Beware of Ripoff Taxis

Unlike other cities, there is no set fare tariff in Tallinn and taxi companies are free to charge different fares. While there are a number of reputable taxi companies offering cheap rides and good service, such legal situation has also sprouted a number of shady taxis which prey on tourist inattentiveness to (legally) charge outrageous fares, relying on the hope that their client doesn't pay attention to the rate sheet before using their service.

This is likely to cause concern to tourists, as a quite a number of taxis waiting around touristy areas are the dishonest type.

  • - most locals use Taxify mobile app to order taxis. Taxify has over 1500 licensed and verified taxi drivers from all Tallinn and Tartu taxi companies. Taxify has strict quality control based on user ratings - good quality drivers get more rides, bad/scam drivers will be blocked quickly. Automatic location detection and then choose closest taxis by price, user feedback rating, card payment availability or car model/year. After order confirmation you see taxi arriving on the map in real-time.
    Very convienient and does not require calling to taxi dispatch numbers. Works with WiFi and 3G mobile data connections.


"Tallinn Takso" is a Scam

There is no such company as "Tallinn Takso". Such pair of words is not trademarked, which has caused a number of shady taxis to form a scam conglomerate of sorts under the "Tallinn Takso" banner. That name can sound superficially official to tourists, and of course they like to hang out at spots that tourists may frequent, but using them means 100% certainty of getting ripped off at 3€/km or more. Do not use them!

Further complicating things, a number of such "Tallinn Takso" tourist traps also try mimicing themselves after similarly named, but legitimate Tallink Takso or Tallinna Takso cabs, by painting their cars in the same yellow or black, and sporting a similarly styled logo. An easy way to tell them apart is that the scammy taxis never advertise a short phone number.


A Guide To Proper Taxi Companies

1) "A-list" companies that use an uniform car park and rent exclusive taxi spot slots. They are more expensive, but the chances of being cheated by them is also minimal.

Name of company

 Phone number

Fare tariff in Euros (nightly)
 Tulika Takso
(+372) 1200 2.88 + 0.55/km (0.70/km)
 White Opels, Toyotas and Skodas with TUL license plates
 Tallink Takso
(+372) 1921 3.20 + 0.77/km (0.88/km) Yellow Audis, Mercs and Skoda Superbs

Tallinna Taksopark

aka Tallinna Takso

 (+372) 6555555

or (+372) 1555

 3.60 + 0.69/km (0.88/km)
 Black Mercs

 2) "B-list" companies which don't, as a rule, have an uniform car park, but rather operate by selling their franchise to drivers. They are however real companies and operate a short phone number as well as web presence, which shows commitment. Chances of getting ripped off by any of these are small.

Name of company
 Phone number
 Fare tariff in Euros
 ETX Takso  (+372) 1700 2.90 + 0.55/km (0.70/km) 
 Krooni Takso
 (+372) 1212
 2.50 + 0.42/km (0.48/km)
 Reval Takso
 (+372) 1207
 2.50 + 0.45/km (0.45/km)
 Saksa Takso
 (+372) 1316
 2.17 + 0.39/km (0.39/km)  
 Sõbra Takso
 (+372) 1714
 2.50 + 0.42/km (0.48/km) 
 Takso 24 (+372) 1224
 2.50 + 0.44/km (0.44/km) value option of Tallink Takso, run Toyota Corollas

3) "C-list" companies which may very well be honest and cheap, but don't operate a phone number and/or web presence, thus not showing the same commitment and cannot as a rule of thumb be recommended for tourists. Use at your own risk.

Getting around by rental car

If you do not trust taxis or just prefer to drive by your own, take a rental car. There are several different choices to take a car. It would be easy to take a car from the airport or harbour. There are several choices of rental cars - Autocar, ABC rent, Baltic car, Hansarent and so on...

By rental car it would be possible to take a day tour by yourself or take a private guide with you to the countryside. If you have planned to see all three Baltic states, then it will be the best choice to take rental car from Tallinn, go through Latvia to Lithuania and leave car to Vilnius, takeing plane home from there.  

 How to avoid getting ripped off:

  • Calling a taxi to your location is convenient, comes at no extra charge, and much reduces the chance of being ripped off. The operators will likely be able to talk English.
  • Never get in a taxi if the driver is grabbing your sleeve or otherwise actively soliticing you in the harbor, airport or such. Legitimate drivers will never do that, as it's forbidden for them to leave their cars to look for customers.
  • All taxis must have a legible rates list at the passenger side window and on the passenger side "glovebox". ALWAYS READ THE RATE SHEET BEFORE GETTING IN!! The most common way tourists get ripped off by taxis is by getting in a shady taxi near some touristy area which brazenly, but legally, charges enormous rates.
  • As a rule of thumb, all reputable taxis have proper, permanent taxi liveries and a taxi light. It's not, however, as such enough to tell shady taxis apart from legit ones. Tip: most reputable taxi companies have short phone numbers which they flaunt on their cars, while the scammy taxis do not.
  • All taxis must have a taxi meter and the rides are paid according to the meter. However, it is a very good idea to first ask for an estimate of how much the ride is going to cost. Since it's something they do every day, they should have a very good idea.
  • All legitimate taxis must be able to give you a printed receipt with information about the ride and pricing on it. If they don't, then you have the right to decline payment.
  • The ride from the airport to ANY centrally located hotel should be around €10 at most (2011 prices).
  • The ride from harbor to ANY centrally located hotel should be around €6-€8, or at the very very most €10.
  • You have the right to choose any taxi from a taxi stop. If you do it without reason then the drivers may consider it impolite, but you have that right and no obligation to get in a taxi you don't trust.