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Taxis in Kuwait… ?

Posted in Kuwait forum

I am in Kuwait since a while. I take taxis, different ones and I realized I lost a lot of money using taxis. In Kuwait, like in nearby countries: Dubai, Bahrain… , taxis have taxi meters but contrary to the nearby countries, taxi drivers in Kuwait don’t charge according to the taxi meters.
When I first came in Kuwait, I don’t remember I have seen a driver putting a taxi meter on. But nowadays, I noticed most of them have the taxi meter switched on. Once, I was in a Bangali taxi and the guy told me « if checking Police, you tell you go by taxi meter. » Doesn’t look like a blackmail ? The funniest one was a taxi driver having a taxi meter switch on but hidden behind a tissue to not let me see it. So, you don’t pay according to the taxi meter but the drivers switch it on.
I became to know that:
-it's against the law not to open the taximeter when taxi drivers have customers in the vehicle.
-there're 2 kinds of taxis in Kuwait: the white are called taxis even they do roaming and the yellow are roaming taxis.
The yellow taxis open the taximeter because when they do it, at the same time, the red lights on the yellow board, each side of the taxi name above the car lit and make the Police think from outside taxi drivers charge according to the taximeter.

* After reading an article on KuwaitTimes: (http://news.kuwaittimes.net/cabbies-ignore-rule-taxi-meters
-passengers-rely-negotiation/), I tried to rely on taxi meter. Here 3 interesting experiences.
->One time, I got in a taxi without asking the price before. The price I used to pay was 1 kd (sometimes 750 fils) for this distance. When I got inside the taxi, the taxi meter was already on. According to the number, it looked like it was started just few seconds ago. I said « I go by taxi meter ». He accepted it. Arrived to my destination, guess how much was the taxi meter ? 350 fils ! Few ? For some reason this is the rule : gas cheaper than water… I said « the taxi meter is 350 fils, I gave you 500 fils ». He accepted it. So easily ? Yes, pretty sure because when he took me, he was already on his way to pick up someone else.
->Another time, I got in a taxi without asking the price before. According to my experiences, the price asked for this distance was 1 kd. When I got inside the taxi, the taxi meter was also on. Again, like just few seconds ago. Weird… On the way, someone called the driver and this driver said he should reach the customer place in 10 minutes. Arrived to the destination, the taxi meter 550 fils. I gave the taxi driver 550 fils. He was not happy. I said « this is the price according to the taxi meter ». He said I should give him 1 kd because it’s a Kuwaiti area. So from there, he couldn’t find another customer. ??! I heard him saying he will be at a customer place in 10 minutes and it was 5 minutes ago. So, he was getting a new customer very soon and of course he will charge it more pretending he came just for him while he took me on his way. And everybody knows Kuwait is small talking about size. So, it takes few minutes to take a customer in another area. I told him : “the rule is the taxi meter” and I just went to my work.
->Another day, from 360 mall, I got in a taxi telling I am going to Salmiya, Marina mall. The taxi meter was switched off and he told me 2 kd. I said no : 1.5kd. He started arguing. I said : « I know the prices : 1.5kd is more than I should and if you don’t accept it, I take another taxi ». Of course, he accepted. I asked him to use the taxi meter even I was going to pay him 1.5kd. On the way, too much traffic. Thinking : « maybe it will be 2 kd ». But we should always remember : most of taxis are thieves. So, never worry. Arrived, taxi meter : 1kd and 20 fils. I asked him : why you wanted to charge 2 kd if the taxi meter showing half ? He said: some taxi meters charge 3 kd. No comment. Then, he said : « I don’t like you are upset. You can keep the money ». I didn’t, I just left.

*Conclusion about these experiences :
->To take a taxi is cheap: gas is cheaper than water
->Most of taxi drivers switch on the taximeter when you take a taxi because of Police,
->Thieves have always good reasons to steal but we aren’t fool.

My question is why to take too much headache with people breaking the law ?
If to be a taxi driver is to be poor, how come there are more and more taxis in Kuwait? We are also working and each profession has inconveniences but we adjust and after all, we also want to save money, don’t we ?

