or meter speed (less than 19.50 Km/h for Tariff 1, less than 16.66 Km/h for Tariff 2 by day, less than 16.25 Km/h for Tariff 3 by day; less than 18.80 Km/h for Tariff 2 by night, less than 18.33 Km/h for Tariff 3 by night): 19.50 € during the day (6 am to 9 pm) and 22 € at night (9 pm to 6am).


  • Add a 6.70€ surcharge for traveling on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am.
  • Add 3.00€ for taxis taken from a train or bus station or another taxi stand with the sign “Supplemento Autorizado”
  • Add 5.50€  for fares to and from the Madrid Barajas Airport
  • Add 3.00€ for fares to or from the Juan Carlos Trade Fair Ground


Is there a fee for reserving a taxi?

  • When reserving a taxi in Madrid, many taxi drivers will start the meter from the point where the taxi driver is when he receives your call. If you choose to reserve a taxi be prepared to see more than the minimum fare on the meter when the taxi arrives.

Can I pay for my Taxi by Credit Card?

  • A few taxis in Madrid accept credit cards but it is fairly rare. It is always strongly advisable to make sure you have plenty of cash on you for the fare before you enter the cab.

Do you tip the taxi driver in Madrid?

  • Tipping in not the custom in Madrid and a tip is not expected from you; however, if you are inclined to tip it generally is appreciated.

How many people can fit in a Madrid Taxi?

  • A Madrid taxi can comfortably fit 4 passengers. Taxis in Madrid also have roof racks and trunks for luggage. Generally a taxi can fit 4 passengers with 4 pieces of luggage if they use both the roof rack and the boot!

Airport to Madrid

Taxi fares from the Madrid-Barajas International Airport to central Madrid should be around €20-€25 (depending on the traffic), remember that there is also a €5.50 airport surcharge. When you arrive at the airport make sure to only get in a taxi that is in line at the taxi stand. There will be lots of unofficial taxi drivers who will try to approach you inside the airport to gain your business.

In Case of a Dispute

If you have a complaint with your driver or taxi experience make sure to get a receipt from the driver. The driver is legally obligated to give you a receipt if you ask for one. Once you have the receipt make sure you write down the taxi drivers ID number or NIF number (tax identification number) and the taxi number which should be shown on the dashboard of the car. It is also always advisable to get the license plate info and the date of the journey. Once you have all the correct information you will need to fill out an official form (they are available at police stations and tourist information offices). Finally you will need to submit this complaint to the Oficina Municipal del Taxi.

Department of Madrid City Council Taxis: Tel: +34 91 588 9631

Beijing – Tips for Taking a Taxi

Share Button

Hailing a Taxi

Taking a taxi in Beijing is a convenient way for newcomers to travel around the city but it can be tricky to hail a legal taxi cab. Only a few of the taxi drivers in Beijing can speak English, so it is important that you have the Chinese characters for your destination location ready in advance. When trying to hail a taxi keep in mind that vehicles used as taxis are predominantly Hyundai Elantras and some Sonatas, with a few older Volkswagen Santanas, Jettas, and Citroens. The taxis are typically dark red, dark green or dark blue with a dark yellow stripe and the name of the taxi company running through the middle of the car. A small percentage of models are painted all black. Also keep in mind that there are a lot of illegitimate taxi cabs roaming the streets of Beijing, make sure your taxi’s license plate begins with the letter “B” which is reserved for public transportation vehicles (京B). The driver’s registration card should also be prominently displayed on the front window facing the front passenger seat for you to see. If you happen to get in an unofficial cab make sure you remember the car and take down the license plate number to report to police later.

Once you have hailed a cab or found one waiting on the street (typically near popular tourist attractions), it is not unusual if the driver only rolls down the car window to talk with you before allowing you to get in. Many times they are trying to find out if your destination is the same way they are heading. However, once you are in the cab and the meter has been turned on your driver is legally obligated to take you to your destination. Every Beijing taxi has a meter and when the meter is turned off, a “For Hire” sign appears in the window of the taxi. This will help you tell whether or a not a taxi is occupied.

After your taxi ride make sure you get a receipt which will list all of the taxi details. This will be very useful if you end up having any problems such as leaving an item behind in the cab.

Lastly there is a cab calling service available if you are unable to hail a taxi. Passengers can book a cab 24 hours in advance by phone, internet, or mobile phone through the citywide reservation system. The reservation hot line is 96103.

The standard rates are as follows:

Minimum Fare CNY 13 for the first 3 kilometers (1.86 miles)
Basic Unit Price CNY 2.3 per kilometer (0.62 mile) above 3 kilometers in the daytime
Low-Speed Drive and Waiting Fare Waiting and traffic jam time when the speed is lower than 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) per hour is charged extra the fare of 2 kilometers for each 5 minutes during the rush hours, and the fare of 1 kilometer for each 5 minutes during other time period.
Reservation Fee CNY 6 for reservation over 4 hours in advance; CNY 5 for reservation within 4 hours.
Empty Run Fare If a single journey is longer than 15 kilometers (9.32 miles), the empty run fare is charged i.e. the price per kilometer rises 50% to CNY 3.45.
Night Fare From 23:00 to 5:00, the charge per kilometer rises 20% i.e. to CNY 2.76.
Charge for Sharing One Taxi Sharing taxi is encouraged for it to some extent relieves the traffic load of the city. If two or more passengers share one cab, one only need to pay 60% of the original fare.
Fuel Surcharge CNY 1 for one ride

Surcharges and Extras

  • The price of your fare will be rounded to the nearest whole number of Chinese Yuan. For example, CNY 14.4 will be rounded down to CNY 14, and CNY 14.6 will be rounded up to CNY 15.
  • Tolls for an expressway or bridge are always paid by the passengers.
  • If you are looking for a taxi to take you on a tour around Beijing for the day you can usually hire one from CNY 400-600 per day, depending on where you go. The taxi will be obligated to wait for you at each stop.



How many taxis are there in Beijing?

  • There are over 66,000 taxis running in the city of Beijing!

Do you need to tip your driver in Beijing?

  • No, it is not customary to tip your taxi driver.

Are there ever any challenges when trying to hail a taxi in Beijing?

  • It can be hard to hail a taxi during rush hours (7:00 to 9:00 and 17:00 to 19:00). Also at certain times central Beijing can be off limits forcing taxis to reroute their trips. This makes hailing a taxi a bit harder and potentially more expensive if the taxi has to reroute your trip by great distance.

Do taxis in Beijing take credit cards?

  • No the taxis in Beijing do not take credit cards so make sure you have cash on you. If you have a Transportation Smart Card, the taxi will allow you to pay with that.

Are their disability accessible taxis in Beijing?

  • Yes, there are accessible taxis available for hire. The number to call for an accessible taxi is 96106.


Airport to City Center
When you arrive at Capital Airport make sure to not accept rides from taxi drivers who approach you inside or outside the terminal as these are not official taxi drivers. Instead follow the taxi signs which will lead you to taxi stands outside each terminal. Each terminal (T1, T2, and T3) has its own taxi stand for your convenience. Capital Airport is about 20km from Beijing City Center. A taxi ride to the city center will cost you around CNY 150.