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Taxi in Turkey - Fares, Rules, Frauds


Page update - Apr 3, 2023

Taxis in Turkey are very tourist-friendly and affordable. The fares now (April 2023) are much lower than in the US, UK or Western European countries. Let's look into the tariffs and also touch on the "hot theme" of how tourists are cheated by Turkish taxi drivers.

Fare increases in 2023

Bad news! Starting March 10, 2023, taxi fares in the province of Antalya have been increased. Now (note: the prices on this page were updated in April 2023) boarding is 10 Turkish liras, a kilometer of ride is 14 liras, and waiting is 54 liras.

Fares have also increased in many provinces of the country. The increase in fares varies from 10 to 50%. If the fare hasn't gone up in some provinces, it will definitely do so in the coming months. See all the current fares below on this page.

Official taxis and unofficial taxis

Statistically, there is one unofficial taxi for every official taxi in Turkey. And unofficial taxis can also be yellow in color. They are often difficult for tourists to determine.

Does it make sense to use an unofficial taxi? The question is complicated. If you read tourist websites, it is strongly advised against doing so, as there is a higher chance of being cheated. Official taxis are tied to a taxi company, so at least there is someone to complain to if there are any problems.

Calculating the trip cost

By law, every taxi must have a meter and it is mandatory for taxi drivers to use it. The trip cost is calculated as: boarding price + kilometer price * kilometers passed + waiting price * waiting time. There is a minimal trip cost different in every region - from 20 to 50 liras.

In fact, many taxi drivers try to charge a fixed fee for the journey and haggle. This is particularly common in resort areas.

More often than not, tourists do not know the distance to their destination, do not know the journey cost by meter, and pay more on a fixed fare. It is strongly advised not to haggle, but to point to the meter or to say the word 'taximeter'.

Taxi drivers in resort areas often refuse to ride by taximeter, it's their principled stance. This is not surprising as these people earn money for the whole year during the summer tourist season. Therefore, in the resort areas, tourists are forced to pay a flat rate, there's nothing you can do about it. In this situation, it is better to know the actual distance to the destination site in order to haggle.

The exception to the rule

In the case of intercity travel, the price may be fixed, and in fact it almost always is. The cost will depend on the tourist's bargaining skills.

Trips from/to airports can be fixed priced, but in most cases it is by meter. Usually, you'll pay a higher fee if you're on a fixed price. There is no sense in bargaining if the price is fixed. Taxi drivers work in accordance with the predetermined rates and do not give in, so it is important to know the official rates.

In Turkey, it is often cheaper to book an individual airport transfer in advance than to take a taxi. A private car is usually cleaner, safer, more pleasant, and the price is likely to be lower.

See our airport taxi fares in our reviews:

- How to get from Istanbul Airport (IST) to the city;

- How to get from Sabiha Airport (Istanbul) to the city.

Fares in different regions

The fare consists of the boarding price and the price per kilometer. The fares vary from city to city, from province to province. Boarding costs from 5 to 20 Turkish liras. A kilometer costs between 5 and 15 Turkish liras. For the current exchange rates please see our review "Turkish lira".

In Istanbul, as of January 1, 2023, the fares are as follows:

- Yellow (Sari): 12.65 liras for boarding, 8.51 per kilometer, minimum cost is 40.

- Blue (Turkuaz): 15.55 liras for boarding, 9.79 per kilometer, minimum cost is 46.

- Black (VIP, Siyah): 21.51 liras for boarding, 14.47 per kilometer, minimum cost is 68.

Find the photo below to learn how the meter usually looks like. Click on the photo to enlarge to full screen.

Ankara (starting September 2022): 10 liras for boarding, 8 per kilometer, minimum cost is 25, waiting is 48 per hour (0,8 per minute).

Izmir and Cesme (starting March 2022): 6 liras for boarding, 9 per kilometer, minimum cost is 20.

Antalya City (starting March 2023): 10 liras for boarding, 14 per kilometer, minimum cost is 40, waiting is 54 per hour (0.9 per minute).

Out of town Antalya (Kemer, Belek, Alanya, Side, Demre, Kas) (starting March 2023): 10 liras for boarding, 14 per kilometer, minimum cost is 40, waiting is 54 per hour (0,9 per minute).

