Tips for Avoiding Unregistered Taxis and Why You Always Should

illegal taxi

Taxis, or cabs, are heavily regulated by local and state authorities, which is one of the ways they differ from rideshare services. Illegal taxi operations occur all over the country and the world, and it is best to avoid them. There are tell tale signs you can look out for when using a cab.

Most cities around the world have rules and regulations for taxi services operating within their jurisdictions. The requirements demand a standard for vehicles to be safe, licensed, and insured. Local governments have rules for drivers as well. These standards are to ensure the safety of the drivers, the company, passengers, and pedestrians.

taxi meter

Taxis have meters. These are an important part of a taxi because they calculate the cost of the ride. Illegal taxis may not have a meter, and this is important to note the moment you get into the vehicle. If there is no meter, you do not want to ride in the “taxi.” In a legal taxi, meters run smoothly without a problem. The meters in illegal taxis are probably not working properly. Look to see if the meter is present and working properly before beginning your ride.

Many American cities use a medallion system to show the taxi is legal. Taxis without medallions are not legally allowed to accept riders or fares. Cities have a cap and only allow a certain number of medallions to run within their city limits. When looking for a cab, it is important to make sure the cab you’re getting into has a medallion. This is usually in the form of a small plaque on the back of the taxi cab.

Cabs around the world are different colors. In New York City taxis are yellow. In London, the cabs are black. There are two toned cabs and even tricolor cabs. Cabs rarely vary in color within a city. If you are traveling, it is important to do a little research. Look up what color the cabs will be in your destination city. This can be a small but integral step in avoiding getting into an illegal taxi.

Illegal taxis are on the rise all over the world especially in areas underserved by taxi services. Utilizing an illegal taxi can be a dangerous situation because they are not sanctioned by the authorities. Legal taxis are safe, insured, licensed, and regulated. Without these, you could find yourself in a bind. Illegal taxis do not have fee regulations, which means you will likely pay more money than you would riding in a legal taxi.     

Illegal taxis are sadly functioning in cities all over the world. They can be avoided if you pay attention to small signs around you even before getting into the taxi.