Taxis in Rio de Janeiro are cheap. It is one of the best ways to get around the city, if you are a few to share the price they are very reasonable. There are some things that are good to know about them though.
First I wanted to inform that the Uber taxi-service is available in Rio. These cars are preferred by many since the cars are of higher standard and the drivers more reliable (there are some rude and crazy yellow cabbies out there!). Let’s hope it stays that way.
Useful Info About Taxis in Rio
– Wear the seatbelt in the frontseat, it is also law in the backseat but they are less strict on that.
– Never slam the door, it seems like no insult is graver to a Carioca cabdriver. The real reason is that the quality of the cars is not all that good and they are very fragile.
– Always try to take taxis from the street and ask for taxameter, the taxis parked outside of for instance nightclubs will offer you a fixed higher rate.
– Avoid taking taxis in Rio that don’t have a company name written on them.
– Make sure they actually know where you want to go. This can be a bit tricky because all of them will pretend to know the address, confirm one more time.
– There are two different rates, the cheaper is rate 1 and is everytime except: Mon-Sat from 9PM until 6AM, Sundays, holidays and the whole of December when it is rate 2.
– The yellow cabs are the regular. There are more expensive special taxis that are blue, red or white; For instance the really expensive Radiotaxi from the international airport.
– Taxis in Rio are sometimes in a really bad state, try not to catch the crappiest.
– The best taxis to catch from the International airport are with the Aerocoop or Aerotaxi companies. In order to get these you have to go outside the airport building and find one there, they are yellow and should go on the meter. There are a lot of other yellow cabbies outside that all will try to get you pay a lot.
– If the cab driver picks up a suspiscious list which adds money on top of what’s on the meter he is most likely not trying to shaft you. He is just waiting to get his meter calibrated with this years new price. There is a sticker in the front window and if it´s from the previous year he has the right to use this list. If you have a lot of luggage they also have the right to add a certain amount for that; It is almost without exception ignored, it has never happened to me.
– If you get a bad cabby, just try to pay and get out and catch another cab. Drivers with fixed meters are not common, but my experience is that the ones who try to scam you are bad people so just try to stay out of their way. The best trick is to avoid cabs who look dodgy.