Taxi drivers in Saigon typically pick-up and drop-off at any part of town but that does not mean they are physical atlases of every street, alley and district in town. It helps to write your destination down, carry a small map, or use Google Maps on your smartphone. Most drivers of reputable taxi companies will start the meter as soon as you start the journey. If the taxi driver fails to start the meter, ask them to do so; if he doesn’t comply, demand to pull over and get out. 

Before you get into a taxi, take a close look at the logo. If you’re a foreigner or an expat, please be informed that imitation taxis exist here. If the logo is even slightly different from the original (i.e. Vina Sun, instead of Vinasun), it is likely an imitation taxi and will most likely charge you a higher rate through a dodgy meter or will take you the long way round. 

As always, be mindful of your belongings and look up the distance or route to the address where you’re going. Your maps and various apps should be able to guide you in case your driver tries to drive you around the block to get more money from you.

Consider the size of the taxi you are hailing. If you’re in a big group and you have a lot of luggage, get a bigger car with more capacity instead.

If you feel like you might have a problem with your taxi driver, every reputable taxi company has the name and ID number of the taxi driver in the cab. This is also useful if you forget personal belongings in the cab. Since you will probably not remember the driver’s name or ID, remembering the taxi company along with the time and place you were dropped off may make it possible to locate the taxi. Still, be sure you write down or memorize the ID number of the taxi whenever possible.

For more information on cabs go to Competition Drives Tensions Between Local Taxis and Grab, Uber

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