Taxi Driver Scams, Kuala Lumpur

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  • His broken license plate showed HWD 218?
    His broken license plate showed HWD 218?
    by trialerror
  • The rogue taxi driver who ripped me off
    The rogue taxi driver who ripped me off
    by trialerror
  • Limousine taxi scam driver escapes!
    Limousine taxi scam driver escapes!
    by rach_from_Tokyo
  • dragontml's Profile Photo

    cab drivers

    by dragontml Updated Dec 5, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    just a note to all locals and tourist, when getting into a cab, make sure that the driver to do meddle with the meter. there is actually a button on the right corner of the meter that actually increases the cab fare. if u notice this, pls. ' sound ' the cab driver.
    also, if the cab driver ask for a flat rate, just take another cab. sometimes these taxi man can take u for a ride and make all sort of excuses !

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  • mahzan's Profile Photo

    KLIA Illegal Taxis

    by mahzan Updated Dec 1, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Please make sure to take the approved Airport Limo (in white) at KLIA. Do not take the illegal taxis since they are not insured and the charges are more expensive. Usually the runners will start with ' sir?', just ignore them and go straight to the Airport Limo counters at the arrival hall.

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Very True...

    by coceng Written Sep 6, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This has been written in many pages on VT. It's very true that be careful with taxi drivers who overcharge the passengers.
    This does not just happen to foreign visitors but to local people like me as well. In Malaysia, we call these taxi drivers as maggots !
    Maggots like to trick passengers by telling them that such & such roads would be high on traffics, so they would take a different routes. Hence, we would pay more than we should.
    Another trick is to turn off the taxi meter if we are not looking, so we wouldn't how much exactly to pay when we reach our destination.
    Another trick is asking us to pay extra when they are not going to your direction, at least they would quote the price first & we are obliged to say no. Normally, passengers would still say yes if the taxis are not easy to get.
    The maggots are everwhere. At the KL Airport; at the Puduraya Bus Station; even sometimes at the taxi stops.
    We can flag a cab by the road side. Tell him your direction & please say "Using Meter". Sit at the front !

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  • cheekymarieh's Profile Photo

    Beware Of Taxi Drivers

    by cheekymarieh Written Jan 1, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Another point with taxi drivers is to make sure they charge you a fair price for the journey. The taxis outside of Menara Tower seem to be there with the intention of making a quick killing from unsuspecting tourists. When I asked how much a taxi would be to the Petronas Towers they wanted to charge more than I had paid from my hotel to the city centre for a journey that was a fraction of the distance. I ended up just walking between the two landmarks in a short space of time.

    If you do take a taxi, make sure that they reset the metre when you get in and take note of the charges that are on the cab windows.

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  • cheekymarieh's Profile Photo

    I Don't Want To Go There

    by cheekymarieh Written Jan 1, 2003

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    It is worth pointing out that many taxi drivers are reluctant to take you anywhere that they deem to be not centrally located during busy periods. They obviously believe that such a journey will earn them less per minute than short trips around the centre.

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  • d_Nasution's Profile Photo

    Beware When You're Around Puduraya Area

    by d_Nasution Written Jan 3, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Please buy your express bus ticket from the counter. If someone offers you a ticket, say no because they will mark it up and maybe the bus company didnt exist at all.

    If you hail for a cab, ask them whether they use meter or their own rate and make sure the meter is on. If not, take another cab. Sometimes they can charge you triple price as they know you are a tourist.

    Do not use back lane/short cut around Central Market or Puduraya area especially at night and when you travel alone. Drug addicts conquers the lane.

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  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Watch out for untrustworthy taxi drivers

    by xuessium Updated Apr 21, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Many taxi drivers (on a number of occasions, the local Malay ones) love to extort high taxi fares from visitors. Many of them refused to switch on the meter and instead, rely on bargaining as a tool. I generally (the word here is "generally") do not face this issue when it comes to the local Chinese or local Indian drivers.

    You should never pay more than MYR10 for traveling within the City itself. Haggle and bargain if necessary and walk away to another taxi if necessary. Why give these lying folks the satisfaction of earning that extra hard-earned money from you?

    (Disclaimer: Fellow VT member "khal2zu" took offence at what he perceives as racial discrimination in this tip. I stand by my observations, which are made based purely on my personal experiences. You may have much more pleasant experiences, of local drivers of all races and I wish every traveler the best of fortunes and luck.)

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    • Budget Travel

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  • valle's Profile Photo

    Rip Off

    by valle Written Nov 4, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Thanks for the warning I read in Virtual Tourist, before going to Kuala Lumpur, I was able to be on guard against Taxi driver who refuse to use the meter. From the Petronas to my hotel, the taxi driver refused to use the meter so I just got out of the taxi. I got into another taxi, again, this driver refuse to use the meter and was trying to charge me a high fixed rate.

