We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Taxi Drivers

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
42 posts
187 reviews
Save Topic
Taxi Drivers

We have just returned from a wonderful 4 days in Istanbul. Weather was great, historical sights were well worth the trip, the restaurants did not disappoint with one better then the next. However our only problem was with the taxi drivers. After the second day we decided to use only the trams, buses and the metro. Both taxi drivers behaved in a very similar manner, we asked for a well know tourist area, yes no problem, they then made a performance of turning on the meter and off we went. After about 10 minutes driving we realized that we were going over a bridge, which was not on the way, we pointed this out. The taxi came to an abrupt halt and suddenly the driver cannot speak a word of English! Out comes his mobile and he phones a friend, after we speak to the friend he manages to get us to our destination. Only by now the meter is showing 95TL which is more then it cost us to get to the airport. All in all stressful and something that should be improved on. On the other hand when we got the restaurant to get us a taxi back to our hotel, we explained to them what had happened. They spoke to the taxi, we got back no problem for 30TL.

Amman, Jordan
Level Contributor
327 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Taxi Drivers

whistlestop, what i have done when using taxis is:

1- make a good look at the meter when the trip starts

2- using the google maps on my phone i point to my destination with the route using the car is clear. (this way you show them you know everything even if you are not)

but i want to say something, these scams is not only found in Istanbul, but nearly every where i go i found these scams. i am saying this because i read about taxi drivers too much on this forum, and i don't like to see anyone to be afraid to come to Istanbul because of this issue.

Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
17,579 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Taxi Drivers

Taxi's called by hotels or restaurants depend on their patronage for business and so are far less likely to cheat you(or try to)but those hailed on the street...far too often a problem.Not all are bad but there are enough bad ones to make it feel they all are :(

Appleton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
655 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Taxi Drivers

Samerkq,

Excellent reminder that taxi scams can and do happen other places and that people should not stay away from Istanbul because they may have a problem. Public transportation is readily available and easy to use. I do lots of walking in Istanbul and always am discovering something new and interesting that way.

Connie

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
14,153 posts
245 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Taxi Drivers

I make generous use of taxis in Istanbul because I simply cannot walk. I use a taxi or I stay in my hotel room. There are several scams, but there are also ways to avoid them. If the driver even thinks that you know where you are going, it diminishes driving in the wrong direction. Last year a driver told me the traffic was bad and he was going to have to take side streets. I told him I was in no hurry, but if he wanted to drive all over town that was fine, but I was still only going to pay him 20TL.

Take a photo of the taxi so you have the taxi number, and make sure the driver sees you do this. Pay the driver in as close to exact change as possible. If you give the driver a 50TL note make sure he knows that you know how much money you are giving him. Ask him if you need to run inside the nearest store to get change of if he can make change.

Know the approximate fare for the ride you are taking, and simply pay no more than 20% above that amount. Do not look like you are easily intimidated. In order to be the victim of any taxi scam you have to give them more money than they earned. If you refuse to do that, you will not be a victim.

Last year, in a huge hurry I gave my driver a 50TL note for a 45TL ride. My intention was to give him a 5TL tip. He quickly switched the bill and told me I had only given him 5TL. I laughed at him. Then I teased him because he tried such a nasty trick on an old crippled lady. He shrugged his shoulders and said "But I have to try", and I told him he owed me 5TL.

The vast majority of my drivers are fantastic people. Taxi drivers have given us gifts, purchased food for us, exchanged email addresses, and Facebook information. They have been entertaining and informative. I very much enjoy them, and taxis in Istanbul are such a bargain! I always keep the potential for a scam in the corner of my head, because I decided several years ago that this simply would not happen to me, and it has not happened to me.

I do have to make my husband get out of the taxi and walk away if we think there may be an issue because if the driver ask for 500TL he would probably give it to the driver. He dislikes scenes. I enjoy confronting a dishonest person.

I do not think the taxi problem in Istanbul is unique to Istanbul. The three worse taxi experiences I have ever had were in Orlando, NYC and my own tiny little hometown. Unfortunately, I think "taxi fear" is a huge perception problem for the city, and I hope the government will continue to encourage dishonest drivers.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
42 posts
187 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Taxi Drivers

Thank you all for the useful information. It was never my intention to discourage anyone visiting Istanbul. The public transport is excellent, very inexpensive and easy to use. I agree if you get your hotel or the restaurant you are in to arrange the taxi and speak to them, you will have no problem. Our situation was probably made worse by the fact that it happened twice in a row, after that we got a lot wiser, asked the likely fare or got the hotel to arrange. We loved Istanbul and will be back. It is however one of the great things about TA, helping to make people aware of things before they arrive at their destination. This forum was how we did most of our research.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
14,153 posts
245 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Taxi Drivers

Yes the forum is a great place to alert visitors of potential problems with their travels. I believe that we spend 1/3 of our time reading and responding to taxi issues, so this experience was not new for you.

I appreciate your desire to warn others, but the problem is that, just like you, many other visitors do not really come to the forum for research. They just come to report an event after it has happened. We could have helped you be armed and prepared so you did not need to have this experience if you had visited the forum on a regular basis prior to your trip.

I am sorry this happened to you, and pleased that you brought the topic to the forum so people who are reading today can understand more about this issue. I think the real problem is ignorance and the power of intimidation on the part of tourists. If people would immunize themselves from these scams then taxi drivers might reduce their unethical practices. The situation is so wide-spread that I sometimes feel like they just feel obligated to try it.

Trondheim
Level Contributor
1,484 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Taxi Drivers

One cannot stress enough, do not engage taxis roaming around in the Sultanahmet area. As already written, only use taxis waiting in a taxi stand or let the hotel book.

8. Re: Taxi Drivers

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 19 October 2014, 05:19