The standard taxi fare advice is to agree your fare before you set foot in the car. This is doubly true in Marrakech where the drivers don’t run the meter and fare suggestions are suspiciously touristy. There is a fare schedule on the inside of the windscreen, in Arabic. You mayn’t be able to read it but you’ll notice that the numbers are multiples lower than you’ve agreed to pay.
A useful tip if you want to query the fare is not to get wound up. Your wily taxi driver has a ready answer for everything.
“Oh yes, those fares are for the petite taxi but there’s four of you, so we are in a grand taxi and it’s double. Then, when I drop you off at the Menara, I might not get passengers so I have to come back and you have to pay my return fare, so it’s double again.”
Your blood rises at this perverted logic, but treat it as good-natured sparring banter.
“So if I find you a return fare, will you give me a discount?”
“Hahaha. Oh no no no.” And without skipping a beat, the taxi driver continues “where do you want to do after the Menara? For you, my friend, I will do Special Price.”
You may yet come off with a decent deal, although I’ll contend that it’s still not what the locals pay.
We had these conversations each of the three days we were in Marrakech. You learn to play the game. There will be “surcharges” for busy hours, using the boot, parking, an extra person … the list goes on. Or you could be dropped off 20 metres from your destination because “coincidentally” you are right in front of the best spice shops in town.
My advice – be firm and don’t lose your rag.
~ Spotted Cow