You'll hear plenty of tales of woe about Rome taxi rip-offs - this isn't one of them.
We used taxis quite a bit during the week we were there and never had any problems at all.
Our first taxi was from the airport and we'd been warned this can be a hazard. Knowing that it's a set fare of 40 euro from Fiumicino to anywhere within the Aurelian walls in the city, no matter what the time, was a good base to start from. As long as you take a licenced taxi from the official rank (they're all white, with 'taxi' lights on top, and each has a taxi license number displayed on the door) you shouldn't have a problem either. If you do, insist on getting the the taxi's licence number and make it clear you're writing it down - don't forget to take down the name and number of the co-operative as well as the driver - and ask for a receipt.
Call 060606 to report any problems.
Recent changes to the fare structure include the flagfall that will show on the meter immediately you enter the taxi. This varies according to the time and day - currently (January 2012)
€3.00from 7 am to 10 pm on weekdays
€4,00 from 7 am to 10 pm on Sundays and holidays
€6.00 from 10 pm to 7 am all days of the week
The fee per kilometer is €1.42 up to 5km and € .98 for every kilometer thereafter.
All bags are now charged for on all taxi rides (airport fares used to include baggage in the set charge).
If you call a taxi to pick you up do be aware that the meter will be set from the minute the driver sets off to collect you, which can make quite a difference to a fare. The easiest way to get a taxi is to walk to a taxi stand - there are plenty of them around the central district. Hailing taxis is not a Roman thing to do.
Rome's higgledy-piggedly streets are a one-way nightmare maze for drivers - if your taxi seems to be going the long way round, it's more than likely because your driver is well aware of that and is taking a faster, albeit longer-as-the-crow-flies route via the city's arterial roads.
Most of the time I used taxi to get into the city centre and back to my hotel. It wasn't easy task to get taxi in this days coz besides tourists many locals used it aswell. Another thing, you can take ride from the taxi terminal only, most of the taxis ignore your attempt to stop them out on the street even if free. Fact is, there are approx. 6.000 taxi-cars in Rome and in a normal days this number is more than suficient but not during such a special occasions like New Year is when city crowded by the tourists. I usually paid approx. 10 euros to get city centre from via Aurelia.
If you are not used on speed ride inside the city area with huge traffic, do not use taxi in Rome.
Another awarning; beware of "wild" taxi service, cost 50 to 100% more than the regular service.
I only used a taxi service once while in Rome, because I was out at night and didn’t want to walk near Roma Termini in the dark on my own. I was worried it was going to cost me a lot. But a trip that took me about 7mins cost me around 6€, I think. My driver was really nice, she didn’t speak much English, but I was able to give her the address of my hostel and she did take the shortest route there (was worried I might have been taken ‘the long way round’ – but no, not in this case :) ). Taxi’s are very comfortable and the cars I saw all looked pretty new. Only use the ‘official taxi’s’ – they should be white cars with a taxi sign on the roof.
Also there is an extra fee (surcharge) for taking a taxi between 10pm and 7am, and also a fee baggage (suitcases, etc.).
Taxis are very expensive in Rome, considering the short distance they travel. They're much more expensive than in Madrid or Paris, so beware of them. Sometimes it's best to walk if you're in a budget. Also, being Rome such a narrow-street city, taxis often take a long time to reach where you want to go, because they can't go in all of the streets or because the heavy traffic the city has.
Initially, I took taxis to get around Rome, just because I wasn't brave enough yet, this being the first stop on my trip, and first time overseas. Boy did I learn quickly. you want to avoid taxis in Rome at all cost. And I do mean cost. They are so much more expensive than public transport, that they should only be used if you are in an extreme hurry, or if you have loads of luggage. Otherwise, the public transport might not look the best, but it always get you there eventually. Additionally, as in all major tourist spots, they can and will try to rip you off by charging you extra baggage fees, the wrong fares, etc. etc. Just be aware.
Since 8th february 2008 these are the new fares (18% increase):
2,80 euro initial fare (this is just for seat into one taxi)
plus 0,92 euro per kilometer.
