Here are some tips that might save you nightmares and a few hundred crowns:
• Don’t get into a taxi that is parked in front of the train station or at a tourist site. These are waiting for unsuspecting tourists and are known to charge rates several times higher than they should be.
• If you need to catch a taxi on the street, make sure it is a real, registered taxi. The yellow roof lamp must be permanently installed and must say TAXI in black letters on both sides. The company name, license number and rates should be printed on both front doors.
• Try to find out beforehand how much your ride should cost. If you’re stopping a taxi on the street, you can ask the driver before getting in and even pay in advance if the amount sounds reasonable. If you’re ordering a taxi by phone (always a good idea), you can get a price estimate from the dispatcher.
• Once in the car, make sure that the rate on the taximeter corresponds to the price list posted in the car. If it doesn’t, bring it to the driver’s attention or have him stop the car and get off.
• You have the right to request a printed receipt from the driver. If he refuses to give it to you, you can refuse to pay the fare.
There seem to be more stories of fraud, extortion and violent attacks committed by Prague’s taxi drivers than in any other city in the world. Reasons for this were that there were too many licenses issued and no regulation of their activities. However the final straw appears to have broken the camel’s back. One passenger objected to being charger 8,000 CZK (250 USD) for a ride of about 3 kilometres and the City Hall had to step in with a solution. The deregulation of rates from October 15, 1996 had been cancelled and instead the strict guidelines were introduced. Unfortunately it didn’t help much.
For inner city taxi trips, most people recommend Profi Taxi and AAA taxi. But even though, they seem to have good advertisement and media reputation, still occasionally passengers encounter problems with them. From my personal experience of 10years of using taxi companies I can say it is getting better. But still tourists should be on watch as they are and probably always will be “like an alarm for Prague Taxi drivers” thinking this passenger has “money” so we should rip him off. Many Prague taxi call centres including most reputable one like AAA a Profi taxi still have to deal with “on time arrivals” and some of them with driver’s arrogant behaviour. Especially if they have to provide sort ride taxi transfer they seems to be very unpleasant. Yes, rule to avoid is call or pre-book taxi in advance as it reduces chances from unmemorable trip experience.