  • matt german

    My experience

    posted by  matt german in Kuwait forum 

    What to do in situation when u first time go new address, just ask friend, for whom u going how much it can cost. And do the same .
    I always use taxis on my way to work and back home. I stop care about drivers talk.First when I start use taxis I said adress and deal about money( it's could take 2 min. Because always they were not happy because of money which I was ready to gave them, finally I sit and we go) after all of this crazy situation I stop talking with drivers at all, just I sit inside and tell adress, after we rich I gave him 1 kd, this already with tips, because I know that prise 750 fills it's can be up( traffic gam or driver choose wrong way). And I left even driver start screaming.

  • Go to Amir Shahzad's profile

    posted by  in Kuwait forum 

    The best thing to judge anyone is to live with him,
    I am living with taxi drivers from long time,
    My experience with them is real honest and whatever written above is just childish words filled with personal grudge anxiety.

    First of all meter system is 20 years old and Its not reasonable, Lawfully they need increment in meter and they need to stop paying for kafeel every day ... but who cares for law when you are kuwaiti.
    Secondly its very fare to sit in taxi if you agree his amount ... if you dont agree then look for cheap ones till night ... if you are in hurry then you need to pay the poor man.
    Thirdly taxi drivers are surviving very difficultly ... they need to pay 8Kd or more to the owner ... then remaining they put in there pocket ... which is very small amount but atleast they have job ... better then jobless or house servants or slave.
    Fourthly if you see somewhere traffic police checking ... they just stop all taxis coming to this road and not ask them anything ... just load them in crain and take them to police station ... so for 10 ten days your taxi is with police ... you will pay traffic fines whatever police will write ... and dont forget to pay your kafeel every day that 8kd while sitting home ... this happens once or twice per month.
    Fifthly I will ask you all to live this life for few days and you will know that its not easy life ... and dont believe on rubbish childish words from anyone ... go yourself and stay with them for one day.

  • Juliya Raafat

    posted by  in Kuwait forum 

    I always use taxis on my way to work and back home. I stop care about drivers talk.First when I start use taxis I said adress and deal about money( it's could take 2 min. Because always they were not happy because of money which I was ready to gave them, finally I sit and we go) after all of this crazy situation I stop talking with drivers at all, just I sit inside and tell adress, after we rich I gave him 1 kd, this already with tips, because I know that prise 750 fills it's can be up( traffic gam or driver choose wrong way). And I left even driver start screaming.
    What to do in situation when u first time go new address, just ask friend, for whom u going how much it can cost. And do the same .
    Good luck for all and patience. ))

  • Go to Expat in Kuwait's profile

    posted by  in Kuwait forum 

    I sometimes take buses but you know that there is no bus for some places. I already hired taxi drivers but they often come late because they take customers on their way even you already pay them. So, I agree with Ramy saying taxi drivers are so greedy.

    Do you know that in Kuwait taxi drivers are not the only job not getting a fixed salary? and for some professions, the fixed salary is so low (much lower than taxi drivers incomes) that it's like pocket money but the employees adjust? They don't charge you as much as taxi drivers for a service or it's easier to get a fair price.
    When you have a problem with an employee, do you go to the President of the company or you deal with the employee ? If a sailor wants to charge you the double ticket price on a product you want, do you pay it and go to his boss telling he should give him a higher salary ? If I I have a problem with a taxi driver over-charging, I try to find a way to deal with him. If taxi drivers are over-charged by the company, is their solution to cheat customers ? If we have a serious problem with our company or job, won't we change company or job as per common sense ?

    As I know, no man came to Kuwait starting being taxi driver. Taxi drivers had different jobs in Kuwait before deciding to be taxi drivers. If to be taxi driver wasn't a confortable stituation, why men decided to leave their job? Do you think men don't know before chosing to be taxi drivers their income won't be up to customers they get not from a salary given by their company and they won't pay a rent to the taxi company ?
    8kd? As I know, taxi drivers have to pay their car rent to the company something between 190kd and 200kd each 25th of the month. Let's say 200kd/month. So, it's like almost 7kd/day not 8kd/day. And after 2 years, taxi drivers pay less their car rent to the company. I don't remember now exactly the number but it's less than half.

