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Pre-paid taxi fares

If you catch a taxi anywhere in NSW from a taxi rank or hail one on the street, you may be asked by the driver to pre-pay your taxi fare. Find out how to pre-pay your fare.

The pre-paid taxi fares scheme aims to provide a safer working environment for taxi drivers and reduce fare evasion.

The operation of the pre-paid fares scheme does not mean that all taxi trips in NSW need to be pre-paid. Rather, it means that taxi drivers anywhere in the state have the discretion to ask for pre-payment.

If the driver asks, you need to pre-pay your taxi fare upfront and either pay the balance or receive a refund at the end of the trip.

When requesting that a passenger pre-pay their fare, a driver should be fair, equitable and non-discriminatory. Pre-paid fares have been designed to prevent fare evasion, as well as risk to drivers if a customer refuses to pay at the end of their trip.

It is important to note that if you do not want to pre-pay your taxi fare the driver is not obligated to take to you.

An upfront fare is calculated by the driver and needs to be paid by the passenger before commencing the trip. It is important to note that the driver may request pre-payment of the fare at any stage of the trip.

Pre-paid fares apply to rank and hail taxi trips and maximum fares are regulated by Transport for NSW. Fare estimates are calculated based on urban and country area fares and charges.

Secure taxi ranks in Sydney have customer service officers to help drivers and passengers estimate the taxi fare.

Drivers do have the right to refuse a passenger or terminate a trip if you do not pre-pay the fare or cannot demonstrate that you can pay for the trip.

You can pre-pay and pay the difference by cash (if accepted), Cabcharge, EFTPOS or credit card. A maximum 5% surcharge may apply when paying by card or Cabcharge.

1. Pay before the trip begins

If a taxi driver requests that you pre-pay your fare before the trip begins, the driver will estimate the likely fare.

You pay the estimated fare with one of the payment methods above.

Once the trip has commenced, a visible fare calculation device (such as a meter) must be turned on and running during your trip.

2. At the end of your trip - pay the difference or receive a refund

When you arrive at your destination, if the total taxi fare is more than the pre-paid fare estimate, then you are required to pay the balance of the fare plus any tolls or airport charges to the driver. If your fare is less than the pre-paid fare amount, you will be refunded the difference at the end of your trip.

You can pre-pay with cash (if accepted), Cabcharge, EFTPOS or credit card, and use any of these payment methods if there is a balance owing at the end of the trip. If you are required to pay the difference at the end of your trip and you choose to use your card again, you will be charged a second transaction fee.

You may ask for a receipt at the end of your trip and taxi drivers must provide this if requested.

If you pay the estimated fare by Cabcharge, credit card or EFTPOS, a maximum 5% surcharges applies.

If the total fare is more than the estimated pre-paid fare, and the difference is paid by card or Cabcharge, the maximum 5% surcharge will also apply to the outstanding amount. The total credit provider surcharge will be the same as paying the fare in one payment.

A taxi driver will not be able to give you a refund for the maximum 5% surcharge.

If the final fare amount is lower than what you pre-paid, you can only be refunded for the remaining fare deposit. No portion of the surcharge amount can be refunded.

If you are using a Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS) voucher to pay for a fare, or part of your fare, you do not have to pre-pay your fare.

When you book or hail a taxi, you should let the driver know you will be paying with a TTSS voucher.