Taxi Scams

This page is dedicated to taxi scams in Sri Lanka. Please leave yours below if you have a new one.

From Alex in 2016:

We arrange taxi from Tangalle to Ella with next hotel. We confirm price for ac van to take 3 people. It is cheap price, better than in Tangalle. Then, arrive small car, ac but very old, driver speak no English. We go but when arrive hotel want same money as van. Bad experience!

From Gemma in 2015:

A local friend had arranged us a taxi share to go from Arugam Bay to the airport to catch our flight home. The taxi was leaving at 8pm for an early morning flight. We were two girls and we were told there would be another two girls from Holland sharing with us. The price was agreed on 5000 per person, cheap for one person but still the total was excessive, 20,000 instead of 18,000. When my local “friend” and the driver arrived with the two girls he said that the driver was now demanding more money to go. We argued for half an hour but it was too late to try and organise another taxi as we had to catch the flight. We finally agreed to pay 7000 each, 28,000 in total. It is very hard to get out of this situation when in it. In future I will organise the taxi through a reputable hotel and pay a few thousand more for the peace of mind.

From Arugam Bay Traveller in 2015:

A taxi driver I met in the street in Ella told me that he had another passenger wanting to go to Arugam Bay the next day if I wanted to share. I said yes and we arranged to meet at 11am the next day. The taxi driver was alone and said the other guy changed his mind and was not coming and that I had to pay the full cost. I am convinced there was never another passenger and it was a story to get my business.

From Mark in 2013:

Please don’t judge the rest of Sri Lanka by your tuk tuk experience in Colombo. I never had these issues, but then I have only once been taken for a ride in Sri Lanka by two British doctors who did not want to pay their way in a shared taxi from Kandy to Unawatuna.

My mistake. I will now always insist on money up front to the driver. It has left me very bitter that the least expected scammer is your fellow foreign traveller.

Leave A Comment?