? About Scamming Rome Cab Drivers

My husband was scammed by 2 different Rome cab drivers. Overcharged by 1 & the other never turned on the meter although I questioned him numerous times during the course of our ride. This upcoming trip with 3 friends I'm ready. I have already warned my friends that if this happens they might not want to hear what may come out of my mouth. If this has happened to any of you how have you handled this & can you offer me any words of advice? Thanks.

Posted by Scott
Portland, Oregon, USA
306 posts

Why don't you take the bus, metro, or walk? When I was in Rome I took the bus and/or metro everywhere. I never had a problem with pickpockets and I got to my destination quickly and without much fuss. It is a lot cheaper and given your history with cabbies it sounds like you would have a greater peace of mind.

Posted by Stephanie
Trussville, Al
185 posts

Addendum: We will be taking public transportation & walking once we have arrived. The cab will be on our initial arrival from the termini after an all nighter arrival at FCO & jet lag.

Posted by Greg
Palm Beach, Florida, United States
536 posts

Hi Steph - Steve , as usual , is right on. I spent my early years in Roma and can tell you that what happened to you is the exception, not the rule!
Cabbies everywhere, including the U.S. have their games they like to play BUT - If you do as Steve suggested and be firm - No Problem.


Posted by Scott M.
Dallas, TX, USA
1166 posts

I got scammed several times last May. One driver did a "quick-change" on me, and other drivers went the "long way" to my destination or wanted a fixed fare. Others have flipped a switch on the meter to bump up the fare even though I made note of it when we stopped. The first thing is to not jump into any cab that is just sitting there if it is not at an official taxi stand. This was probably my biggest mistake. I don't believe that I have been scammed yet by a taxi driver lined up at a taxi stand. These would be your legit drivers. The others, who sculk around at tourist spots waiting for the unsuspecting tourist, are the ones to watch out for. I did not heed my own advice this last trip. When handing them your bill, say out loud the denomination or you might fall victim to the "quick change" guy claiming that you gave him a smaller bill than you actually did. Also, have an idea where your destination is located so that you will know when you are being taken the "long way". Don't fall for the fixed fare unless of course it is to or from the airport (40 Euro fixed price by law). Watch the meter and make a note of it to the driver as you come to a stop (before he has a chance to touch it). And, if he bumps up the price, question him.

Posted by jack
Sheboygan, Wisc., USA
929 posts

Before I get into a cab in Rome I ask how much it will cost.They will tell you. If going from a hotel to the Airport I have the hotel make the arrangements.They usually deal with the same company and I have gotten great service.

Posted by Kate
Colorado Springs, CO
8 posts

Stephanie, you might have already seen this, but just in case, RS Italy/Rome 2010 mentions that cab rides from FCO to any hotel in Rome is a fixed fare, and it also has some tips to make sure you get that fare. I don't have personal experience with this one, though, just what I read. Does anyone else have more info/experience on this policy?

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1537 posts

Be sure the taxi is an official one--should have a shield on the door. We were scammed once at the train station in Rome and due to jet lag we got into an "unofficial" taxi--driver tried to charge 25 euros for a ride less than a mile. Husband paid him 15 euros and there was lots of shouting--unpleasant way to start a visit in Rome. Ask your hotel to call a taxi if you need one. Last trip to Rome we took a shuttle from airport for 30 euros. Never have used a taxi just to get around Rome--walked or used metro or bus. Leaving Rome last time we took a taxi to Ciampino ap to pick up rental car and that ride was 28 euros which was reasonable. Have a great trip to Italy!

Posted by Chris
Puyallup, WA, USA
881 posts

We had a sketchy cabbie taking us on a tour, so I just took my GPS out... ;)

Agree on the price before you get in the cab, and begin yelling if the meter isn't on. If I'm not mistaken, it's a set rate for going back to the airport there, isn't it?

Posted by When In Rome
212 posts

Learn this key phrase: "Chiamo i carabinieri?" (Should I call the police?)
This is how those of us who live in Rome handle these situations (it doesn't only happen to tourists).

If it comes down to it, get the police involved. I guarantee the taxi driver will back down, mutter a few nasty words, and drive off.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3648 posts

You could also just get your hotel to arrange a private driver to meet you at your pickup point. It's definitely a stress-free way to arrive.

Posted by Stephanie
Trussville, Al
185 posts

Thank all of you for your replies. "When In Rome" I will definately learn the phrase you mentioned.

Posted by Elizabeth
Shoreview, MN, usa
187 posts

Hi Stephanie.

We just got back from Italy. Our biggest mistake? Taking the train from the airport to Termini. Then cab to hotel. It would have been 7 bucks more than our train fare to just take a cab to our hotel from the airport.

You could have your hotel come out and meet the cabbie to make sure it's the right fare. Just have one of your friends pop into the hotel and say you're all checking in and you want to make sure the fare is correct.

Just like any profession there are good and bad cabbies. And the scammers are here too. We had no problems. In fact, the one cabbie we used was apologetic for having to take a longer route because of the one way streets.