Taxis in Buenos Aires: Overview
To begin with, Buenos Aires has two types of taxis: the ordinary taxis -which are metered- and the local “remises” (cars and drivers), which are prepaid vehicles offering rides for set fares. In both cases, even though taxis and remises are the most expensive way of traveling around Buenos Aires, they are really cheap compared to other European or American cities. Thus, if you don’t want to tangle with the often confusing Buenos Aires bus lines or the overcrowded subway (subtes), a taxi or a remis is your best option. Nevertheless, if saving money is your goal, the city’s public transportation services are considered efficient enough and are a value-for-money transfer alternative. Overall, take a look at the pros and cons of Buenos Aires taxis and offset your decision:
|Taxis Pros||Taxis Cons|
|With more than 40.000 taxis In Buenos Aires, hiring one for your transfer is easy peasy.||Taxi scams are, unfortunately, a usual phenomenon.|
|In general terms, their services are safe. They offer fast rides while the passengers’ personal belongings are safely stored in the trunk of the vehicle.||Hiring an individual unlicensed taxi is dangerous.|
|Door-to-door services are undoubtedly their main advantage.||They are much costlier than public transportation (still, low-cost compared to Europe’s or USA’s fares). Their price is subject to road traffic.|
|A taxi can make your life a lot easier when traveling with children.||Taxi drivers usually don’t speak English. However, if you have your address written down, you won’t face any communication problems.|
|If you don’t speak the language, a taxi ride is much more unstressed than trying to find the right bus or subway line or searching out the right stop to disembark.|
Buenos Aires Taxi Fares
As far as remises are concerned, their prices are fixed, depending on the distance between the pick-up location and the destination point. The exact fares are set out by each remis company. In general terms, their rates are slightly higher than ordinary taxis.
Conversely, the fares of ordinary taxis are regulated by the government. Buenos Aires black and yellow taxis don’t have fixed rates but charge according to their taximeter’s indication depending on the traveling distance and the journey’s time. Their flag price is 351AR$(1.88$/1.74€). After that point, taxis charge 35.10AR$(0.19$/0.17€) for every 200m. Night rides (10:00 pm – 06:00 am) are 20% costlier, while apart from one piece of luggage (0.90X0.40 X 0.30), every other type of baggage is extra charged.
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Buenos Aires Taxis: Payment Methods
If you hire a remis, then you should keep in mind that you’ll have to prepay for the ride when making your reservation. This is highly convenient as you can be absolutely certain about the cost of your transfer. What’s more, remises accept payments in cash and via bank cards.
On the other hand, taxi drivers usually accept only cash payments. Taxis equipped with a POS system have a sticker on the vehicle indicating “MercadoPago”. Although more and more taxis accept credit cards as time goes by, if you plan on paying with a card, you should first check with your driver before beginning your ride.
Our Tip: Small change is a huge problem in Buenos Aires. Thus, it is strongly recommended to carry small bills with you. Otherwise, you risk finding yourself in a situation where your driver doesn’t have enough change to give you back or getting scammed.
How to Hire a Buenos Aires Taxi
As already mentioned, more than 40.000 taxis circulate in Buenos Aires. Thus, hailing one from the street is an easy task. You can easily spot them by the turned-on red light on their windshield, indicating that they are free (“LIBRE”). Nevertheless, there is an exception to this rule: taxis are hard to find when public transportation goes on strike or in case of really heavy rain causing flooding in the city. Alternatively, you can call a taxi using your phone or an app. Overall, calling a cab is always a good idea if you want to avoid getting scammed or overcharged.
Remises can only be booked in advance. Although pre-paying makes remises rather inconvenient, it is also the reason why remises are a safe way of transfer and can offer set prices.
How to Avoid the Most Usual Taxi Scams in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is sadly notorious for its taxi scams. The city’s “taxi mafia” -many call it that way as an exaggeration- takes advantage of visitors who aren’t familiar with the city’s whereabouts and tries to find ways to overcharge them. To avoid those practices, above all else, you’ll have to be sure that your taxi is licensed. Thus, it is recommended to hail black and yellow vehicles with a “RADIO-TAXI” sign on their roof and the company’s logo on their front and back doors. Those taxis belong to a company’s fleet. Therefore, you can be certain that they are registered and that you can contact the company in case of an incident. However, even so, you still may find yourself in a “situation” as described below:
- The driver hasn’t reset the taximeter: Once entering the cab, check that the taximeter is zeroed and on.
- The driver changes the bill given to him: This is exactly why you shouldn’t carry 200AR$, 500AR$, or 1000AR$ bills. Taxi drivers tend to take the bill, change it with a fake one and give it back to you, claiming they don’t have enough change.
- The driver gives you fake bills as change: Another reason why you should pay with small bills.
- The driver takes a long route or gets stuck in traffic on purpose: To avoid this scam, you’ll have to look confident as to where you are heading. Use a navigation app on your phone and keep track of the route to make sure the driver isn’t just driving around.
Our Tip: The safest way to take a cab and avoid any of those scams is to call for a radio taxi or pre-book a remis.
Buenos Aires Taxi to EZE Airport
A Few More Tips about Buenos Aires Taxis
- Remises provide fixed fares, whereas ordinary taxis are metered. Verily, even rides from Buenos Aires Airport to the city center don’t come with a flat fare.
- Always ask for a receipt at the end of the ride. All the driver’s info is included in the receipt. However, check it out before leaving the taxi as some drivers tend to give fake receipts or empty pieces of paper.
- Most Buenos Aires taxis don’t accept credit cards. However, you can pay a remis with a credit card as well.
- Taxi fares are unfortunately affected by the traffic levels or the demonstrations that often take place in Buenos Aires.
- Taxi prices are also subject to the country’s inflation situation and change constantly.
- You don’t have to tip your driver. However, locals usually round up the final fee.
- Under no circumstances should you take an unlicensed taxi!
- A governmental taxi app in Buenos Aires (BA Taxi) also accepts bank card payments. However, it is available only in Spanish.
- Having your location’s address written down is always a good idea, as taxi drivers usually don’t speak English.
- When giving your destination’s address, you should name the closest cross street and not the exact street number. In that way, you’ll get to your destination faster and avoid having your driver circle the blocks (please note that in Buenos Aires, you can’t turn left on most two-way streets).
- Ridesharing is a thing in Buenos Aires, but nobody can tell with certainty if it is entirely legal or not.
What taxi to use in Buenos Aires?
To avoid getting scammed, you should either use a radio taxi or book a local remis car in advance. In that way, you’ll know that your hired vehicle is licensed and belongs to a company’s fleet.
How to order a taxi in Buenos Aires?
You can either stop a taxi on the street or call a cab using your phone or a taxi app. However, it is strongly recommended to get a called taxi or pre-book a remis to avoid unsafe fake taxi vehicles.
How expensive are taxis in Buenos Aires?
Buenos Aires taxis are certainly much pricier than public buses or the subway. However, when their prices are compared to taxi fares in Europe or USA, it is evident that taxis in Buenos Aires aren’t expensive.