Taxi in Tunisia - prices, rules and cheating of tourists
Taxi in Tunisia is very cheap, if compared with other popular resort countries. Until 2014, when the US dollar was worth another 35-36 rubles, walking in Tunisia was simply unreasonable. And even now (note the article was published in early 2016), when the dollar costs 75 rubles, the price for taxi services in Tunisia is 1.5 times cheaper than in Moscow.
In some cases, a Tunisian taxi helps save on excursions. For example, the distance from the most popular Russian resort of the port of El Kantaoui to the park of Phrygia is 50 kilometers. It seems that this is far away, but it is more profitable for two tourists to go there by taxi and buy tickets at the ticket office than to pay $ 50 per excursion.
Tunisian taxi drivers often accept dollars and euros. Travel in this regard does not become cheaper, but it is convenient, as less often have to change the dollars and euros of Tunisian dinars .
A clear negative in the work of a taxi in Tunisia can be called a great desire of taxi drivers to deceive tourists. Most of the tourists in Tunisia who used the taxi, were victims of deceptions, completely unaware of this. With deceptions, we, perhaps, will begin.
Popular ways of cheating
The most common way to deceive tourist passengers is through the use of counters. In Tunisia, there are two tariffs for taxi services - day and night. Night is 50% more expensive, and switching between tariffs is done manually by the driver.
Having seen the tourist, the driver promptly switches the taximeter to the night rate. Tourists do not understand Tunisian meters and pay strictly according to the numbers on the screen, assuming the amount is correct and fair.
Of course, taximeters in Tunisian taxis show a tariff. Either digit: 1 - day, 2 - night. Either in French: jour (journal) - day, nuit (night) - night. Or the first letters of these words: J - day, N - night.
In the photo below, the most unusual of the taximeters we saw in Tunisia, the daily rate on it is indicated by the letter "j", but it was difficult to recognize this letter in a strange icon similar to the mirror figure 6.
To protect yourself from such deception is easy - you need to look at the counter when landing, and if you feel something wrong, then poke your finger at the counter and say the word "journal". The driver immediately understands that you are aware of such fraud and switch to a daily rate.
The second popular trick of Tunisian taxi drivers is not to reset the counter after the previous trip. And in this case, our advice is similar - look at the taximeter when boarding the car and make sure that the counter is reset.
The third way is very common for deceiving European tourists. The taxi driver carries a passenger at night on a nightly fare, but at the end of the trip states that he forgot to switch the counter and requires a + 50% payment. This method does not work for Russians at all, since most of our tourists do not know foreign languages, and the vast majority of Tunisian taxi drivers do not know Russian.
And those of our tourists who know English or French, already on the first trip to Arab countries get a useful skill - to forget foreign languages instantly. Usually, mastering this skill occurs in bazaars, when it's easier to pretend to be ignorant of the language than to communicate with insolent local traders.
The price of a taxi in Tunisia
The laws of Tunisia require all taxi drivers to have a counter and use only it to calculate the cost of the trip. In large cities, for example in Sfax or Tunisia, it does.
If a counter is used, the prices are as follows:
- boarding in a taxi costs 450 millimeters (0.45 Tunisian dinars );
- every kilometer of the road costs 500 millimeters (0.5 dinars);
- from 21:00 pm to 6:00 am the night rate applies + 50%;
- one hour of waiting costs 15 dinars.
But in resort cities taxi drivers most often refuse to carry passengers on a taximeter, but require a fixed fee, although this is illegal. In this case, the cost of the trip is negotiated by the passenger and the driver.
These prices are determined by the Tunisian law as minimum. There are taxis "delux", where the fare is higher. Taxi drivers in popular tourist spots usually require an additional fee for boarding a car. It is better to catch a taxi on the road than to overpay.
At the airports in the arrivals area taxi drivers always serve on duty, offering their services at inflated prices. This is the usual situation in many countries, and the advice is always unchanged: get out of the terminal and catch the car there. A trip from Tunis-Carthage airport to Tunisia costs about 10 dinars.
How better is the counter or the negotiated fixed price?
A trip with payment for a meter does not always guarantee the lowest price. A taxi driver can always go by a longer route or simply ride in circles. It happens that tourists get into the car and immediately find out on the counter a figure of 3 or 5 dinars, and the taxi driver "with foam from the mouth" proves that his "rattling wreck" refers to the class "delux".
The fixed price is more interesting, but only in the case when the passenger has an idea of the real cost of the trip.
This is helped by the Google.Maps service on the Internet. With its help you need to determine the distance of the trip and calculate its cost by the meter. Bargain, based on this figure.
It is not always possible to bargain for a good price. If the driver is not talkative, then go to the next taxi driver. The main thing is, do not get in the car and do not let your suitcases in the trunk until you agree on the price.
Some features of a taxi in Tunisia
Tunisian taxi drivers are not used to taking care of the availability of change. They always say that they do not have surrender, hoping that they will leave it as a tip. Stock up on small money.
In Tunisia occasionally there are a taxi with a sign indicating whether it is occupied. A red sign is a taxi free, green is busy. Why so? Nobody knows, it's accepted here.
If a taxi is taken by a tourist from the airport, the drivers often try to convince the passenger to settle in a certain hotel. They are paid extra for this by the owners of the hotels. This practice is found in many countries, for example taxi drivers in China are very fond of doing so.
In many Arab countries, women are forbidden to ride in the front seat next to the driver, or so simply not accepted. In Tunisia, this is not forbidden. Tunisia is one of the most progressive Arab countries. They grow pigs and cook pork for tourists, and the assortment of Tunisian alcohol is very interesting and diverse.
Taxi cars in Tunisia are mostly of French origin. There are both completely new cars, and very old ones. The dry climate contributes to the long operation of cars. This situation is very similar to the taxi in Egypt , where there are cars of the fifth model of the WHA, which still regularly serve their owners.
We wish you a successful journey through Tunisia, and read our helpful articles about this country ( links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website