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Concern Over Fake Taxis At Cancun Airport Grows – Here’s How To Spot Them

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Officials are worried about the increase of fake or unlicensed taxis at Cancun International Airport as the city’s popularity draws an ever-growing number of visitors. 

Taxis outside of Cancun International airport with travelers

In addition to the ongoing feud between taxi and Uber drivers, there’s another transportation conundrum travelers have to be wary of this year – pirate taxis, as they’re often referred to in local media. 

With more and more visitors flocking to Cancun this year, here’s the latest on this preoccupying trend and what travelers can do to prevent accidentally taking one. 

Taxi Pickup Area at Cancun International Airport

Cancun International Airport At Odds With Officials As More Fake Taxis Appear

Fake taxis is a broad term used to refer to taxi drivers that operate outside the scope of the law, lacking official taxi licenses and security measures.

While the issue has existed for years, reports of violent altercations between licensed and unlicensed taxi drivers at Cancun airport have become increasingly frequent, fueling calls for officials to enact tighter regulations. To make matters worse, ASUR, the company that runs and operates Cancun International Airpot, is turning a blind eye to the matter, according to local media sources.

Meanwhile, ASUR argues that the National Guard – a Mexican paramilitary organization that was set up in 2019 to tackle organized crime – should be responsible for identifying and removing fraudulent taxi drivers from the airport’s premises.

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In either case, unofficial taxi operators are ubiquitous across Cancun International Airport’s terminals, and there are an estimated 750 vehicles operating illegally in the Mexican Caribbean. 

outside cancun airport taxi

In a statement, Sergio Gonzalez Rubiera, the head of the Mexican Travel Agency Association, said the following: “It is unfortunate that once again violent incidents are taking place in the vicinity of the airport, putting a dent in Cancun’s reputation, and it seems authorities don’t care.”

But what makes Cancun’s ‘pirate’ taxis so dangerous? Firstly, a large number of operators lack official licenses that guarantee the quality and safety of the vehicle and the driver. In addition to lacking basic safety equipment – such as seatbelts – unofficial taxis are much more likely to overcharge or outright scam visitors. 

A Person Looking at the Uber App on a Smart Phone

Fake taxis are just one of many issues plaguing Cancun’s notorious taxi industry, which suffered a major setback after Uber was granted permission to begin operating in the city several months ago. 

Here’s How To Spot Fake Taxis At Cancun International Airport 

With no short-term solutions on the horizon, it’s up to travelers to remain vigilant when taking a taxi at Cancun International Airport.

60 Cancun Taxi Drivers Fined For Overcharging Passengers-2

Visitors are urged to only use taxis from designated pick-up points near the arrivals terminal. There are a range of taxi companies that operate in Cancun, so travelers should do some research beforehand so they can identify legitimate transportation companies.

Prior to hopping on board a taxi, always make sure the vehicle is in good condition and has seatbelts as well as an official registration number. It’s always better to err on the side of caution, and safety-conscious visitors can jot down the vehicle’s registration plate number, which can be reported to officials in case of theft or overcharging. 

Some taxis in Cancun don’t have a taximeter, so travelers should negate the rate before entering their taxi. 

View of a terminal at Cancun International Airport

With reports of fraudulent taxi practices on the rise – including overhang – visitors should try to pre-book private transfers to and from their Cancun resort whenever possible. 

While Uber is legally allowed to operate in Cancun, using the popular ride-sharing platform may not always be a safe option amid reports of taxi drivers targeting Uber operators and even passengers.

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Tuesday 4th of July 2023

Cancun taxi mafia paying reporters to defend them from Uber and other bonafide options that don't overcharge like they do. Monopoly. Perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black. Too bad this paper promotes it.

William Miner

Friday 30th of June 2023

Cancun Sun How about writing an article about the reason that car rental insurance is outrageous Talk about a cartel!! Annually based on the rat charged for insurance it would be over $4000


Tuesday 4th of July 2023

@William Miner, couldn-t agree with you more!