Tips for avoiding taxi scams in Heraklion and Heraklion Airport

by Best Crete Transfer
6 minutes
Tips for avoiding taxi scams in Heraklion and Heraklion Airport

Nothing can ruin your vacation faster than being scammed, and unfortunately taxi scams are something that frequently happen to tourists.

Taxi scams in Heraklion and Heraklion Airport are fairly common. While there are plenty of honest taxi drivers in the city, there are also dishonest ones who prey on unsuspecting tourists.

Below, you'll find all the information you need to know about taxi scams in Heraklion, and the best tips to avoid them.

Common taxi scams in Heraklion

Surely, the last thing you want to worry about on your vacation is being scammed. Spending a few minutes reading about the common taxi scams in the region can help you avoid them, saving you time and money. 

Here are the most common taxi scams in Heraklion:

Driver forgetting to turn on the meter

Some drivers claim they forgot to turn on the meter, and will charge you a higher rate than what you should be paying. Others set the meter to a higher rate than what is normal. 

Taxi driver takes you somewhere else

This is a scam that’s not always common in Heraklion, but still happens. A taxi driver will take you to a souvenir or jewelry shop instead of your actual destination. They will insist you to buy things, claiming this is the best place on the island. If you do purchase an item, the taxi driver will get a cut. 

The driver has no change

This is the most common taxi scam seen all over the world, and Heraklion is no exception. The moment you hand over the payment, the driver will claim they don’t have change. They’ll even smile and say the supposedly change can be a friendly tip for them. 

Driver choosing the longer route

Sometimes, taxi drivers will take the longer route to your destination to run up the meter. This is especially common if you're going to Heraklion Airport or far -flung areas outside of the city center 

Driver demanding advance payment

In some cases, taxi drivers will demand that you pay them in advance, before even starting the drive. They claim that this is because the trip will be long, or they’ll be stopping for gas along the way. 

Swapping bills

Tourists that aren't familiar with Crete's currency may be scammed by taxi drivers who swap their bill for a lower value one. A driver might say you gave them a low-value bill even when you gave them a high one, and demand more money. 

Price is suddenly per person

When you reach your destination, the taxi driver says  that the fare on the taxi meter is actually per person instead of the whole ride. He will insist that each person in the taxi has to pay the same price.

Fake taxis

Fake taxis are unlicensed taxis prepared to take you wherever you want to go. They can charge you whatever they want and take you on any route they want. When it comes to taxi scams such as these, you're usually not at any physical risk; they just want your money.

As you can see, there are several taxi scams in Heraklion you should be aware of. Failing to determine taxi scams will set you back on budget and just ruin your trip entirely. Fortunately, there are ways you can follow to avoid becoming a victim of taxi scams. 

Tips to avoid taxi scams in Heraklion 

Even if Crete is known for its hospitality, taxi scams in Heraklion can still happen to unwary tourists. The best way to avoid them is to be aware of these frauds and what to do to prevent them 

Here are the best tips you should keep in mind:

  • Know exactly where you're going. Check Google Maps to know how many miles or kilometers you'll be traveling, and calculate a fair price for the trip. This will help you determine if the taxi driver is overcharging you.

  • Find a legitimate taxi service. Taxi ranks can be found in Heraklion Airport, just outside the arrivals area. This is a good place to find a legitimate taxi since these are properly regulated. All legal Heraklion taxis are silver, have working meters, and TAXI lights mantled on their roofs.  If they don't, it's not a taxi. 

  • Find out possible taxi costs from trusted sources. TripAdvisor forums are a great place to start. There, you can find other travelers who have taken a taxi in Heraklion, and get an idea of how much a fare would cost. This way, you'll have an idea if you are being overcharged. 

  • Always make sure the meter is running properly. You remind the driver to turn on the meter as soon as you get in the taxi, to avoid being charged an inflated rate. 

  • Try to pay with small bills, Taxi drivers might try to scam you by giving you less change. With small bills, it will be easier for you to check if you're getting the right amount of change. 

  • Stand your ground and don't pay in advance. Don't be afraid to argue with the driver if they try to get more money from you before starting the journey. In most cases, taxi drivers will back down when confronted. 

How do taxis charge you?

Every taxi in Heraklion has a meter. You are charged depending on how many kilometers you travel. The standard rate per kilometer in Heraklion is €0.74. Factors that affect the rate are time of day, traffic conditions and your destination. 

If you feel like you're being overcharged or scammed, it's good to directly go to the authorities to file a report. 

Report to the Tourist Police

Since Heraklion is a known tourist-destination, the city has a special tourist police that can help you with any issues you may have, including taxi scams. If you need assistance, see below for their details:

Location: 1, Agiou Artemiou Street 71601 NEA ALIKARNASSOS , HERAKLION , GREECE

Phone numbers: +30 2810 274042, +30 2810 274040

You can report any illegal taxi activity to the Tourist Police. They will take down your report and will investigate the case. You may be asked to present your ID or passport, so keep it with you at all times. 

Is there a fixed route price list?

Yes, it's on a billboard outside Heraklion Airport's taxi station. You can refer to it to get an idea on how much your taxi ride might cost.

However, note that this is only a guide, and the final price may still differ depending on traffic conditions, your destination and time of day.

Should you book a transfer online in Heraklion Airport?

If privacy and safety is your concern, then you can book a private transfer online from Heraklion Airport to your hotel. This way, you'll be picked up by a trusted driver and you don't have to worry about getting scammed. Private transfers in Heraklion Airport like Best Crete Transfer can provide a fixed rate before the journey, so you'll know exactly how much you'll be paying.

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