Sydney, Australia – Tips on Taking a Taxi

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!