While in Bucharest, at some point you might want to grab a taxi to take you down town, to your hotel or to the airport. Here’s a few things you need to know about taxi (cab) fares while visiting.
Most taxi’s out there are affiliated to a taxi company, meaning that they carry their logo on the car and that they receive call-ins from that company’s reception. Also, about 80% of the taxi’s in Bucharest have a standard fee: 1.39 lei per kilometre. That’s about 30 euro cents per kilometre. Beyond the actual number of kilometres you will travel, you have a start-up fee which is the same as the cost per km (1.39 lei) and a standstill tax which is 139 lei / hour.
In normal traffic conditions this means that you will spend around 25-40 lei to cross the city (about 9 euro), but your much usual fare will be around 20 lei (4.5 euro). The most important thing to look out for is to make sure the taxi you are about to take has the fare listed on the front door, as it is a legal obligation. A taxi without a listed fare on the front door is most likely a fraud. Depending on where you need to go from the airport and the traffic at that time your travel time will be between 15 minutes and 1:30 hour.
If you plan to spend more than a weekend in Bucharest and you have data on your smartphone you must have one of the taxi hauling apps that are being used in Bucharest such as Star Taxi (which is a multi-company taxi hauling app) or Speed Taxi (a branded app that only calls cabs from one company). Both of them have Android and iOS availability, you can see a picture of the taxi driver the type of car as well as the fare before you accept the ride. Also, these apps you show you exactly where the taxi is on the map, and how long it will take it to get to you. Must have!
– here’s a list of well-established “safe” taxi companies in Bucharest with fares and phone numbers to their reception
– avoid 3-3.5 lei/km taxi’s unless it’s Grant Taxi. This company uses Mercedes cars as opposed to regular Dacia’s every other company uses
– even though the list of taxi companies might be safe, it’s up to you to decide whether a cab driver is up to no good or not. You will not run into those to often, but it’s best to keep an eye out.
– make sure that the meter is turned on when the taxi takes off. Sometimes, some cab drivers “accidentally forget” to switch it on meaning they will “approximate” the fare for the journey.
– in case you want to dispute the taxi fare with the taxi driver (you think you are being overcharged on the meter) it’s best to call the police first also (112 on your cell-phone).
– at the Bucharest International Airport there are designated machines that will hail you a cab (at the company and fare of your choosing). Once you choose the company the machine will give you a receipt containing the car details (cab company, id number, registration number, fare as well as the estimated time of arrival).Only a taxi that has been hailed will be able to pick you up from the arrivals terminal. Hang on to the receipt and only get in the cab that has been assigned to you, by checking its identification information from the receipt.