Travel Guide

How to avoid taxi scams in Vietnam


Taxi is the most suitable way for a foreigner tourist to get around in Vietnam. The price of taxi in Vietnam is usually quite reasonable. However, unfortunately, taxi scams do exist even though it’s only a minority of the whole service.

While unlikely to cost you a fortune, it’s still not a good experience to be over-charged. Here is some “Vietnam do and don’t” things from vietnamislands for you to avoid any taxi scams in Vietnam.

First of all, you have to be well aware of what kind of scam you’re dealing with. You might have the problem with a fake taxi, illegitimate drivers, and dodgy meter.

Fake taxi does exist in Vietnam with of course unreasonable over-charging price. Choose some well-regarded companies with a meter in use. You can try some popular name in Vietnam travel guides like VinaSun Taxi or Taxi Group.

Vinasun Taxi

VinaSun Taxi (Source: Internet)

Whenever you enter a cab, make sure the meter is on. It usually runs automatically the moment you open the door. You can see prices in every kilometer and therefore control your budget. Some drivers would start driving without turning on the meter. Remember to check this out.

Even when the meter’s running, you’re not safe. Some taxis have their meters jumped wildly even when you are stationary. Then you know you’re in a scam.

Because taxi meters are based on distances, some drivers who claim to take shortcuts but are in fact longer and roundabout routes. It’s always good to have an idea where you are going and a street map to follow your route.

Transport hubs like airport and train station are the hotbed for taxi scammers. Tourists get out of their long-hour flight or train, obviously feel tired and unfamiliar, just want to hop in the first cab they see – the easiest target of all scams! Drivers sometimes take tourists to the wrong hotel, as they are working on commission. You should write down the detailed information about the hotel you have booked, including name, address and telephone number. You can always make a call in case of necessity.

Taxi at airport

Taxi at airport (Source: Internet)

Going on a fixed price could be really tricky. Either you have done your research and know the market rate or you’re going with a local, or else, insist on the meter. It’s a smarter move in a strange country.

By the time this article is written, which is the end of 2017, the taxi price in Vietnam often ranges from 13,000 to 15,000 VND per kilometer (around 60 cents). It’s never too careful to have some idea about the price here.

One good news for foreigner visitors travel to Vietnam is that Uber and Grab are now available in the country. This probably the best choice so far for tourists trying to book a cab.

Tourists trying Uber in Vietnam

Tourists trying Uber in Vietnam (Source: Internet)

Despite this small inconvenience, Vietnam is still worth visiting. Those shameful scammers don’t represent Vietnam culture which is full of nice and friendly people. Taxi scams are probably the one thing travelers complain most about in Vietnam.  Be a smart traveler and stay one step ahead of scammers while enjoying your holiday!


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