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New Zealand - Taxis
There are some drivers in New Zealand who will take you the long way round on any journey but this is no longer a frequent occurrence. All the larger cities have a number of taxi firms operating and in more rural areas there is usually at least one taxi service. In busy areas there are taxi ranks and it is not necessary for the passenger to take the first taxi, you are able to choose any that is waiting. In some areas you may be able to hail a cab on the street but in smaller towns and rural areas booking in advance is the best option. There are regulations which prevent a taxi driver from refusing to take a passenger simply because they only want a short trip.
The cost of taking a taxi is fairly standard across the country, even though the taxi companies are able to set their own fares. Each likes to stay competitive which helps to keep the prices fairly stable. The cost of taking a taxi is comparable to the UK, with a 5km taxi ride in a city centre costing around $11. Most firms will have their starting charge at around $2 with an extra $2 for each kilometre travelled.
It should be noted that most taxis, particularly in rural areas, will only deal in cash. In some cities the taxis may be able to take credit card payments, although you may have to pay an extra fee for using a credit card. Most taxi companies will be happy to provide you with an estimated cost for the journey before you begin. Fares are calculated using a flat fee minimum (known as flagfall) which is then added to for each kilometre that you travel. Most taxis will be fitted with meters, so that you can see the cost of the journey as you go. The minimum will vary according to location and the time of day that you are taking the taxi.
In the taxi there should be an ID card on display and a fare schedule which sets out the varying rates. The flagfall and tariff per kilometre should be on the card as well as the rate that is charged for any time that the car is stationary during the journey. If the journey involves a trip to the airport there may be an airport fee to pay and some companies will charge passengers an extra fee for any luggage.
Taxis in New Zealand must be part of a bigger company. It is not possible for an individual driver to set themselves up as a taxi driver. It is rare that a passenger is scammed by a taxi driver but to be sure you should only use a taxi from a recognised firm. Taxi firms should be in operation around the clock. If you need to make a complaint about a driver then you should first contact the taxi firm and then the police if you feel that your complaint is serious.
If you need to take a pet with you on a journey you should check in advance with the taxi firm. Some will allow pets in their cars for an extra charge but some will not permit it, particularly larger animals such as dogs. Smaller pets which are contained in a pet carrier are permitted by most firms.
Auckland Co Op Taxis
10 Macauley Street
Admin Tel: 09 300 3100
Email: online enquiry form on website
Wellington Combined Taxis Ltd
P.O.Box 16 126
Tel: 04 384 4444
Email: online enquiry form on website
P.O. Box 6061
Tel: 0508 4-GREEN (0508 447-336)
186 Macandrew Road
PO Box 2484
Freephone 0800 771 771
Bookings 03 477 1771
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