How to not get "Taxi Scammed" in Bali
Metered taxis are common in the South of Bali apart from a few areas including Canggu, Ubud and a couple of others. They are essential for getting around and you can usually easily flag one down in busy areas. They're often a lot less hassle than haggling with drivers offering 'transport!'
The best taxi company by far is Blue Bird Taxi, which uses blue vehicles with a light on the roof bearing a stylised bluebird. Drivers speak reasonable English and use the meter at ALL times. Blue Bird has a slick app that summons a taxi to your location just like Uber which you can download prior to your holiday or once you've arrived are in Bali. You need to make sure you have a sharp eye about you….. Bali is not only a place where you can buy yourself a fake Gucci Handbag or Prada Sandals…….Bali is also full of FAKE Bluebird Taxis. You’ll notice firstly that every taxi in Bali is Blue. This certainly doesn’t help when you are spotting for a fake. Secondly, you’ll notice the fakes will also have stickers of Birds on their taxis. Thirdly, unless you’re up close, you’ll also see that they have a sticker across the front of their taxis saying….”Blue Biro” From A distance it looks like “Blue Bird, but it’s far from. Blue Bird. Look for 'Blue Bird' over the windscreen and the phone number.
The other taxis are called 'Local Taxis' which are essentially individual guys trying to make a buck(and generally not an honest buck). Where you will get caught out is in some areas, where they have a ‘local taxi only policy'. Essentially the local heads of the area will ban and block any official taxis, ie Blue Birds from entering the suburb, so their local members can make money and have no competitors. They will be able to drop off at a point, but are forbidden to collect any passengers, which means you are then forced to be using their local taxis which can become VERY expensive. This is where having your own scooter in places like this is a good option or having a driver pre-arranged to collect you from a particular destination.
Taxis are fairly cheap: Kuta to Seminyak can be 80,000Rp which in Australian dollars equates to about $8
Avoid any taxis where the driver won't use a meter, even after dark when they claim that only fixed fares apply. Other taxi scams include ‘lack of change’, 'broken' meter, fare-raising detours and ‘sorry, there is minimum charge’. You will never need to ask a Blue Bird Tax to put on the meter as it’s a given and never be told that there is a ‘minimum charge’.
Oh and the best part about a Bali Taxi.....they are incredibly clean. They do not even compare to the taxi's we often have to deal with in Australia. They are 'sparkling' and have the air-conditioned on full blast(which is needed in Bali) for a very comfortable ride!
Sing out with any questions and happy commuting, Anna x