British tourist warning: Common holiday taxi scam – ‘hikes up’ the price of travel

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The travel money specialists FairFx have warned British tourists of common holiday scams and how to avoid them. Britons should be particularly careful using taxis abroad.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, said: “Holidaymakers have reported taxi and tuk-tuk drivers claiming their metre is broken before quoting an inflated price for the journey.

“Others say their driver informed them that their chosen destination, a hotel, temple or museum, is overbooked or closed, before taking them to a friend’s lodging or attraction.

“They then charge a higher fare, before taking a convoluted route, to further hike up the rate.”

Tourists could be told a popular attraction is closed so a driver can take them somewhere where they’ll receive a cut.

This could also be the case when it comes to accommodation. Drivers may have deals with certain hotels where they get a percentage of the price for guests.

Strafford-Taylor said: “Before you leave, research the best methods of transport in your destination.

“In the UK, we often default to taxis as quicker and more convenient and sometimes even cheaper for bigger groups.

“In certain countries, public transport is much more affordable, reliable and regular.”

FairFx shared its universal rules for taking taxis abroad to avoid falling into the trap of a common scam.

Strafford-Taylor said: “Never hail a taxi from the street. Instead consult a reputable source like the information desk at the airport.”

He also recommended tourists could try an information centre, their hotel concierge or hire a licensed agent.

Hotels will normally have contacts of reputable taxi companies that they will be able to recommend.

Strafford-Taylor added: “Know the general cost of the ride. Ask the hotel concierge or consult an online fare calculator.

“Confirm that the metre works before getting into the vehicle.

“Have the address and hours of operation of your destination written out in both English and the language spoken in your destination.

“If the driver attempts to take you elsewhere, firmly repeat your desired location or terminate the ride.”

He added: “Use Google Maps or City Mapper, if applicable, to ensure your driver is staying on course.

“To avoid taxis entirely, use a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft. You can even activate the Follow My Ride on Uber of Share My Ride on Lyft so your friends can track your whereabouts.”

Britons should never get into an unregistered taxi as this could be extremely dangerous.

Tourists could also see if there’s an offer on public transport for short stays which could be much more affordable.

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