Argentina wouldn’t be the same if we can’t say something about the easiest thing to do when you’re on a trip: taking a taxi in Buenos Aires. What are the tourist traps, what’s the cost of taking a taxi in Buenos Aires, how to explain where to go, and what to look out for? TAXI! 🙋♀️
Recognize an official taxi in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires has over more than 38.000 taxies driving around in the city. A bit too much but the chances are high to catch a taxi within 5 minutes. The official taxies are painted in yellow and black. Look out for the sticker on the front doors. It’s the license code of the taxi. Also inside the taxi, you will see a paper with the credentials of the driver and car.
We suggest taking a taxi with a sticker or rooftop sign with “Radio taxi” on it. If afterward, you have a complaint, you can call the company. But most importantly, the driver will follow the company policy and need to fulfill some requirements. For example, having all the licenses, maintained car, and follow the traffic rules because they represent the company.
How much cost a taxi in Buenos Aires?
A taxi in Buenos Aires is obligated to use the meter. So, check it that the driver turned it on. There is a standard fare during daytime with a start fare of $45,80 ARS (USD 0,78 / €0,70). Afterward it is $4,58 ARS (USD 0,07 / €0,06) per 200 meters (670 feet). During night time from 22h00 until 6h00 in the morning, there is an increase of 20%.
To give you an idea. A taxi ride from Plaza de Mayo to the cemetery of Recoleta will cost you around $150 ARS (USD 2,50 / €2,25). A distance of 4,7km and estimated travel time of 15 minutes.
Most of the taxies in Buenos Aires do only accept cash. Therefore, the best way is to pay cash. We suggest to have banknotes of $100 ARS with you. It’s easier and fewer chances to be a victim of a scam.
The common scams to tourists
There are bad apples on the market. You will find them mostly around the airport. A common scam: when ending the ride the taxi driver will stop the meter and say how much it cost. For example, $200 ARS. You will take a banknote of $500 or $1000. You give the banknote, the driver will put it between the legs to look for exchange but the driver will say he doesn’t have enough exchange. The driver gives the banknote back. But in a blink of an eye, he switched it to a counterfit banknote. That’s why we suggest to have some $100 peso bills with you.
Also, making a huge detour to the destination is a common scam. Below we give you some tips to avoid that.
Explain where to go
In Buenos Aires it’s best to say the street and the nearest cross street. For example, your hotel is in “Avenida de Mayo” and the nearest cross street is “Piedras”. Say to the taxi driver: go to Avenida de Mayo and Piedras. The taxi will drop you off on the corner of that intersection.
Also, follow the route on your smartphone. It gives you an idea of where you are. Feel free to say “stop” to the driver when you are near.
Last tip: if the drivers give you an option for which street to take. Say one of the streets that the driver mentioned. It gives the idea that the taxi driver can’t fool you and you give the impression that you know the city.
Do you tip the taxi drivers?
When taking a taxi in Buenos Aires it’s common to round up the amount of the ride. The rides costs $128, and you can give $150 or less. Just a round number is fine.
Is it cheaper to take a taxi or Uber?
Be aware that Uber is not that legal in Buenos Aires. Uber is in a grey zone. Around the airport, it’s not that convenient because the driver will ask you to meet further away from the terminal to avoid the official taxies in Buenos Aires. However, Cabify is legal.
Our experience is that an official taxi in Buenos Aires can be the cheapest option during rush hours at Aeroparque (AEP) airport. You can easily make the comparison by going to the taxi screen at Aeroparque airport (see below), fill in your details and get a price with an official taxi. In the meantime, you can compare the price with Uber of Cabify on your phone.
At Buenos Aires international airport Ezeiza is Uber of Cabify often cheaper. At this moment there are no taxi screens available there. This means that the taxi driver asks a fixed price and mostly too high.
In the city, it all depends on the demand of the moment. But in general, an Uber or Cabify are some pesos cheaper. Above all, Uber of Cabify is handier if you want to pay with your credit card and when the demand is low.
How to book a taxi in Buenos Aires
Yes, you can book a taxi in Buenos Aires. Call a “radio taxi” and mention the pick-up time and destination. They will give you a fixed price. In those cases, a taximeter will not be used. It’s handy when you need to leave very early in the morning.
One of the most famous radio taxies is “Taxi Premium“.
Or the other option is to book a private transfer with Welcome Pickups. You can use the service for your arrival at Buenos Aires international airport and use the return for the next domestic flight.
Taking a taxi at Buenos Aires airport
As mentioned before, around the airports there are more bad apples operating. We experienced it by ourselves. The taxi driver’s certificate inside the car was of somebody else. Why did we know it? A guy was driving and he didn’t look like “Veronica”.
The city introduced the taxi screen at Aeroparque (AEP) airport. Before heading to the taxi lane, you fill in the details on the screen, take your ticket and go to the waiting line. The best things is that the taxi fare is fixed. Avoiding high costs. A good thing.
However, the chance that a cowboy is behind the wheel is high. Try to take a taxi with a “radio taxi” on it. And if you don’t feel safe how the taxi drivers rides, just stop it!
Official taxi Buenos Aires app (iOS/Android)
The city government launched a taxi mobile application to make it easier to get a taxi. It’s an app like Uber and Cabify, but only available in Spanish. Selected your pick up location and destination. It’s convenient on a moment that there is no taxi around. However, in our opinion, it’s much easier to just go outside and hail a taxi. There are taxies everywhere in Buenos Aires 😃.