As usual in italy, if you call a radiotaxi by phone the meter will be switched on from the point of the taxi departing. This means that when eventually it will pick you up you have to pay also that part of the trip.
In Rome the agree is that you will pay this surcharge depending on how long you wait the taxi:
2 euro up to 5 minutes wait
4 euro up to 10 min wait
6 euro for more then 10 min wait
Termini train station: taxi departing from there will charge an extra 2 euro.
Airport rides are fixed fee: Ciampino at 30 euro, Fiumicino airport at 40 euro.
ps: It is not easy, but it's possible to stop an empty cab on the street. But be aware that the sign on the roof must be lighted on (this means that the cab is free). Not easy to see in daylight!
There are un-official taxi drivers hustling for your business as soon as you step out of the airport or train. I do not suggest using these drivers. Registered taxis generally do not go out to hustle business, and are available at the designated Taxi Stands around the city and at the airport. Look for the white cars with the 'Commune di Roma' sticker on the side. A taxi ride across Historic Rome should not cost anymore then €8 or €10. A taxi from the airport is usually between €40 and €50. There are frequent stories of official Commune di Roma Taxi's charging €25 for a ride from the Termini train station to a hotel located 3 blocks away. A good way to avoid this from happening is, when you get into the cab, simply look at the meter; it should read €2.33, or €3.36 if it is a Sunday or Festival Day. If the driver knows that you are reading the meter, usually honesty prevails. The driver must press a button on the meter when you arrive. Watch and make sure the button that he presses does not make the fare bump up. This is a common trick, and they will say it is a"tarif" charge. Simply refuse to pay it, or mention calling the police. The driver will quickly change his mind. It is standard for the driver to charge an extra €1 for each bag that he has to load into the trunk, and a 10% tip is expected. Also, an honest and affordable, flat rate airport shuttle service is available at: www.romashuttle.com.
Hailing a cab in Rome is not like it is in New York city. Cabs have to queue at specific places. You cannot hail one from the street but must go to the cab stand in order to get one. Even if the cab is empty they are not allowed to pick you up. When you get to the cab stand, get the first one in line. Before you get in tell the cabbie where you would like to go. They will understand where you want to go because they get so much tourist business. At that point you can ask what the expected fare wil be and decide if you want to take the cab. The legal cab fares will all be the same, the "fake" cabs just make up their own fares. Make sure the cabbie actually turns on the meter when you get into the cab. (the fake ones wait until the end of the ride and try to charge you quadruple what it should be).
If you are at a hotel, the doorman can hail you a cab. If you are out and about and need a cab (and cant find a cab stand) go to the nearest large hotel. Ask the doorman to hail you a cab. You can also ask him what you should expect to pay. He can give you a ballpark figure. You can also ask him to tell the cabbie where you want to go. Don't forget to tip the doorman for this service. Usually I round up the cab fare for the cabbie as well, depending on the service.
Despite what I wrote in the Tourist trap tip, taxis in Rome are really cheap. At least compared to Sweden... Except for when going to and from the Leonardo Da Vinci-airport it's always a good choice to take a taxi in Rome. It's cheap, it's safe, and the drivers are most of the time very friendly. Specially if you try to speak some italian with them, as many doesn't speak much english.
Going to the Ciampino airport we realised the last time it was a good deal to take a taxi. Cost 30 euro as a fixed price, so if you're not alone it's a good price. The shuttle buses from Termini are always full, specially in the morning, and if you don't get a seat on the first one you'll have to wait for the second one 30 minutes later.
Much better, and quicker, with a taxi ride instead.
Also inside Rome taking a taxi is a good thing. They aren't actually supposed to stop anywhere but on taxi stops, but unlike the drivers in Milan, Rome's taxi drivers stops just about everywhere to pick you up.
There is always a starting fee, higher during evening and night, and then you'll have to pay extra if you carry any luggage in the back.
