Anyone visiting or living in Buenos Aires will become very familiar with the yellow and black taxis that hurtle around the city, dodging buses and pedestrians like they’re playing some kind of 1980s road racer computer game. There many obvious benefits to travelling by taxi in Argentina’s capital, they are relatively cheap, quick (sometimes to quick), and Buenos Aires’ taxistas tend to be a chatty bunch, so its a great way to practice your spanish, but there are some details you should be aware of before taking a cab in the city. Here is Expanish Spanish School Blog ‘s top things to look out for when travelling by taxi in Buenos Aires
1. Radio is still the best: Just get into taxis that are so called “Radio Taxis”, which means they belong to a larger reputable company. You can spot a radio taxi because it will usually have a mark on both the front door (saying taxi) but also on the back door, showing which company it belongs to and the phone number. They often also have a sign on the roof, so look out for that! You shouldn’t take taxis without the sign of Radio Taxi because sometimes they might be part of a bigger “mafia” community. And if you are afraid of catching up a taxi right on the street, just ask in a Bar or café if they could call you one or even a “remise” (more expensive but really safe art of taxis). Expanish can recommend the following taxi number: 1152380000
2. Don’t overpay! Make sure that the money counting starts at about 5.80 AR$ (by day) or at about 6.80 AR$ (by night) and doesn’t run too fast. A normal taxi ride in the city should cost between 20-30 AR$. If you think the price goes up too fast, just ask him to let you out on the next corner.
3. No bills! Remember to have always some smaller bills then the 100 AR$. Sometimes the taxi drivers pretend not to have change and want you to give him the hundred pesos. This is especially a tip for those who are not very familiar to the Spanish language and discussion situations. WARNING: There is a well known taxi scam that dodgy taxistas operate, whereby when you hand them a 100AR$ note, they surreptitiously swap it for a fake note, hand it back to you and ask for a replacement. This is quite common, so watch out if you do have to hand over a 100AR
4. Foreigners often are taken for a long way round! You can be sure that all the taxi drivers know the city and all the streets like the back of their hand. So if you know at least the direction where to go, you should pay attention that he doesn’t make a detour. If not it can happen that he takes you around the same block like 3 times. One tip for avoiding this is by having a map in front of you, so you look like you think you know where you’re going!
5. Let your eyes open! In general it is no problem to take a taxi over here. But I know some people that got robbed in a taxi without noticing it – they are really quick! Just make sure that you don’t show around your wallet and don’t behave as the naïve idiot showing that he might have a lot of money.
6. Tips: If you were satisfied with the ride than you can give a tip but this is not normal practice in BA. If you do want to give a tip, about 2 AR$ is sufficient