Taxi, please!

  • Taxi prices
Published on 2017-08-07 at 09:46
Many countries and major cities have efficient public transport systems. However, this is not always the case, and frequent transport service disruptions can lead many to look for alternative options. Some prefer the reliability and experience of a taxi, which as it turns out is more affordable in some countries than others. Uber has come to dominate the taxi market, though surge pricing and its non-presence in certain jurisdictions means that you may have to rely on the local taxi service. But how much will it cost you?

Asia Pacific

Matej Kastelic /

Although Tokyo has the third priciest taxi fare (over three km), it has the most expensive taxi ride from the airport to the city centre at €168.67. However, with the efficiency of its public transport system, taking the train shouldn't be too much hassle, and, in a city known for its high cost of living, this isn't far from remarkable. Tokyo is also the only part of Japan where Uber operates, although it isn't hugely popular there.

Aside from Tokyo, Asia seems to have some of the cheapest taxi fares, with the next Asian entrants of Hong Kong and Seoul in 50th and 51st, respectively. At the very bottom of the list are Jakarta in Indonesia and Mumbai in India, where a three km taxi journey will cost just under one and a half euros. You can get a taxi in cities such as Singapore, Shanghai and Hanoi for less than four euros.

In Australasia, the most expensive city is Auckland, New Zealand, with a short taxi ride costing €8.14, while Sydney, Australia, is close behind at €7.37 for the same three km trip. However, both feature behind numerous European cities deemed to offer a similar quality of life, such as all of the German cities included in the list. Nonetheless, both countries also have Uber as an option, creating the potential for cheaper fares.

The Americas

elbud /

The USA is notably where Uber started, and where its business is arguably the most prolific. Uber's city of origin, San Francisco, offers the country's priciest taxi rides at €8.38 for a short journey, making it the 25th most expensive city overall. However, a taxi ride from the airport to the city centre, is notably more expensive than other cities at a similar price point, at €47.22. Los Angeles is often identified for its numerous traffic jams and the next most expensive US city in 31st, followed by Chicago in 36th, and New York and its famous yellow cabs in 38th.

While Canada is not as pricey as its Southern neighbours, it should be noted that Uber isn't present in Vancouver on the West coast, though it is in Toronto. In the former, a short taxi ride will cost €6.50, while in the latter is a hair pricier at €6.67. However, it is notably more expensive to get a taxi ride from the airport to the city centre; with the traffic, it may be worth getting the direct train into the city from the airport, rather than a taxi.

South American cities appear in the second half of the list, ensuring a cheap ride in Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Mexico City is right at the bottom end of the list with one of the most affordable short trips at €1.36 for three km. Bogota, Colombia is by far the priciest South American city on the list, with the same journey costing €5.75. Given that, again, Uber is present in all of the countries mentioned above, you may be able to find competitive prices for certain journeys.

Africa and the Middle East

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The most expensive African city on the list is Lagos in Nigeria, which appears above the likes of New York and Toronto at €7.12 for a three km taxi trip. In Cape Town, South Africa, its just €2.78, though getting from the airport to the city centre will cost slightly more than in Nigeria. In Tunis, a three km trip in a taxi will cost just €1.44. However, the cheapest place in Africa and on the entire list is in Cairo, Egypt, where a local taxi for the same distance will cost just €0.49.

When it comes to the Middle East, Tel Aviv in Israel has the priciest taxi journeys, with a short trip costing €6.43. In Dubai, the city notorious for the high-flying, glamorous lifestyles of its inhabitants, the same three km drive will cost less than five euros, while in Istanbul the price would be just over two and a half euros.


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European countries form a large part of this list, so it is not surprising that they dominate the first half of the list. Western European countries, in particular, have some of the most expensive native taxi companies. Furthermore, some have resisted Uber's international spread, meaning you may be limited for choice in certain cities.

Switzerland's Zurich and Geneva took the top two positions with the most expensive taxi journeys. With a notoriously high cost of living in Switzerland (and a good quality of life), this is likely as you would expect. Unlike fourth place Copenhagen, however, Uber is available in both cities. Uber is also unavailable in seventh place Antwerp, Belgium, where a three km journey will cost €10.33. The fifth most expensive three km taxi ride is in Helsinki, while the sixth most expensive is in the famous for its black cabs city of London.

Seven of Germany's major cities also appear between eighth and seventeenth place, with Munich offering the most expensive local taxi service. Furthermore, Uber is not available in most of the cities included in the list (apart from Munich and Berlin).

It would seem that if you're looking for a cheap ride in Europe, Eastern Europe is the place to be. In third place at the cheapest end of the list is Bucharest, Romania, where a three km journey will cost just €1.31, and taxis are similarly cheap in Sofia, Bulgaria for just €1.72 for a short three km journey. It is slightly more expensive in central Europe (albeit still under five euros), with the same taxi trip in Prague costing €4.56.

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