As a Turkish local, I will tell you how much taxis cost, common taxi scams, taxi apps, and other useful local tips in this guide.
How much do Taxis Cost in Turkey?
The starting fee of taxis in Turkey is between 4,50 – 6,00 TL (0,55-0,72 USD) and you will pay an additional fee between 3,44 – 5,75 TL (0,41 -0,70 USD) for each kilometer of the taxi trip. The minimum fee applied is 10 – 15 TL (1,25-1,80 USD).
An average 5 km ride with a Turkish taxi will cost around 3 to 4,5 USD, depending on the city. Istanbul has the cheapest taxi fare and the south coast has the most expensive taxis.
The Turkish Lira value will change due to inflation, but you can always calculate a rough estimate of your taxi travel.
You can check the distance with Google maps and use the USD numbers above to calculate your rough taxi fare.
Additionally, Taxi apps which I listed below, also present good tools to estimate your taxi expenses.
Example cost taxi calculation.
A 5 km taxi ride in Gocek will cost you around 4,12 USD. 0,62 (starting fee) plus 3,5 USD (5 km x 0,70) for 20 km.
|City||Starting Fee||Taxi Fare per Km||Minimum Fee|
|Istanbul||5,55 TL (0,67 USD)||3,44 TL (0,41 USD)||13 TL (1,56 USD)|
|Ankara||5 TL (0,60 USD)||3,70 TL (0,46 USD)||10 TL (1,25 USD)|
|Izmir||4,20 TL (0,51 USD)||4,30 TL (0,53 USD)||10 TL (1,25 USD)|
|Cesme||5,80 TL (0,70 USD)||5,80 TL (0,70 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Selçuk||5,50 TL (0,66 USD)||5,80 TL (0,70 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Denizli||4,50 TL (0,55 USD)||4,50 TL (0,55 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Pamukkale||4,50 TL (0,55 USD)||4,50 TL (0,55 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Didim||6 TL (0,72 USD)||6 TL (0,72 USD)||No minimum fee.|
|Manisa||5 TL (0,60 USD)||4 TL (0,48 USD)||10 TL (1,25 USD)|
|Kusadasi||6 TL (0,72 USD)||5,5 TL (0,66 USD)||10 TL (1,25 USD)|
|Eskisehir||4 TL (0,48 USD)||4,45 TL (0,56 USD)||10 TL (1,25 USD)|
|Mugla||5,22 TL (0,62 USD)||5,75 TL (0,70 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Fethiye||5,22 TL (0,62 USD)||5,75 TL (0,70 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Marmaris||5,22 TL (0,62 USD)||5,75 TL (0,70 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Gocek||5,22 TL (0,62 USD)||5,75 TL (0,70 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Antalya||6 TL (0,72 USD)||5,50 TL (0,66 USD)||12 TL (1,44 USD)|
|Bodrum||5,22 TL (0,62 USD)||5,75 TL (0,70 USD)||15 TL (1,80 USD)|
|Bursa||5 TL (0,60 USD)||4 TL (0,48 USD)||10 TL (1,25 USD)|
Road tolls are not included in taxi prices. You have to pay them separately.
The taxi fare per kilometer decreases as the trip length increases in Denizli, Mugla, Marmaris, Fethiye, Bodrum, Gocek, and Pamukkale.
Taxi fees do not change day or night or for any other reason.
Do Turkish taxis take credit cards?
Most taxis in Turkey do not accept credit cards. The best way to pay for Taxis is to pay them with local currency.
You can also pay for taxis with Euros or USD, but the conversion rate may create a disagreement, so I would not advise you to pay taxi fares with Euros or USD.
Dolmus vs Taksi
In Turkey, taxis are called Taksi. Another form of taxis are dolmus. Dolmus are shared cars or mini buses with a small number of passengers. Dolmus are cheap and reliable alternatives to taxis.
Dolmus (Minibusses) always follow a fixed route, but taxis go anywhere that you desire. Dolmus are way cheaper than taxis.
General Tips for Turkish Taxis
- Always take a picture of the plate number of the taxi. The plate is also painted on the rear of the car. It is very helpful to find the taxi if you forgot your belongings.
- Always check if the taxi resets its taximeter when you onboard a cab. Taxis are legally obligated to run their taximeter.
- Say Yavaş (Pronounced “Yavash” means slow down) when you feel they drive erratically.