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  • Bix10's Profile Photo

    Watch Out For Overcharging Taxi Drivers

    by Bix10 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you intend to go out for a drink or see how the nightlife in Kuala Lumpur is, then I'd suggest that you should take this warning seriously.

    After Midnight, there will be taxi drivers who are more than willing to take you back to your hotel with a condition that you agree not to use the meters and pay them a ridiculous amount. I agree with some people that there's not much choice and the government is not doing much to help the passengers with this scam but they take advantage of the helpless tourists and even locals who aren't driving.

    For a short trip, they would charge 4 to 5 times higher than the usual price. Be careful!

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  • rach_from_Tokyo's Profile Photo

    limousine taxi scam

    by rach_from_Tokyo Updated Aug 31, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Limousine taxi scam driver escapes!

    I thought being fluent in both English and Chinese would be enough to enjoy a holiday in KL. But I was wrong! It also takes a tough mind to get through all the constant rip-offs. One new scam is the so-called "limousine taxi".

    I took a taxi from KLCC Suria to Chinatown on August 25th, 2007. After confirming with the driver that he would use the meter, I hopped in. It took us about 7 minutes to get to Central Market in Chinatown. I couldn't believe it when the driver asked for RM 95. He pointed at the meter and hey, it WAS showing 95! He then pointed at the sticker on his front window and explained that his taxi was a LIMOUSINE TAXI! He is obviously living in a fantasy world since his car looks just like all the other taxis in KL.

    He took out a receipt printed with "limousine taxi" and was ready to write, but I told him I would only pay RM 10 (although it should have been no more than RM 5 with the meter!) and if he didn't like it, we could go to the police. He protested, and even kindly offered to take me back to my hotel to get more money. So I just left RM 10 and got out, ignoring his protests. As soon as I got out I took this picture, but he drove away quickly so the number plate isn't clear.

    Anyway, hope this story helps you to avoid the "limousine taxi" trap!

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  • wonderif's Profile Photo

    ugh! those taxi drivers!

    by wonderif Written Mar 4, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Seriously, I never got ripped off in vietnam... their meters always worked..... then in a modern place like KL.... ugh

    never agree on a price, never listen to them when they tell u their meters don't work, always be exact on ur destination --- Valuable lessons i learnt.

    After agreeing on a price from KLCC to swiss garden at 10RM..... the taxi driver on the way there asked for another 5RM complaining about the traffic and it would take him more than an hour and asked that we understand his situation!!!!

    in penang, i asked to go to penang hill, not being precise that i wanted to go to the penang hill rail station, the driver took us to the penang bontanic gardens to his waiting friend who offered to drive us up the hill for 80RM (!!!!!) telling us then that the trains don't work and refused to drive us back to georgetown.

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  • KL-Boy's Profile Photo

    Taxi Touts at KLiA Airport

    by KL-Boy Written Mar 15, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Do not entertain any of the illegal airport taxi touts that will approach you as you come out of the arrival gate at KLiA as some might overcharge you when you arrive at your destination or worse.

    Just wave them off and proceed to walk to the nearest Airport Limo official counter where you can buy a coupon to use for the Airport Limos. Present the coupon to the taxi hop outside the sliding doors where all the Airport Limos are lining up and he will choose the Airport Limo for you to go into.

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  • socmattar's Profile Photo

    Dodgy Taxi Drivers

    by socmattar Written Jun 17, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While travelling by taxi, be wary of taxi drivers. Most taxi companies require their drivers to use the meter, but unfortunately, many drivers do not abide by this rule. They will often leave their meters off and charge you a higher fare than what is to be expected. Ensure that the meter is running once you step into the taxi.

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  • Strikinsmile's Profile Photo

    Fixed Taxi Fare for Short Distances

    by Strikinsmile Written Nov 30, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be careful of cabbies who overcharge and who take advantage of tourists. They charge thrice the normal fare (by meter). I suggest you bring a map with you so you can, more or less, know the distance of the place you're going to.

    My friend and I tried to take a cab from Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) to Hard Rock, which is quite near, and the cabby's asking for MYR20 (SGD10). Upon seeing the disgust in our faces, he quickly revised the "fare" to MYR15. Not good enough, I told my friend and so, we walked from KLCC to Hard Rock. Guess what, no sweat at all!

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  • Getting ripped off by 2 taxi-drivers in Kuala Lump

    by trialerror Written Dec 24, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The rogue taxi driver who ripped me off
    1 more image

    This is my true account of how I got ripped off by 2 taxi-drivers in KL.

