If you travel, sooner or later you’re going to have to hail a taxi. So before you get a ride, consider this taxicab intel we found. It comes from cab drivers themselves.

  • First: Consider your location. Drivers say your best chance of hailing a cab will be if you stand outside a busy hotel, or a popular tourist attraction. That’s where cab drivers circle for new fares. The worst place is outside a sporting event, or a concert. That’s where you’ll be competing with 20,000 other fans for a ride!

  • The safest way to hail a cab is to: Call for one by phone or online. Drivers say they prefer this, because it gives some information about a customer in case something goes wrong. Like, if you don’t pay your fare, the cab company can track you down using the phone number or address.

  • But: Avoid so-called “bandit cabs.” Those are drivers who aren’t licensed by the city, so their meter won’t be regulated and the driver can charge whatever they want. Also, bandit cab drivers are less likely to carry insurance, to be drug-tested, or to have passed a criminal background check.

  • How can you tell a licensed cab from a “bandit” cab? Look for a logo. Licensed cabs will always have a city’s insignia clearly marked, along with your driver’s name, and a phone number to call in the event you need to file a complaint.

  • Also: Licensed cabs tend to be the same color, usually yellow. Why? It’s so law enforcement can tell the difference between vehicles stopping to pick up a fare, and vehicles stopping to pick up a hitchhiker – which is illegal in most cities!