Trying to use taxis in a new country – especially when you don’t speak the language – can be intimidating. But using taxis in Rome is actually very straightforward, and can be a more comfortable way to travel to your destination.
Rome city taxis are usually white, and they are easily identifiable with the “TAXI” sign on the roof. There are also taxi apps such as FreeNow, Uber, and appTaxi. etc.
We will show you how to use taxis in Rome, including the process of hailing, booking, understanding the fares, tipping etiquette, and safety tips.
Types of Taxis Available
If you’re looking to catch a taxi in Rome, it’s probably going to be one of the official white taxis or the alternatives like Uber. There are several companies that are officially licensed taxis but are virtually indistinguishable from one another; Radio Taxi and Pronto Taxi are just a few examples.
The majority of taxis in Rome are your typical 5-seater (including driver) cars, but there are a few larger vehicles. If you’re hoping for a taxi that can carry 6 passengers, you should call in advance or use an app – don’t expect one to be lining up at a taxi rank, as they’re not as common.
How to Get a Taxi in Rome
There are several ways to use taxis in Rome, including hailing one on the street, using a taxi stand, and service apps. When hailing a taxi on the street, you should look for white taxis with the “TAXI” sign on the roof.
Look out for unlicensed taxis or private cars as they may overcharge you and are not authorized for this service unless working through an app.
People in a queue waiting for more taxis to arrive.
To find taxi stands in Rome, look for the designated areas with the “Taxi” sign, which is usually orange. These stands are usually located near popular tourist attractions, train stations, and airports. If no taxis are there, just wait a few minutes because one is bound to come sooner or later, even during late hours.
Sometimes there are long times during the rush hour, but taxi’s come more frequently, so the wait isn’t long, don’t be intimidated.
Hailing On The Street
Hailing isn’t common, like in other big cities. If you are lucky, you will find an empty taxi on the street, away from the stand. This is not usual, considering that all drivers aim to go to the stands. This isn’t impossible, though, so if you do, go ahead and hop on.
Call To Book
You can also book over the phone. A popular company is Roma Capitale Taxi, you will have to call from your accommodation and an Italian line as it is a local number, or you can message them on Whatsapp.
- Chiama Taxi
Fares and Routes
The fares in Rome are generally reasonable, but they can vary depending on the time of day and the distance traveled.
It is important to understand the fare structure before taking a taxi in Rome. The fares are regulated by the city, and they are based on the distance traveled and time of day. There is a fixed base fare, which varies depending on the time of day and the day of the week.
There is also a per-kilometer charge, which is added to the base fare. Additionally, there may be extra charges for luggage, night surcharge, and booking fees.
If you want a fixed price, we recommend taking Uber, that at times might offer a higher rate, but regardless of long detours, luggage, and delays, the rate promised will remain unvaried.
The final price for the drive is the one shown on the meter, additional charges may be added for 4+ passengers, luggage, or additional requests.
Do You Tip Taxi Drivers in Rome
Tipping is not mandatory in Rome, drivers do not expect you to leave a tip, but it is customary to round up the fare to the nearest euro or leave a small tip, especially if you are satisfied with the service. Tips, of course, are all welcome if you would like to show your gratitude for the service. Most apps allow you to tip through the app as well.
Most taxis have modern meters. On the left side of the driving mirror, you can see the cost of the service.
Taxis To And From The Airport
The taxis are white and have the “TAXI” sign on the roof. It is recommended to only use licensed taxis from the airport taxi booths to avoid potential scams.
Unlicensed taxis or private cars, usually black vans, are waiting outside the baggage pick-up and right by the official taxi stands. Their rates are usually way higher than the fixed price. If you decide to take one of these, I recommend asking about the final price prior to getting into the car, they will try to scam you.
The fares from the airport to central Rome are regulated by the city, and they are based on a fixed rate.
Taxis from Termini Train Station
Like the airports, Termini Station has its own taxi rank; the official taxis line up in front of the main entrance, so they’re not difficult to spot. Just like at the airport, you may get a few scam artists trying to lead you to an unlicensed taxi – ignore them and head straight to the taxi rank.
Rome has made significant progress in recent years to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. It is important to note that most taxis are spacious and comfortable but usually are not equipped for more specific requests.
