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Tips on how to deal with Taxi drivers in Egypt

Transportation in Egypt is one degree above primitive. Although there are several governmental authorities responsible for transport, you will hardly be able to use the public transport service because of lack of discipline, unorganized and crowded roads. Tourists are left with only one practical choice to move around Cairo (or any other city in Egypt) which is taking a taxi.

Before you take a taxi in Egypt you should note the following points:

  • Although fare is set by the law, you will not find a taxi driver bound to it, the reason is that the fare was set a very long time ago and has never been changed in spite of the continuous rise in gas prices among other influential factors. So before you take a cab, you need to know how much it would cost to go to the place you are heading. You can enquire at the hotel reception or the travel agency that booked your holiday.
  • You have two choices to pay what you see reasonable, (1) either negotiate the price before you get in the taxi, or (2) if you know exactly how much a ride would cost, you can just pay what you think is fair and walk away even if the driver tries to beg you for more money. I myself prefer the first choice as it is more convenient and will leave you the taxi driver satisfied when you settle on the ride cost.
  • Remember as a tourist, you have the protection of the tourist police department which is dedicated to helping any foreign citizen in any situation. You can threaten the driver that you will report his taxi number to the police and this will restrain him from asking for more.
  • Be aware that some taxi drivers may go around in circles just to rip a passenger of a few bucks, so you will need to know approximately how long is your distance before you go. You can either ask at the hotel reception or buy a map just in case.
  • Cairo is a large city and most taxi drivers in Egypt do not know how to speak English or any other foreign language, so be brief and accurate when stating your destination so you and the taxi driver wouldn't be lost. You can have your destination written by any Arabic speaking person (hotel staff for example) so there wouldn't be any doubt knowing where you want to go.
  • Just a rough cost calculator to use when you don't know how much a ride would cost, minimum fair starter is L.E 2 in addition to L.E 1 for each kilometer (for example a 5 km ride would cost around 7 Egyptian pounds).
  • If you are staying at a 5 star hotel, it would be better if you move a few meters away from the hotel before you wave to a taxi, as taxi drivers become greedy and demanding when they thing you have money! this is a good advice even for Egyptians.
  • Some destinations cost more than others like a ride to the airport which is much expensive than inside the city. Also the price might depend on other factors like if you take a taxi during the day or at night, and urban or suburban place, ...etc
  • It might be odd in other countries for a taxi driver to take other passengers with you, but it is considered normal in Egypt. You can off course refuse this behavior and threaten to report it to the tourist police.

Call Taxi, Yellow Cab company in Egypt

There is a yellow cab taxi service that you can call by phone, it's called call taxi where you can request a cab 30 minutes in advance to take you on a ride. The fare depends on the distance you are going. The number of passengers should not exceed three. This service is available in Cairo and Alexandria. The phone numbers are:

  • Cairo call taxi (Cairo Cab) phone number: 19730
  • Alexandria call taxi (Fast Call) phone number: 19559

Above tips might be odd to you when you read it but you should know that each country has its own characteristics that distinguish it from other countries and taxis in Egypt clearly distinguish Egypt from anywhere else in the world.

I hope you find this article helpful, you can always leave a comment at the contact form

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