Istanbul is a bustling city with a population of over 15 million people. With so many people, getting around can be a challenge, especially if you’re not familiar with the city. One of the most convenient and popular ways to get around Istanbul is by taxi.
Istanbul taxi drivers are known for their friendly demeanor and knowledge of the city. However, there are instances where you may fall victim to a scam and be charged an unjustifiable fare. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Istanbul taxis, including fares, tips, and safety.
How to Find a Taxi in Istanbul?
Always look for the “Taksi” Sign
The easiest way to find an Istanbul taxi is to hail one on the street. Look for taxis that are driving by with a “Taksi” sign on the roof. You can wave your hand to signal that you need a ride. It’s important to note that Istanbul taxis normally have yellow color, but sometimes they have different colors, so any car with a “Taksi” sign could be a taxi.
Another way to find a taxi is to use a ride-sharing app like BiTaksi. BiTaksi Istanbul allow you to easily request a ride from your smartphone. You can see the driver’s profile, car type, and estimated arrival time. This option can be particularly useful if you don’t speak Turkish or if you’re traveling to a less crowded area. If you’re not comfortable with using a smartphone app or hailing a taxi on the street, you can also call a taxi company directly.
There are many taxi companies in Istanbul, and most of them speak English. They can give you an estimate of the fare and send a taxi to your location.
No matter which method you choose, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense when getting into an Istanbul taxi. Make sure the taxi has a “Taksi” sign on the roof and that the driver is using the meter. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to find an Istanbul taxi with ease.
How to Recognize Licensed Taxis
Licensed taxis in Istanbul have a white and yellow license plate with a four-digit number, a taxi sign on the roof, and the word “Taksi” on the front doors. Additionally, there should be a taxi meter inside the car, which displays the fare as you ride. If you are not sure if a taxi is licensed, you can ask the driver to show you their taxi license, which should be displayed on the dashboard.
Airport Taxi might be Expensive
In Istanbul, taxis are required to use the meter for all trips. However, some drivers may try to negotiate a fixed fare, especially if you are traveling a long distance or during rush hour.
It’s important to negotiate the fare before you start the journey, as some drivers may quote a higher fare than the metered rate. Especially Taxis If you are unsure about the fare, you can use an online taxi.
Taxis, in particular, have a tendency to impose unreasonable fees for airport transfers. This is due to the fact that if you’re new to Istanbul and unfamiliar with the local customs, they may exploit your lack of knowledge and charge you exorbitant rates. Alternatively, if they are taking you to the airport and you don’t have much time to dispute the unfair pricing, they might overcharge you because they know you won’t be able to react.
That’s why I highly recommend using Kiwi Taxi, especially for airport transfers. By booking your taxi in advance, you can be certain of the fare, and they will be aware of when and where to pick you up and drop you off. It’s a fantastic method to avoid being cheated while travelling the world, and you should certainly give it a shot.
Istanbul Taxi Fares
The taxi fares in Istanbul are relatively affordable compared to other major cities. However, it is essential to understand the fare system before taking a taxi. The taxi fares in Istanbul are calculated based on a few factors, including distance, time, and whether you are traveling during peak or off-peak hours.
Every legal taxi cab in Istanbul has an electronic taximeter. As of 2023, up-to-date opening fee is 12.65 TRY and it is 8.51 TRY per kilometers. Taxi fares are same across all of Istanbul. These rates are subject to change every month due high inflation rates. So use BiTaksi app to find out up to date prices
In addition to the base fare, Istanbul taxis charge a distance-based fare. The fare is calculated based on the distance traveled, and the rate per kilometer is 8.51 TRY. This means that a typical 10-kilometer taxi ride would cost approximately 100 TRY.
Taxis in Istanbul also charge for waiting time, which is calculated based on the time spent waiting in traffic or at traffic lights.
If you are traveling on the highway, you may need to pay a toll fee. The toll fee is not included in the taxi fare and is payable separately by the passenger.
Istanbul Taxi Tips
Be careful about Fares and Licenses
Using taxis in Istanbul can be a convenient way to get around the city. However, there are a few tips that travelers should keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Choose a Registered Taxi
When taking a taxi in Istanbul, it is important to choose a registered taxi. Look for the official yellow taxis with a meter and a “Taksi” sign on top. Avoid unlicensed taxis or people offering rides in their private cars.
