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Taxi Complaints In Cancun Up Sharply In October As Authorities Sound Alarm

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The number of official complaints lodged against Cancun taxi drivers has skyrocketed in past months, with over 100 filed in October alone. Authorities have been more proactive than ever before in an attempt to enforce strict regulations, which unfortunately aren’t always followed by taxi drivers in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean.

Woman taking taxi

Although taking a taxi is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get around in Cancun, it’s not without its faults. Local media have shed light on a number of unfair practices and scams that taxi drivers regularly employ to gain a few dollars at the expense of locals and visitors. Now, with public awareness increasing, the number of official complaints has practically doubled in the past month, rising from 50 to over 100. 

Over the summer, multiple reports emerged that taxi drivers regularly overcharge customers – whether they be locals or visitors. Meanwhile, authorities responded to the alarming situation by fining more taxi drivers, recalling taxi licenses, and sending taxi drivers off to mandatory training courses. Even though taxi drivers continue to scam customers, the public has been made aware of what legal options they have to reclaim their money.

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Taxi line

In October, the situation seems to have improved somewhat, and more than 100 complaints were filed against drivers. The number of complaints has more than doubled compared to August and September, when around 40 to 60 complaints were recorded. 

According to Nancy Valdez Vázquez, the sub-secretary for labor for the local taxi trade union, some of the most common complaints are related to overcharging and bad customer service. Depending on the severity of the case, taxi drivers can be fined, or their licenses can be temporarily frozen for up to 15 days. 

Taxis lined up

In some instances, taxi operators are mandated to attend a training course called ‘Zero Tolerance,’ which deals with the basics of customer service and charging customers a fair rate. According to the local taxi union, authorities and taxi companies want to restore the public’s faith in taxi drivers, especially as the city heads into the record-breaking winter travel season.

Last month, it was reported that taxis were involved in up to 80% of all public transport accidents in Cancun, with several hundred injuries and one death reported this year alone. According to authorities, most accidents occur when drivers speed or disregard traffic signs, which can be especially troublesome in Cancun’s tightly-packed resort district and busy highways. 

Taxi accident

Although taking a taxi is often one of the first things tourists do after arriving in Cancun, unsuspecting visitors are, unfortunately, good targets for taxi drivers. That being said, there are several steps travelers can take to avoid being overcharged or outright scammed when taking a taxi in Cancun.

Taxi van

First, travelers can pre-book a private taxi through their hotel or resort or opt to use a free shuttle service. If you find yourself needing to use a taxi, always make sure the taximeter is turned on and visible. You can also ask to see the driver’s taxi license, which has a QR code, to ensure the legal status of the operator. 

Taxi Meter

Travelers are encouraged to report any cases of misconduct or overcharging to the following hotlines, which operate around the clock: 998-689-1166 or 998-888-6990. Tourists can also take note of the taxi’s license plate, the time of getting on the ride, as well as the driver’s name. 

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Andy W

Monday 20th of November 2023

I arrived at Cancun airport at about 9pm on Friday 4th August 2023 and I went to the taxi rank outside the terminal.

A man was there putting passengers into taxis.

He quoted us a price of 1,600 Mexican Pesos which is about US$96 for our taxi ride from Cancun airport to Puerto Morelos, which we agreed.

He would not take cash from us, he said he can only take credit cards.

He produced a small credit card reader which was attached to his cellphone.

Obviously I thought if VISA has granted him a credit card machine, he must be legitimate.

I gave him my credit card, (his credit card reader does not show the actual amount he has entered), but he asked me to put in my PIN, which I did.

He then said my transaction was denied as he said I put in the wrong PIN. (This was clearly a lie as he had put in 3,600 Mexican Pesos which is equivalent to US$216.48 and it was approved and deducted from my credit card).

He advised me to try the transaction again to see if it would go through, which I did and I was correctly charged 1,600 Mexican Pesos which is about US$96.

I then took the taxi from Cancun Airport to Puerto Morelos in Mexico.

Do not trust anyone at Cancun airport putting you into a taxi, unless you have cash.

Andy W. Cayman Islands.

Ed Snyder

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

We my wife and I spent one month in Cancun, comparing it to the rest of Mexico, the whole area is a big rip off, from taxies too bars, taxis, we finally found away to not get over charged , we Asked up front what will charge, to high, go ask the next driver, it worked well, the whole area , one finds you need to barter at every service, they seem to |think that all visitors to there area are a bunch of dummies. Mexico is a beautiful Country, love the People. Only good thing in that whole area is the Mayan ruins.


Monday 14th of November 2022

Take the bus. Runs all along the hotel Zona . I take the bus from the airport to downtown and then take the R-1 bus . Or take a taxi from downtown, much cheaper.


Tuesday 15th of November 2022

@John, don’t take the bus unless you have single dollars I didn’t have a change this summer when we were there the smallest I had was a 50 and we were five passengers it should’ve been less than five dollars and he ripped me off for $30 Cancun in my opinion how’s it going down down down lying cheating stealing everywhere you look not a good place to go

Mark Thompson

Saturday 12th of November 2022

My wife and I were in Cancun in September. We took a taxi from our hotel to the Hardrock cafe area. On our return to our hotel I left my cell phone in the back seat of the taxi. The hotel conceirge called the taxi company. The taxi company called back and said non of their drivers had found it. I offered a reward. I called my cell provider and they turned my cell phone in to a paper weight. My wife tried frantically to get any info. she could from the taxi company to no avail. Who ever kept my phone only got a paper weight. The reward would have been better. Mr.T.