Inexperienced and innocent tourists often become victims for taxi scams in Vietnam. The fraud taxi drivers always try to take them to the intended place by the longest road possible or they will start driving without turning on the meter. However, you must not be worried because not all taxi drivers in Vietnam are cheating on you. Most licensed taxi drivers are honest and hard-working people. You can try with two most reputable taxi companies in Vietnam named Mai Linh and Vinasun. They charge around 14,000 – 16,000 VND per km travel (70-80 cents). Other alternatives may be Saigon or Vina taxi in Ho Chi Minh city and Van Xuan or Morning Taxi in Hanoi capital, which are surveyed to be comparatively cheap. Just a few dishonest drivers have developed some clever ways to pocket your money, but you completely can protect yourself from all taxi scams with just a few attentions.
Research Routes and Fares: Before visiting one city, you should take time to plan your taxi trips as well your hotel stays. Find out about typical fares from the airport to your hotel or from your hotel to another spot you wish to pay a visit.
Get the meter turned on: Whenever you enter a cab, make sure that the meter is on since some fraud drivers will ignore turning on the meter and demand an unreasonable fare later at the end of your trip.
Spot taxi scams: Finding out taxi scams is not difficult. You can realize them through some particular uniforms. For instance, Mai Linh drivers wear geen outfits while those from Vinasun wear dark green shirt with maroon tie. Besides a lot of scammers copy the famous names and change them into something similar like Mei Linh or Mai Lin instead of Mai Linh. These taxies charge incredibly high fares, and they might steal your belongings as well. Another signal for a scammer is the license of the driver. Do not trust a driver if he does not show a license.
Bring a pencil and camera: If you are suspicious of any taxi driver, just write down his name andtaxi license number. In case you forget your pencil, just pull out your camera and take pictures instead. That will become a hard evidence to back up your claim to the police.
Carry small bank notes (bills): when you are in Vietnam, you’re advised to use local currency as Vietnam Dong. If you can pay your fare with exact change, you will protect yourself from taxi scams because sometimes a fraud driver announces that he has no change, which means he’ll pocket the difference between the fare and the face value of the smallest bank note you have as a colossal tip.
Get out if you’re in doubt: When you cannot reach an agreement with the driver, just get out and walk away to find another cab. In a worse case, the driver asks for more money than agreed before, leave the agreed-upon fare on the seat and exit the cab.
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