- Tipping is not custom for taxi drivers, but Turkish people usually round up the fare and do not request the change money.
Government offices and municipalities try to regulate taxis, yet Istanbul is the most scammy place to use taxis in Turkey. Not only tourists but also locals suffer from dishonest taxi drivers.
On the other hand, I would not suggest driving with your car in Istanbul. I would rather be scammed by a taxi driver than drive my car in Istanbul.
Locals also use unregulated (korsan/pirate) taxis, as they are cheaper. This can be a good option if you will stay in Istanbul for the long term.
Parking and driving is a major problem in Istanbul. Yet, dishonest or not, Istanbul taxi drivers are experts at navigating Istanbul traffic.
Last word, when possible use public transport in metropolitan cities.
Izmir and Mediterranean Coast
Izmir and the Mediterranean Coast are more regulated, and taxi scams are less common.
Rest of Turkey
The best places to use a taxi are non-touristy Anatolian cities. Honesty and reputation are still important in small Anatolian cities.
The Most Common Taxi Scams and How to avoid them
Taxis are mostly safe in Turkey. Most taxi drivers are honest, but there taxi drivers using tricks to increase their fares. Scams are most common in Istanbul, less common in tourist towns, and nearly zero in non-touristy Turkish cities.
General Solution: You can always ask locals (hotels or restaurant staff) to help you with your dispute with the taxi driver. Generally, this will cease the excessive demand of your taxi driver.
Here are the most scam taxi scams in Turkey.
Making the Taxi Ride Longer
Making the ride longer is an obvious trick that taxi drivers perform. Yet, longer routes are taken by taxi drivers to avoid traffic jams.
Most of the time, taxi drivers tell you the road conditions (traffic jams, accidents, and road maintenance) and why they will alter the course. But since taxi drivers are not fluent in your language or English, they may not tell you these details.
Solution: Open Google maps and set a course for your destination. That way, you can check how the taxi driver drives on the map.
I usually won’t react to their route choice because I believe that you should give a little incentive to taxi drivers. On the other hand, by checking them on the map, I avoid taxi drivers taking me in the opposite direction for extra money.
Not Resetting Taximeter or Not Opening the Taximeter
The taxi drivers may not reset the taximeter when you get on the taxi and may try to overcharge you.
Solution: Check if the taxi driver started the taximeter. By law, they are obliged to use the taximeter. If they refuse, get out of the taxi before you start your ride.
Money Switch Tactics (Mostly seen in Istanbul)
Taxi men switch the money that you hand to him. For example, you give him 10 USD, he changes the banknote to 1 USD and insists that you paid him only 1 USD.
Solution: Have Turkish Lira changes with you and always hand the taxi the exact amount written on the taximeters. Just be alert when you are paying.
Taxi Apps in Turkey
The most used Taxi apps in Turkey are Bitaksi, Entaksi, Itaksi, and Uber. Yet, I would not advise you to use any one of them. All the taxi apps have some kind of problem.
The main problem with all of the apps, they have not succeeded in regulating taxi drivers. Taxis can cancel your trip reservation at their discretion. For this reason, most of the time it is easier to stop passing taxis.
Here is my review of each of the taxi apps.
Bitaksi is the most widely used app in Turkey. In some locations, it works better. Yet, in some instances, the app can provide horrible experiences.
If you wish to check the app, click here to check BiTaksi in Google Store.
Entaksi is mostly used in Izmir.
The most common problem with the Entaksi is that it does not support non-Turkish phone numbers and the English language.
If you wish to check the app, click here to check EnTaksi in Google Store.
ITaksi is an app developed by Istanbul Municipality. It was a good app back in 2019, but now users are not satisfied with the app.
If you wish to check the app, click here to check ITaksi in Google Store.
Finally, in 2021 Uber app restarted in Turkey. Before, Uber had legal disputes because taxi owners strongly objected to its entry into the Turkish market.
Uber works only in limited Turkish cities, and you can only call regulated yellow and turquoise taxis with this app.
I still would not use Uber because its coverage is limited, and drivers can cancel your reservation at their discretion as other apps. There is no penalty to drivers for canceling reservations without a valid reason.
If you wish to check the app, click here to check Uber in Google Store.
Airport Transfers or Scheduled Transfers
The best source that I use for airport transfers is Hostelworld.
They have a good search engine for scheduled transfers. There are many options and rates to choose from.
Click here to go to Hostelworld’s transfer page.