Prague Taxis – Scary Stuff
There can’t be a blog or a message board in Czech that does not have a scary story about Prague Taxis. Just follow a few simple rules if you do need to use a taxi in the city. Also check the UBER Prague Taxi post then at least you’ll be prepared.
3 Simple Rules
- Never flag down a taxi on the street.
- Never get in a taxi with a “max.99” tariff.
- Always check that the name of the taxi driver and the 40/28/6 tariff is clearly visible on the outside of the car.
What are the Options?
If you are already in the city then there are companies that I use which have English language options, online reservation via a webpage or an app. The one I recommend is AAA Taxi which is the biggest company in the city but to be frank, it’s also the easiest to deal with. If using the app or the webpage then all you have to know is the name of the streets for pick-up and drop-off and you’ll have pre-filled options. These methods will give you an approximate cost but you won’t know the arrival time of the taxi until you book. Note that the current taxi tariff is 40/28/6 which means CZK40 when you get in, CZK28 for each kilometre and CZK6 waiting time per minute.
Specifically Prague Taxis to/from the Airport
You can get a regular taxi from the airport and if you tell the dispatcher your destination you’ll get an accurate quote. Expect a transfer to the centre to be in the region of CZK650 but also check my Recommended Airport Transfer Service.
Are there Uber Prague Taxis?
Yes, Uber operates in Prague and I’ve recommended them to people who just need a quick point to point drop-off but be aware that many Uber services are small cars and not suitable for an airport transfer. I’ve now written an UBER Prague Taxi post. There’s also a local company called Liftago which operates the same location-based pre-costed service but if you are an existing Uber user then best stick with them.
What do I Normally Do?
In central Prague I prefer just to walk into any hotel and ask them to call me a taxi. I accept that is going to cost an extra CZK30 but for knowing I won’t get any aggravation it’s worth it. Even though I speak Czech, I also prefer to give the driver the address of where I want to go on a card or paper as this will avoid problems if he takes me to the wrong place “by mistake”. WHY DO I DO THIS? Because of stories like these. They are in Czech but essentially this story http://praha.idnes.cz/taxikar-predrazena-jizda-turistka-dt0-/praha-zpravy.aspx?c=A170717_083608_praha-zpravy_rsr describes a taxi driver who tried to charge 400 euros (CZK14000) for a 14km trip for which the correct price should have been @CZK500. And if you think that’s bad then this story http://praha.idnes.cz/taxikar-zamkl-klientku-v-aute-d2v-/praha-zpravy.aspx?c=A170718_172955_praha-zpravy_rsr is about a taxi driver from a “Fair Place” rank who tried to charge CZK2000 for a 2Km trip (that’s 70 times the correct cost) and to get his money he took the couple back to their hotel, took the man inside to get the money and left his wife locked in the car. Both drivers were eventually arrested by the police.
The Nightmare Prague Taxis Scenario
All of the above options will mean that you are taking a properly metered taxi or that you know the cost of the trip beforehand. The nightmare is if at any point you have got into a taxi and at the arrival point you are asked to pay a fare which you consider excessive. It’s a difficult situation to be in. It will be stressful and it will leave a bad taste so please follow the above guidance.