There are two ways to get a cab in Cairo, one is to stand anywhere and hail a checkered white and black taxi, and the other way is to call a Yellow Cab company.
Black & White Taxis
Taxi drivers will often base their fare on their passenger’s appearance, age, sex, nationality and Arabic skills. Thus it is important to have an idea of what is a fair price. To avoid problems, pay the driver the fare upon exiting the taxi and then walk away. Make sure you always keep plenty of 1-pound and 50-piaster notes with you so as not to have to ask the driver for change. Drivers will often claim to not have change hoping you will tell them to keep it.
Do not try to hail a cab in front of a hotel or tourist attraction. The ride can cost you double, sometimes triple, the going rate. Other notorious places include fancy restaurants, high-class malls, theatres and sporting clubs. Always agree on a price before entering the cab.
If you believe the driver is trying to overcharge you, threaten to take the matter to the tourist police. If they are gouging you, they will drive off. If not, you might have genuinely underpaid. Keep in mind certain factors affect the going rate such as traffic, number of passengers, luggage, time of day, remoteness of destination.
Typical Fares in Cairo for checkered cabs:
- Maadi to City Center (Tahrir) 20 to 25 LE
- Maadi to Zamalek 15 to 20 LE
- Maadi to Khan el-Khalili 20 to 25 LE
- Anywhere in Maadi 3 to 5 LE
- Maadi to Heliopolis 25 to 30 LE
- Maadi to Mohandeseen 15 to 20 LE
- Maadi to Pyramids/Kerdassa 25 to 30 LE
- Maadi to Airport 50 LE
- Waiting period, per hour 10 to 15 LE
Time of day, traffic and number of passengers will affect the prices. (Good rule of thumb is to add about 2 LE to above prices for each additional passenger.)
For those of you who prefer not to haggle, Yellow Cab is a service that allows you to call for a cab to pick you up. In the past 5 years, those have become more prevalent and reliable. They offer air conditioning, seat belts, a safe car and a clean and comfortable ride. They are also a little more expensive than the regular street taxis, but they have a running meter. Expect delays or no-shows around the holidays.
Yellow Cab Company: Telephone: 19155 or 16516