3 Tips for Avoiding Unregistered Taxis …and Why You Always Should!

illegal taxi

Taxis are heavily regulated by local and state authorities, which is one of the biggest ways they differ from rideshare services. However, illegal taxi operations (which are not regulated) still exist all over the world. For many reasons, including personal safety and cost, it is best to avoid non-regulated taxis.

Most cities around the world have rules and regulations for taxi services operating within their jurisdiction. These requirements demand a certain standard that ensures vehicles are 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.

Over the years, we have compiled a list of easy distinctions between regulated and non-regulated taxis to help travelers distinguish between the two.

Taxi Meters

taxi meter

Taxis have meters. Meters are an important part of any legitimate 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 will most likely not work properly. Always, look to see if the meter is present and working properly before beginning your ride.

Taxi Medallions

Many American cities use a medallion system to show that the taxi is legal. Taxis without medallions are not legally allowed to pick up riders. 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.

Traditional Taxi Colors

Cabs around the world are different colors. In New York City taxis are yellow. In London, the cabs are black. 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 illegal taxis.

Illegal taxis are on the rise all around the world, especially in areas underserved by taxi services. Utilizing an illegal taxi can be dangerous because they are not sanctioned by the authorities, whereas, 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 also likely pay more money than you would riding in a legal taxi.     

Illegal taxis are sadly functioning in cities all over the world. However, by paying attention to the small signs, illegal taxis can be easily avoided!