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Spain - Taxis

Taxis in Spain are considered to be an affordable means of transport. If you take a 15 minute journey in a city centre then it will cost on average €10. All taxis should be licensed and will display details of the licence within the cab. All taxis should have a meter and you can only be charged the amount which appears on the meter, although the cab company is within its rights to charge a little extra if you have extra luggage with you. The standard rates must also be displayed on a notice inside the cab. Fares are generally good when compared with those of the UK and the US.

In city centres the average taxi journey may take longer than you had planned due to the volume of traffic. In this instance is it often considered to be quicker to take a bus, particularly in areas where there are dedicated bus lanes. In some city centres large parts – particularly shopping areas – are pedestrianised, so it may be that you will have to get out a little way from your destination.

Taxi drivers will always accept a tip but this is not compulsory. It is standard to offer between 5 and 10% of the total fare for the journey. The price structure of the fare is usually set by the local authority that has issued a licence. Other surcharges may be imposed for trips to the airport or to have pets in the car. Many taxi companies will not permit animals to ride with them, although some do and the cab may need to be booked in advance.

Cabs in different cities have different colours. In Barcelona they are yellow and black. Official cabs will also have an illuminated light on top of the cab which will show if it is available to be hired. Most taxis in Spain are considered to be of a high standard and there is legislation in place which governs their management and drivers. It is possible to simply flag a taxi down in the street but most towns and cities have taxi ranks where you simply take the next available taxi.

Most cities have a taxi company that offers special services for those who are disabled and these can be booked directly with the taxi company ahead of time. If you need specific help or mobility aids on board the taxi you can talk directly to the taxi firm to make the necessary arrangements.

While many taxi drivers are trustworthy there are those which attempt to operate outside the system. These tend to be the ‘taxis’ which operate at the airports as the drivers believe that they have a better chance of overcharging tourists. It is common practice to ask a driver for a price for a long journey and asking for a written quote is a good idea. This prevents the driver from attempting to add on ‘extras’ at the end of the journey. If there is a problem when you arrive at your destination you should suggest contacting the police and asking them to resolve the dispute, this is usually enough to make the driver see sense.

If you do need to take a cab from an airport, look for an official taxi rank or find an information desk of a registered cab company. It is often the ‘independent’ drivers who cause the problems. Registered cab companies have to ensure that their drivers are checked and pass a series of tests before they are permitted to carry passengers.

It is the same independent drivers who will try to overcharge people, particularly those from abroad. All taxis should clearly display the name of the taxi company and contact details. When you get into the car you need to be sure that it has an official meter.

If you need to make a complaint about a taxi driver, you can often go directly to the local authority which issues the licence. They can review the complaint and liaise with the taxi firm. If it is an independent driver that has been driving without being registered then you have little recourse with the local authorities although you are entitled to call the police and report any incidents to them.

Useful Resources

Tele Taxi (Madrid)
Tel: + 34 902 50 11 30

Taxi Barcelona
Tel: + 34 699 96 23 24
Tel: + 34 670 58 00 75
Email: reservas@taxi-barcelona.es

Tel: +34 952 17 62 25

Read more about this country

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