Frequently asked questions about taxi driving

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about taxi driving


How is the taxi fare made up?

The taxi fare is usually made up of three tariff components.

The basic fee is charged at the start of the journey. A distance charge is then added for each kilometer driven. There is often a sliding scale here, so that the first kilometers are usually a little more expensive. If the taxi has to wait for the passengers or if the speed has to be reduced due to traffic, the taximeter now calculates the standing or waiting time instead of the distance driven. In many areas there are different taxi fares from certain times (at night, at weekends, on public holidays).

In some tariffs there are additional charges, e.g. for extra luggage, tolls or for taking more than 4 people in so-called large-capacity taxis. Sometimes there are also flat rates, e.g. from the airport to the trade fair.

You can easily find the details of the taxi fares on our fare details pages. In most cases, the complete official fare text is also available there.

What legal regulations apply to taxis in Germany?

The basis for passenger transport by taxi in Germany at federal level is the Passenger Transport Act, or PBefG for short. It can be found at Taxis fall under Section E, ”Occasional transport by motor vehicles” and are regulated there in paragraph §47 ”Transport by taxis”.

This Act empowers state and local authorities to prescribe the details of the operation of the service and hence the fixing of fares.

The tariffs are published in the so-called tariff regulations, which must always be carried in the taxi and handed over for inspection on request.

What is the minimum length of a taxi ride?

There is no legal requirement as to how long a taxi ride must be at least. Of course, short routes are not particularly popular with taxi drivers, but they may only refuse them for good cause.

Which route must the taxi driver take?

In principle, the shortest possible route between the starting point and destination must be used.

If it makes sense to take a longer route due to traffic volume or route-related peculiarities (e.g. a much faster bypass), this must be agreed with the passenger in advance.

Who is liable for damage and accidents?

If the passenger causes the damage, the passenger is liable. If necessary, the liability insurance can be claimed for this. If damage or an accident is caused by the taxi driver, either the driver himself or the taxi company employing him is liable.

Do I have to accept that there are other passengers?

If the taxi driver wants to take other passengers, e.g. in the same direction, he must first obtain the consent of the current passenger.

What is the significance of a luminous taxi sign?

A lighted taxi sign indicates that the taxi is free and can be hailed. If the light is off, the taxi is occupied. If the sign is flashing, either yellow or red, there is a hazardous situation. This is a silent alarm. In such a case, please call the police immediately.

Can a taxi driver refuse a ride?

No. Taxi drivers are obliged to carry passengers. A passenger may not be refused without a special reason. The following reasons allow the taxi driver to refuse carriage:

  • If the operational safety is endangered (e.g. when carrying dangerous objects or substances or signs of a contagious disease).
  • Foreseeable soiling of the vehicle by the passenger (e.g. by throwing up).
  • Aggressive behaviour by the passenger.
  • If it is foreseeable that the passenger will not be able to pay for the journey.

How can I find a particularly cheap taxi?

As a general rule, all taxis in a taxi district have the same tariff. It doesn't matter whether it's an S-Class or a Golf. As a rule, the taxi district is the same as the place of registration according to the registration number. So, for example, all taxis with a Cologne registration number (K) are the same price.

What if you are stuck in a traffic jam or have a breakdown?

In the following cases the taximeter is to be stopped, i.e. no waiting time will be charged:

  • technical defects of the taxi,
  • accident involving the taxi,
  • legal assistance (e.g. first aid at the scene of an accident),
  • police checks
  • generally in all circumstances for which the driver or taxi operator is responsible.

Unfortunately, traffic jams and traffic lights are not included.

Do you pay per taxi or per person?

In principle, a taxi is only to be paid for as a whole. This applies in any case to so-called occasional transport. In regular services, e.g. shared call taxis or framework agreements with health insurance companies, employers' liability insurance associations, schools, hospitals, etc., this can be deviated from. However, many tariffs provide for a surcharge if more than 4 persons are to be taken along and a large-capacity taxi is necessary for this.

If I have a problem with the journey (excessive fare, detours, etc.), what can I do?

Every taxi is clearly identifiable. In the passenger's field of vision (i.e. usually on the dashboard) there is the so-called company plate with the name and address of the taxi's owner. Then there is the registration number in the right-hand side of the rear window, which must be legible from the inside and outside. And of course there is also the normal registration number.

In case of doubt, i.e. if no agreement can be reached with the driver: have a receipt issued! Every taxi driver is obliged to carry sufficient forms and to fill them in correctly. On request, the exact route must be documented on it, as well as the order number, amount and date. You should then contact the company with this information.

If no agreement can be reached in this way, the only option is to go to the Road Traffic Office. There is a department for taxis there, which can also initiate sanctions.

Do I have to get into the first taxi at the rank or can I choose freely?

In principle, the customer has a free choice. The colleagues further ahead are not allowed to prevent the chosen taxi from leaving. Nice colleagues will nevertheless point out in a friendly manner that the first colleague has also been waiting the longest for his ride and ask to get in there. A nice gesture, but no customer is obliged to accept it. In principle, the reason for a selection does not matter.

Can I negotiate a fixed price in advance?

Within the so-called compulsory driving area, occasional services (typical taxi services, i.e. not call taxis, ambulance services, courier services, etc.) must always be driven by taximeter. No deviations upwards or downwards are permitted. If the vehicle leaves the compulsory driving range, the price can be freely agreed from the tariff limit. It is the driver's decision whether or not to engage in price negotiations.