Important note! Usually, there are different fares within the city limits of Antalya and outside the city (at resorts). In January and June 2022 the increases were such that the fares have equalized. However, we have a feeling that by the summer tourist season the tariff at the resorts will be raised. We shall have to wait and see.

Mugla province (Bodrum, Dalaman, Marmaris, Fethiye) (starting March 2023): 8 liras for boarding, 20 per kilometer (up to 6 km) and further cheaper.

Aydin province (Didim, Kusadasi) (starting May 2022): 11 liras for boarding, 11 per kilometer, minimum cost is 30.

Features

First nuance. If the car is moving slowly, the meter still works, but at the waiting rate, which is usually 0.5-1 lira per minute.

Second nuance. Theoretically, there are gunduz (day) and gece (night) tariffs. They are marked as "1" (day) and "2" (night) on the meters. But de facto, the difference has been abolished in the main cities and resort areas, and the tariff is the same for day, night, weekends, holidays.

Third nuance. We are quoting prices for an ordinary taxi - Sari Taxi. But there are taxis of higher comfort - Turkuaz or VIP, where the fares are higher. Be careful which taxi you get into!

The fourth nuance. There are toll roads and toll bridges in Turkey. In these cases, it is the passenger who pays the toll on these bridges and roads.

For example, in Istanbul: 15 July Martyrs' Bridge (Bosphorus Bridge) or Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge - 8,25 lira, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge - 19 lira, Eurasia Tunnel - 46 lira.

Tips for tourists

- Taxi cars in Turkey are not of a very high quality. Most have air conditioning, but some do not. Many taxis have seatbelts out of order. If you don't like the car, just get into another one.

- It is not customary to tip taxi drivers in Turkey. It is customary to round up. For example, if a trip costs 35.6 lira by meter, you pay 40 lira. Although many taxi drivers look at tourists in hope - and what if they tip more?

- Like in many Islamic countries, it is not customary for women in Turkey to sit in the front seat next to the driver. Modern Turks, however, have little respect for tradition and have long forgotten about it.

- Tourist websites offer the following advice: always write down the taxi number or take a picture of it on your mobile phone. In case of fraud, show the number to the police. Good advice!

- Vacated taxis in Turkey prefer not to drive around looking for passengers, but stand still. Of course! At this price of petrol! If you want to hail a taxi, don't stand by the roadway with your hand outstretched with your thumb up. Better find the nearest car park or a special taxi button. How the taxi stand looks like, see the photo above, click on the photo to enlarge to full screen.

Frauds and scams

Turkish taxi drivers lead in the number of complaints from tourists about scams. This is true in the resort areas, but in Istanbul, Ankara and other large cities scams are rare. There are many methods, let's tell you about the most common ones.

- Using the meter, taxi drivers like to take the long way around or just take a couple of laps around the area. There is a cure for this problem - take your GPS navigator with you and show the driver you know the way.

- Taxi drivers lie about special rates: public holiday, Friday, weekend. Don't believe it.

- Taxi drivers lie that it is necessary to pay in addition for more passengers in the salon or for transportation of luggage. Do not believe, there are no such surcharges in Turkey in a taxi and never were.

- Not resetting the meter from a previous trip is a common fraud.

- Banknote swapping is very common there. It is when you give a taxi driver a 100 lira note and he swaps it into a 10 lira bill and demands another 30 lira from you. It is highly recommended to stock up on small notes and pay in taxis only with them.

- The "no change" scam is very popular. For instance, a ride costs 24 lira and you give the taxi driver 50 lira and he says he doesn't have change. He expects you to give him 26 lira.

Important to know

- If you're going to a hotel, it's risky to say the name of the hotel. There are many hotels and they have similar names, and the taxi driver may misunderstand. It is better to show the exact address of the hotel. You can get a business card with the address from the hotel, you can show the address in the booking.com app, you can show the printout of the booking;

- A local SIM card is handy for calling a taxi;

- In the resort areas, taxi drivers not only take dollars and euros, but even bargain in these currencies. In the cities, the payment is only in lira, and you'll have to change money. Read our detailed review "Money exchange in Turkey".

- On what expenses await on holiday apart from taxis, read our review "How much money to take to Turkey".

We hope you don't fall for any scams, and for that, read our other useful pages about Turkey (find the list of the links below).

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