    Story with photos:

    In December 2012, I was traveling in Kuala Lumpur for 8 days. Most parts of the trips were good and pleasant. Except my experience with the taxi drivers there.

    For the first 6 nights, I was staying at a budget hotel called Beltif hotel. It was located near Times Square in Imbi.

    On the second last day of my trip, I needed to go to the Hilton hotel at KL Sentral because I wanted to end the trip at a 5-star hotel.

    My First Taxi Rip-off

    At Beltif hotel, there was an affiliated taxi counter. I asked for a quote for going to Hilton hotel from there. It was only 13km away. So I figured that the fare should be around 15 RM. But the counter gave me a quotation of 25 RM. I thought it was too expensive and so decided to take a regular taxi instead.

    I stepped outside and waved my arm to stop an incoming taxi. I asked the Muslim taxi-driver how much it would take to go to Hilton hotel. He pointed at the meter and so I got in.

    Once inside that taxi, he pretended to not know the way to Hilton hotel. He acted like he had never heard of it in his life!!! While he pretended to be looking for the way, my GPS was showing I was moving away from the destination rather towards it! What the heck! I asked him to exit the highway at once. As soon as I another taxi queue, I ordered him to stop right there. The place happened to be somewhere near Jalan Robson, as my GPS showed.

    After paying him 8 RM for taking me to nowhere, I stepped out angrily and took my luggage back from the trunk. I was too angry and uncool to record his license number.

    That was my first taxi rip-off.

    My Second Taxi Rip-off
    There were a line of taxis waiting for their customers near where I got out of the first taxi.

    I went to the head of the taxi line and an Indian taxi-driver approached me and said, "Taxi?".

    "Yes. How much is it going to cost to go to Hilton Hotel from here?", I asked.

    "Roughly 5 Ringets", he answered. That made sense to me because Hilton Hotel was only 3 km away from that location, as my GPS showed.

    Hilton Hotel (Point B) was only 3 km away!

    I thought to myself, "Great, at least this driver speaks English and his quote is proportional to the distance". So, I put the luggage into the trunk and got into the taxi.

    Before he started the engine, he said something to me in Malay that I didn't understand. After a few seconds, I said again: "Hilton Hotel". He then replied, "Oh you are from Singapore?". I thought that he was being friendly and wanted to start a conversation, and so I replied, "No, I am from Hong Kong." In retrospect, it was the beginning of a bad journey. He was checking to see whether or not I was a tourist that he could rip off.

    He then asked, "which way do you want to go?"

    I said, "Take the shortest path."

    "No way. You have to choose. Highway or local?"

    I got a little bit skeptical. But then I thought perhaps there might be an even shorter path than the one shown in my GPS. So I said, "Highway."


    He then drove farther and farther away from the destination. I then realized it was another rip-off. The second one in a row. I said, "We are going away from the hotel! I am looking at my GPS!!!"

    "I know you are looking at the GPS. But you said you wanted to take the highway! If you want I can take a U-turn.", he defended.

    "TAKE A U-turn!". I became angry. The meter was already showing 10RM.

    At that time, he seemed to know that that I already realized his rip-off trick. After he took the U-turn, he was really going towards my destination, as my GPS showed.

    Instead of stopping right in front of the hotel, he stopped at the road next to the hotel. I asked, "how much?".


    As I gave him 5 RM, he said, "No way! I said the meter plus 5!"

    The meter was showing 22 RM already.

    What the heck!!!!

    I was very angry. But my luggage was still in the trunk and so I paid 27RM reluctantly for a ride that should have only cost 5RM.

    But before I paid, I took a picture of this dishonest and rogue taxi-driver:

    The dishonest and rogue taxi-driver who ripped me off

    As soon as I obtained my luggage from the trunk, I also took a picture of his license plate:

    The broken license plate showed HWD 218. The last digit was missing.

    He stepped on the gas and dashed off as he knew I was taking a picture of his taxi.

    Lesson Learned
    In retrospect, I should have taken a picture of him and his license plate before I got in. If I had known his license plate was broken, I would have gotten skeptical and avoided it.

    I should have also shown him my GPS as soon as I got in, and asked him to follow the route figured out by Google Maps. That should have scared him.

    Anyway, I will never take another taxi in Malaysia. Even if I will ever go there again.

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    • Singles

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Comments (1)

  • Mar 18, 2013 at 6:16 AM

    There are some taxi driver who are dishonest. Sometimes when picking an airport taxi you must double check the information and the details of the company that you will choose. You need to be more resourceful, search online for you to gather more information.

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