If you are staying at a hotel and are in need of a taxi (obviously) the door man will hail you a cab. Before you get into the cab, ask the doorman what the fare should be. He will usually be able to give you a "ballpark" answer. The reason I give this advise is because on my last trip to Rome, my sister, daughter and I stayed at the Cavalieri and needed a cab to go to the vatican. A cab was hailed and we hopped in. It wasn't until we were almost there that I noticed that the meter wasn't on. When we stopped the driver pushed a button and the meter read "25". He tried to charge us 25 euros. We argued with him for a while and eventually paid him 15 but we were both very angry. That night when we got back to the hotel we asked the doorman how much it should cost and he said not more than 8 or 9 euros. At that point we told him what had happened. Unfortunetly we didn't get the name of the driver or the cab number so we couldn't report him. Always ask someone if you can!!!!!!!!!!
I have just got back from Rome. When I arrived at the Termini Station as part of my onward hotel journey, I stood in the queue for a white taxi. Someone wearing a badge was overseeing the queue and organising taxis. He asked us where we were going then started trying to organise a taxi. We waited a few moments then he brought someone over who was going to give us a ride. He took us to his car, which was parked across the road. It was blue and very scruffy, but we got in anyway. I was rather dubious and asked how much this wa going to cost. He sidestepped the question and when we arrived at our destination on the Pinetta Sanchetti, he asked us for €20 ................. EACH!! (there were 4 of us)
I refused to pay him and offered him €40 and said he could take it or leave it. After much arguing he flounced off in a fit of pique and told me to keep my money.
On our way back from our hotel to Termini Station, the hotel ordered us a gleaming white cab. The price? €20!
Also invest in a weekly or 3 day underground ticket. These were such good value! €11 for 3 days, € 16 for the week (or was it 6 days?) without limitations on the number of times they can be used. (watch out for pickpockets on the underground though)
I used Rome Cabs to take me from the airport to Rome and back a week later to the airport. The service was very reliable, the driver was waiting for me when I landed. Arrived a few minutes before the pick up time to take me exactly to where I needed to be to return to the U.S.
I'm sixty, to tired to lug luggage on a train, then find transportation at the terminal to where I am staying.
Of all the different transportations I've used in various cities, I like these folks the best. They are 5 stars in my book.
My opinion and I found their services surfing the web.
"Rome is a city best seen on foot" is what I have read and readily agree with. However, there are times when you are just exhausted from walking but still want to go see the city. We took a taxi several times throughout our stay in Rome and found that not only was it inexpensive and convenient, it was also an experience in itself. The driving in Rome is absolutely crazy (Naples is worse) and being able to experience that from the perspective of being in the car was exciting and fun. Also, we almost always had a nice cab driver who would give us facts about places we would drive by in his broken English. Back to the inexpensive part: If you stay in the city center, you can pretty much spend no more than 7-10 Euro on a cab ride. It can be more at night as the base price may be a bit higher. This is also the case if you take a cab from the train station. However, this is no comparison to getting a cab in NYC. So in conclusion, I highly recommend this type of transportation when your feet are hurting or when you are lost, it is worth the money.
I never use white taxis, drivers tend to be rude, cars dirty, fares are a rip-off, credit cards unknown and they even charge you when you are stuck in the traffic.
CoopAirport runs an excellent fixed-price limo service (I think it's 45 euros to the centre but I'm not sure as I live nearer the airport and pay only 35). They accept credit cards, speak hand-English (they move their hands so foreigners understand :o), help you load and unload luggage and you can easily fit four people in one of their larger cars (they also operate 7-seater minivans).
You can book a car on arrival by calling or by just visiting their stand at Terminal A arrival hall (right in front of the luggage hall exit). I think they close at 10 pm so if you arrive later than that you'd be best calling them in advance and they'll have a car waiting for you.
If you are at the central train station and you can't get the metro don't take the taxi that is offered to you.
Also go to the main entrance of the train station ( there is also an small back entrance)
At the main entrance just observe the taxi's and soon you will find the good taxies.
As the arive and drop people of just ask them, they drive on the meter and they are half as expensive as the taxi's that are offered to you ( these illigal taxi's charche to much)
have fun in Rome