City Travel Tip #1434

Taking a taxi in Kuala Lumpur – tips for visitors

Photo: Jumpstory

When I visit Kuala Lumpur, my public transportation of choice is the taxi. Taking a taxi in Kuala Lumpur will help you to get from place to place easily and cheaply. Although Kuala Lumpur has a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) too, its network is still being developed. Hence there are areas which are still not accessible via MRT.

If you are taking a taxi in Kuala Lumpur, here are some useful tips to bear in mind:

1. Always ask the taxi driver to turn on the meter.
Licensed taxis in Kuala Lumpur are equipped with a meter. Remind the driver to turn it on when you first enter the taxi, to avoid disagreements at the end of the journey.

2. Take licensed taxis only.
Although rare, you may come across “pirate taxis”, which are private cars and drivers providing car ferrying services for money. A licensed taxi will display the driver’s taxi license with registration number, and it will be equipped with a meter.

3. Use a taxi booking app.
A new, convenient method to book a taxi is via a taxi booking app such as Grab. For this, you will need to get a local number, hence don’t forget to buy a SIM card from the airport. Using the Grab app, you can book both a regular taxi, or a private Grab driver (not to be confused by the “pirates”). Before the booking, the Grab app will show the route after you key in the destination, as well as the estimated fare. This is very useful for travelers.

4. Keep small change on you.
It is preferable to use small change when paying for your taxi rides, as the driver may not have sufficient change for bigger notes. Note that it is not necessary to tip the driver.

5. Sit at the back seat.
In Malaysia, similar to Singapore, it is considered normal taxi etiquette for passengers to sit in the backseat, as compared to sitting in front next to the driver – unless of course you are travelling in a big group and there are insufficient seats at the back.

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GeorgianaJanuary 10, 20220 comments