How to deal with taxi drivers who over-charge you

There’s a huge range in taxi prices in Hanoi. A trip from Tay Ho to Ba Dinh can cost as little as 70k and as much as 140k and still be legitimate. Companies such as G7 offer fares at the lower end of the spectrum, while a Taxi Group 7-seater could cost more than double.

Sometimes, however, we find ourselves in a taxi with a meter that’s running like a fan. If you’re confident that you’re being swindled, follow these steps:

  1. Show no alarm, emotion or any signs that you’re shocked about the price. Keep a poker face and don’t stare at the meter.
  2. Tell the driver that you’ve changed your mind about your destination, apologise profusely and direct him to a hotel. If you can’t speak Vietnamese, it pays to always carry the card of a hotel that’s close to your home.
  3. When you arrive at the hotel, the porter will of course open the door to your taxi. Kindly ask the porter to deal with your problem. Porters are used to dealing with problems like this and invariably take your side if you’re clearly being scammed.
  4. While the porter is assisting you, take a photo of the taxi’s number plate and the driver’s ID card, which should be mounted on the dashboard. This will show the driver that you intend to report him.
  5. Pay the taxi driver what the ride should have cost you – discovering you have a scamming taxi driver does not mean you don’t have to pay anything.
  6. Email the photos of the offending taxi and driver to the taxi company so that they know they have a dishonest employee on their books. Companies do want to know about shonky drivers, as they stand to lose their operating licence if caught by the transport police.  Reporting scams will help to eradicate dodgy drivers & we will all benefit from that.
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