    What expenses taxi drivers have ? They share a room with other guys, rent about 30 kd to save money as much as possible. If they are married, their wife (with or without children) is in their country (Egypt, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh...) as the expenses there are cheaper than in Kuwait.
    And do you know that girls who have a really low salary (not like taxi drivers one) and need sometimes to take a taxi but can't afford the overcharged taxi driver price, they suggest their sex for paying ? Do you think that all taxi drivers will say: no need, I will put the taximeter on to make you get an affordable price ?

    Talking with taxis drivers, they complain when you don't give them the money they want for a ride but they say they are more than satisfied by their monthly incomes, never heard a complain about it. What does it mean? They also like this profession because it's well known in Kuwait that is an easy way to have several girlfriends. To have a relationship for a man is to spend money. What about if you have more than one? Is it this that making them so greedy with customers?

    Why to bargain to get at the end the double of the taximeter price ? Instead of letting the driver charging you at least the double, why not to follow the taxi meter and give tips if you think it's not enough ?

  • Ahmed Kashmer

    Mmmm

    posted by  Ahmed Kashmer in Kuwait forum 

    Yea may be he get the 8 kd, but he want to make for himself and his family money also.
    I think we cant blame the taxi driver only, main blame should be thrown to the system itself .
    they are not hiring taxi driver with a fixed salary.
    if its a fixed salary all will be happy to turn the meter on.

    its better for u to hire a driver to pick u or to ride by ur self :)
    U can try bus also

  • Go to Expat in Kuwait's profile

    posted by  in Kuwait forum 

    Thank you for your explication.

    Mmmm... not sure the drivers don't get 8kd daily if they use the taxi meter. Do they really need to charge every time the customers the double and sometimes the triple to get 8kd ? When I pay according to the taximeter, why some drivers want to return the money telling is few ? If you don't have enough money, you just take any money, right ?

    I am not asking the Police to fire the driver but I'm sure he gets a fine if he doesn't use the taximeter. That's enough for me. After that, he should easily use the taximeter. Otherwise, when you threaten a driver to call Police, why he reacts ?

  • Ahmed Kashmer

    posted by  in Kuwait forum 

    Its illegal to not use the meter and u have all rights to inform police that this driver didn't use the meter while picking u up. the police will react with u and catch him,but then they will call his sponsor or the owner of the company and no thing will happened ,coz taxis companies in Kuwait owned by police officers.
    and the taxi driver pay daily for the company 8 KD ,what ever he worked or no, so that if he use the meter they will not get the 8 kd for the company and he will not get any fills for him self .

  • Go to Expat in Kuwait's profile

    posted by  in Kuwait forum 

    Yes, if you try to talk with someone who doesn't want to understand, it costs at least a headache. So, why to waste time arguing ?

    Since yesterday, I don't have anymore headache paying according to the taximeter. Example: from Hawally Park to Marina Mall, how much I paid ? 750 fils (the taximeter was 680 fils). You know like me they like to charge: 1.5kd.

    How I proceed ? I ask a yellow taxi if he goes to the area I want. If so, 2 possibilities:
    -I get in the taxi WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT THE PRICE.
    He put the taximeter on because the Police needs to see the 2 red lights above the car, on the taxi name board, if a customer is inside. Arrived, I just say the number indicated by the taximeter (to make clear my intention to the driver), pay it and leave, without looking if the taxi driver is happy or not.
    -He accepts to drop me to my destination but he starts arguing about the price. I don't want to hear it, the answer is: "I will pay according to the taximeter. If you don't want, I call the Police." Done !

    The rule is here. It's not negotiable. Why to argue with them ? It's like you try to prove them they are wrong. But no need, we know and they know they are wrong.

  • Ramy Haddad

    posted by  in Kuwait forum 

    Well, this is a big problem in Kuwait, i don't know why taxis are so greedy.
    specially when your destination is a mail like Avenus,360 or Marina they ask for double and sometime triple the price it should be ( sometime they ask for about 3 kd from marina/Avenus to farwanyia or visa versa )
    I tried to use the taxi meter once and ended up fighting with the driver, i was going to call the police but this will waste my time and cuz a lot of headache just for 500 fils more or something like this so i just through them on his face.
    Seriously, they should find a solution for this problem.

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