Check the Meter
Before starting the journey, check that the meter is working correctly. Ensure that the driver resets the meter at the start of the ride, and it should display the correct fare throughout the journey. If the meter is not working or if the driver refuses to use it, get out of the taxi and find another one.
Agree on the Fare
Before starting the journey, agree on the fare with the driver to avoid any disputes later. If you are not sure about the fare, ask the driver for an estimated cost. Keep in mind that the fare may vary depending on the time of day, location, and traffic conditions.
Most taxis in Istanbul do not accept credit cards, so it is essential to carry cash. Make sure to have small denominations of TRY to avoid any confusion or disputes over change.
Be Careful with Your Belongings
As with any crowded city, there is a risk of pickpocketing or theft. Keep your belongings close to you and be careful with your bags, wallets, and phones. Avoid displaying any valuable items in public, and keep them in a secure place.
Istanbul Taxi Safety
Traveling by taxi is a convenient way to explore Istanbul, but it’s essential to prioritize your safety while doing so. The city has a reputation for unscrupulous taxi drivers who overcharge, take longer routes, and engage in other fraudulent activities. However, with a few precautions, you can enjoy your ride without any problems. In this article, we’ll provide some tips on how to ensure a safe taxi ride in Istanbul.
Choose the Right Taxi
When selecting a taxi, make sure to choose a licensed and registered one. Look for the official yellow taxis with a “Taksi” sign on top, and check that the driver has a valid ID card on display. Avoid unlicensed taxis or people offering rides in their private cars, as they may not be safe.
Check the Meter
Before starting the journey, check that the taxi meter is working correctly. Ensure that the driver resets the meter at the start of the ride, and it should display the correct fare throughout the journey. If the meter is not working or if the driver refuses to use it, get out of the taxi and find another one.
Agree on the Fare
Before starting the journey, agree on the fare with the driver to avoid any disputes later. If you are not sure about the fare, ask the driver for an estimated cost. Keep in mind that the fare may vary depending on many things like Toll fees and Distance etc.
Get the Number Plate and Phone Number of the Taxi
Obtaining the phone number and license plate information of a taxi is crucial for a variety of reasons. Firstly, in the unfortunate event of leaving any valuable item behind in the vehicle, having access to this information can facilitate the process of retrieval.
Additionally, in the case of a dispute or complaint against the driver, these details serve as important identifiers and aid in tracking down the taxi and its driver.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that passengers make a note of the taxi’s phone number and license plate number at the beginning of their journey. This small step can save a lot of time, effort, and potentially prevent any inconvenience in the future.
Taxi is a affordable alternative in Istanbul
In conclusion, Istanbul taxis are a convenient and affordable way to get around the city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, knowing how to find and use taxis in Istanbul is an important skill to have. By following the tips and advice in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to navigate Istanbul’s streets with confidence and ease.
Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and use common sense when getting into a taxi. Look for the “Taksi” sign on the roof, make sure the driver is using the meter, and know your destination before getting in the car. If you have any issues or concerns, don’t hesitate to speak up or contact the taxi company.
Overall, Istanbul taxis are a reliable and efficient mode of transportation for getting around the city. With their bright yellow color and friendly drivers, they are an iconic part of Istanbul’s culture and a must-try experience for anyone visiting the city. So, the next time you’re in Istanbul, be sure to hop in a taxi and see where the city takes you!
Are Istanbul Taxis Safe?
Yes, Istanbul taxis are generally safe. However, it’s important to take some precautions, such as wearing a seatbelt and making sure the taxi meter is running.
How Do I Know if a Taxi is Licensed?
Licensed Istanbul taxis have a yellow color with a taxi sign on the roof. Make sure the taxi you’re getting into has these features.
Can I Pay with Credit Card?
Not all Istanbul taxis accept credit cards. It’s a good idea to have cash on hand just in case.
What Should I Do if I Forgot Something in the Taxi?
If you’ve left something behind in an Istanbul taxi, try to contact their Station. You need the number plate of the taxi and the phone number of the Station (which you can find on the Taxi).
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