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Rome Cabs

Rome Cabs: how not to get ripped off

Going around by cab in Rome can be far more easier than waiting for a long time for crowded buses or having to rely on the negligible Rome Metro network. But Rome cabs can also be very expensive, because of the serious traffic issues of the city, because Rome cabs fares are higher than in most other European countries and, last but least, because not all Roman taxi drivers are exactly honest. So cabs in Rome can be a good solution if you have to cover short or medium distances within the centre and above all, if you know how to deal with them and be sure not being ripped off. This is a small, but precious guide on Rome cabs.
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Dealing with dishonest Rome cabs drivers is an issue also for Romans, not only for tourists or visitors who don’t speak Italian, but even if taking cabs in Rome can be a bit of a problem for Rome native too, we can give you some useful tips which will help you deal more easily with the situation.

Rome Cabs: the situation
The majority of the exorbitant fees are getting charged by Rome cabs from Fiumicino airport and Termini station, but in the last few years the worst cases happened in Ciampino, the second Rome airport, which recently became pretty important due to its constant low-cost air traffic. Rome cabs at Ciampino, won’t even take Italian clients, actively soliciting, on the contrary, English-speaking or foreign tourists, it’s a sort of organized ring of taxi drivers. Rome cabs who aren’t part of this “ring” or scam won’t work there. It’s a shady situation and you’re probably much better off taking a bus service like Terravision or SIT Bus Shuttle, for more information about it check our page Ciampino Airport Transfer.
The reason they won’t take Romans from Ciampino is that they know how much it should cost for a cab in Rome. Last October, in fact, a city ordinance came out, setting fixed rates for cabs from Fiumicino and Ciampino airport to the city centre: €30 to/from Ciampino and €40 to/from Fiumicino. The dishonest Rome cabs are asking €60 from Fiumicino, making up reasons like extra baggage fees or extra passengers fees. The fixed rates are for up to four people with luggage. Here you'll find more information about Rome Cabs fixed rates.
Termini is a bit trickier because it isn’t regulated by fixed rates. In general, a ride from Termini to most destinations within the downtown area should run you anywhere from €8 to €15. Unfortunately, I have had guests and students who have been charged anywhere from €40 to €75.

Rome Cabs: issues
Most of the dishonest Rome cab drivers are preying on your insecurity regarding the city and lack of finesse with the local language. Often people know they are getting totally ripped off, yet still they fork over the cash, either out of fear, intimidation, or simply because they don’t feel fit to argue in a foreign language. Rome cabs meters can be manipulated in many ways to increase the fare, without you being aware of it. There are two tariff rates in Rome cabs: Tariffa 1 and Tariffa 2. Tariffa 2 should only be applied if you are leaving the city’s ring road. Most tourists don’t need to go outside of it, and although the airports are outside of it, they come under the fixed rate scheme so Tariffa 2 doesn’t count. Also, cab drivers in Rome are obligated by city ordinance to inform the passenger when Tariffa 2 goes into effect. If they’re trying to cheat you, obviously they won’t tell you this. So keep your eye on the meter and when you’re within the city make sure Tariffa 2 isn’t turned on. Some Rome cabs have a timer below the meter that shows the time spent on the ride. Don’t let them try to trick you into thinking that the timer is part of the cab fare!

Rome Cabs: how to cope
So how can you protect yourself against getting ripped off? First of all, when you’re planning to take a cab in Rome, don’t ever get into any car that isn’t an authorized Rome city taxi. You’ll know the official Rome cabs because they are usually white, and will have “SPQR” marked on them, and a sign with “TAXI” on the roof. Second, always take down the taxi driver’s license number and be obvious about it as soon as you get in, we are not talking about the car license plate but the actual license number of the driver. Don’t be embarrassed to make sure the driver sees that you are taking down his information and don’t forget to get also the company phone number, usually displayed on the outside door. Third, when you take Rome cabs, be vigilant about watching the meter for tricks and be sure to know where you’re going, at least try to have looked at the route in advance. Last bit not least, don’t pay more if you are positive you’re being ripped off, even if, arguing in another language can be a rather trying! If the driver insists that you pay, tell him you’re going to call the Carabinieri (the number is 112). If you want some more information about Rome cabs, you can check out page Rome Taxis.
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