Helpful Tips For Taxis in Greece

What are the most common scams and how do you avoid them? 

Taxi scams can be a big worry for most visitors to foreign countries, even though they are far less common than they used to be. If you stick to licensed, metered taxis, you’re far less likely to encounter a scam than if you take a lift from your hotel receptionist’s boyfriend who doubles as a bouncer at the local nightclub.

Unfortunately, Greece still has its fair share of unscrupulous taxi drivers who will attempt to rip off first time tourists more prone to their shenanigans. In fact, the situation is so bad that the leading airport taxi company for Athens, Athens Airport Taxis, warns customers on its website, “If you are a tourist, expect that most taxi drivers will try to charge you more than the normal fare.”

There’s nothing new in terms of taxi scams and the most common ones are pretty much exactly what you might expect: not starting the meter, setting the wrong tariff, choosing a far longer route through traffic when a much shorter and quicker one is available, sleight-of-hand with your money when you pay, demanding an upfront payment that is far higher than the actual fare.

You don’t have to be a victim though and by doing some research, understanding what to expect, and staying alert you can prevent your party from the worst the scammers have to offer.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting ripped off:

  • Know exactly where you are going and give a clear indication of where this is to the driver. If you seem hesitant, they will see this as a vulnerability.
  • Use a GPS app to check that the route is reasonable. And if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to mention this to the driver. Nothing stops a scammer quicker than thinking they’ve been rumbled.
  • Work out a rough cost in advance from information provided. Most taxi firms will have a website that they will publish fares prices on. If not, then Google how much it should cost.
  • Make sure the meter is running. All legal taxis in Greece will have a meter that is visible to passengers. You should watch for the driver turning the meter on when you get in the cab. You can also check to make sure it isn’t already running. If anything seems amiss mention it to the driver
  • Never pay in advance. If any taxi driver asks for an upfront payment walk away and find another. It is against the law for drivers of metered, licensed taxis in Greece to ask for upfront payments. If they say they can give you a better deal if you pay in advance, don’t believe them.

Any other helpful tips?

Yes, don’t be afraid to get out and about when in Greece, whether that be by Greek taxi or otherwise. It is a truly stunning country with many beautiful sites, and if you find a good taxi driver whilst there, leave them a little tip. You may need to use their services again.