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rojo's avatar

Taxi Fare etiquette, can someone tell me if I did something wrong?

Asked by rojo (14869 points ) July 24th, 2012

Not well versed it taxi travel. Can probably count on two hands the number of times I have done so.
Last weekend took a short hop from B&B to Terminal; upon arrival the meter read $7.75. While removing the bags the driver said “That will be $10.00”. I assumed he was adding in his own tip which was fine since that was what I was going to hand him anyway. But he looked at me like I had just stiffed him.
So, just for my edification, was $2.25 an adequate tip on a $7.75 fare or is there an unwritten rule that there is a minimum fare and I should have tipped him a couple of extra bucks?

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11 Answers

jca's avatar

I think $10 is adequate on a $7.75 bill but I would have asked why he’s charging $10 when the meter says $7.75. There was probably some extra charge for stops or baggage but I would have asked. $2 tip on less than $10 is fine.

rojo's avatar

Thanks, @jca
Just to clarify, there was no additional stops and the baggage was a carry-on and a small daypack that he put into the taxi and took out of the vehicle without taking a step away from the trunk (or boot). He did have to push the button to open the trunk though.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Having traveled a fair amount and used taxis, what I have discovered is that the fees and tip expectations vary vastly from region to region. It might be helpful for us to answer this question to know what country you are from and what country you were in when this occurred.

marinelife's avatar

Did the driver have to pay polls on the route? If so, you are responsible for the tolls. Or was there a fuel surcharge?

The driver does not add in their own tip so if you paid him $10, you stiffed him.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It was probably the trunk opening and two pieces of luggage. I’ve used taxis and shuttle buses and they sometimes have a per bag charge. A dollar a bag would be reasonable.

bookish1's avatar

Speaking from experience only in the U.S. (this protocol does vary greatly between regions and countries; you don’t even have to tip in Paris because the gratuity is included in everything!):

The driver doesn’t add their own tip… if it’s a metered cab from a legit company.
At the time of payment, you could have asked him to explain where the extra fees came from, but since he assumed you knew, and you assumed he was including his own tip, he probably did feel that you had stiffed him. When I’m sitting in a cab I always try to look at all the signs on the windows to make sure there are no surprises at the end of the ride.

Buttonstc's avatar

It is possible that there is a minimum fare and the sign was not posted prominently or you might have just overlooked it.

I’ve ridden in cabs where there was a minimum amount per trip but I was always over that amount so there wasn’t a problem.

You could call the cab company and ask them what their policy is regarding minimum fares. At least that way you know that little piece of the puzzle.

rojo's avatar

It was in New Orleans, Louisiana.
It was about 6 blocks up and over about 2, no tolls. Only a couple of traffic lights.
No fuel surcharge notices that were obvious.
I assume it was metered, It had a meter that started out at 0 and went up every so often
The meter had a sign that said $3.25 for the first ¼ mile and $0.25 every 1/8th thereafter. (I believe these were the numbers. I could be wrong on what the distance for the first $3.25 was).
Had a name and a badge.
The B&B owner had indicated that the cost should be “about $7.00” but did not know for certain.
Thanks for the responses thus far!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you for the additional information. Here are the New Orleans taxi fare rules:

Metered Rates
$3.50 initial charge
$2.00 for each additional mile
$0.25 for every 40 seconds of waiting time

Additional Charges:
$1.00 each additional passenger
A fixed rate of $33 (one to two people) is charged from the airport to most areas of New Orleans. For parties of more than two, the fare is $14 per person.
During peak visitor times (including Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest) taxi rates are $5 per person or the meter rate, whichever is greater.

If you recall the addresses of the point-of-origin and the destination, you can use the site’s calculator to get an estimated cost based upon distance. Source

flutherother's avatar

You did nothing wrong in my opinion but the taxi driver did in making you feel bad. There was no need for that.

Response moderated (Spam)

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