Not all taxis in Rome are wheelchair-accessible. There are some that are specially designed to accommodate people with disabilities. These taxis have a wheelchair ramp and other features to make the ride more comfortable for passengers with disabilities.
We recommend calling a taxi company in advance if you will need this service. You can also take your chances with an Uber van, they have enough space for wheelchair storage, but the person will have to sit in the car and store their wheelchair.
How to Communicate With The Driver
Taxi drivers in Rome are very comfortable with their job, don’t be surprised if your driver tries to start a conversation with you. This is a great way to get information on where to have dinner or places you might have missed which are worth visiting.
Most taxi drivers will speak enough English to get by, but if you want to brush up on your Italian, here are a few useful phrases:
- Devo andare all’aeroporto di Fiumicino: I have to go to Fiumicino Airport. Swap out the last bit according to your destination; e.g. devo andare alla stazione centrale.
- Posso pagare con carta: can I pay by card?
- Può andare più piano/veloce: could you slow down/go faster?
- Si può accostare qui: can you stop here?
- Quanto le devo: how much do I owe you?
If in doubt, Google Translate or pulling up an address on Google Maps can work in a pinch.
Technically, all taxis in Rome are supposed to accept card payments and are equipped with contactless technology. In practice, however, sometimes taxis will claim that their card machine is out of order and that they only accept cash.
It’s best to have cash on you when catching a taxi just in case, but if you don’t, make sure you ask if you can pay with the card before starting your journey or order and pay via an app.
How to Avoid Being Ripped Off
You’ll find fears of being ripped off in Rome by taxis are largely overblown. Once you’ve found an official taxi rank and avoided any people trying to take you to an unlicensed taxi, you should be fine. That being said, it’s always better to take precautions in case you happen across an unscrupulous character.
These are a few things you can do to avoid being ripped off:
- Get in an official taxi. People at the airport or Termini station may get in your face shouting taxi – ignore them, they’re not licensed drivers. Head to the taxi stand or call one instead.
- Make sure the meter is switched on from the start of your journey. Some may pretend to forget so they can charge a higher fare at the end of the ride; avoid this by checking it’s switched on straight away.
- No meter? Ask about the cost upfront. If you’re in an unmetered taxi, you need to agree on a fare before you get in. You should also ask if they accept card payments if you don’t have cash.
- Make sure the meter reads Tariffa 1 when traveling around Rome. Tariffa 2 is a more expensive rate and shouldn’t be applied until the fare reaches a minimum of €14.
- Don’t pay until your luggage is removed from the car. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Get a receipt. If you’re concerned you are being ripped off, ask for a receipt. It will have all the details you need, including the driver’s name and license number, for when you contact the taxi company.
Uber, Lyft, etc, in Rome
There are strict laws in place in Italy to protect taxi drivers from ‘unfair competition’, which includes the likes of Uber and Lyft.
Is Uber Cheaper Than Taxi in Rome
While Lyft has no presence at all in Rome, there is a stripped-back Uber service; Uber Black and Uber Vans. This is a slightly premium service, however, and tends to be more expensive than taxis.
There are a few ride-sharing services, but nothing that operates on the scale of Uber. Scooterino allows you to jump on the back of a Vespa for a quick trip across town but obviously isn’t suitable for most situations.
Benefits of Using Taxis in Rome
Taxis are a safe, familiar way to travel around a city and offer a comfortable alternative to public transport. If you have luggage or are going to a destination far from public transport links, taxis are far more convenient. It’s the easiest way to travel – you don’t have the stress of rushing around or finding your own way through the city.
It can even work out to be a quite reasonable price if you’re splitting the cost between multiple passengers.
They’re certainly not the cheapest way to travel. Rome’s taxis are more expensive than many other European capitals. If you’re looking for cost-effectiveness, use public transport.
Only Uber’s premium services operate in Rome, as their regular service is banned. You can get an Uber from the airport through Uber Black, but taxis are usually cheaper.
Lyft is not available in Rome, and Uber is only able to offer its premium services, Uber Black and Uber Vans, in the city.
There are several, but the most popular taxi apps are FREENOW and Wetaxi.