Taxi Drivers–Cheating in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia–Avoid ?

My traveling in Southeast Asia have made me realize many mistakes that I tend to make by taking things for granted after living in West.  I have been cheated many times in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and other parts of Malaysia. You can get cheated by Taxi Drivers in Malaysia very badly, let me share my experiences on how can you get cheated and how to avoid such cheating. 

How can you get cheated by Taxi Drivers in Malaysia ?

No meter, random price for travel : If you flag a taxi, your taxi driver will randomly tell you the price to travel to a place rather than meter. That means something is wrong. You need to be careful.

With meter, but paper receipt : Last time, I took an executive taxi that is the one with blue and large innova, I always thought they are good, but I am wrong. The guy charged me like 85 RM for like 15 km, which is wrong. He turned on meter and before I took my stuff, the guy gave me a paper receipt and told it is 85.  He never argued, he went back to the trunk to get my bag. I had to go to meeting, so left….Be careful ask the guy for the printed receipt, if you take the executive cabs.

No meter, No Paper receipt : Sometimes, you will end up in taxis without meters and without paper receipts, you may be desperate to find a taxi and you end up taking a taxi, they will charge you a lot and ask to pay without any receipt. It can be hefty.

How can avoid cheating in taxis in Malaysia especially Kuala Lumpur ?

  • Ask before you board : Before you take taxi, ask if it is metered or not.  Then ask them you will need receipt at the end
  • Ask for the printed receipt in executive cabs to avoid cheating before boarding.
  • if you have to bargain, you just check the average price to go there in the cab by using apps like Grab Taxi or Uber.
  • The best way to avoid cheating is to use the Mobile Apps like Grab taxi or Uber. They cannot cheat you as it is all metered.  This is the best way to avoid cheating in Malaysia cabs.
  • Try to pick taxis that are looking decent, do not try to board something that is old and stinking…

How was your experience wit taxis ? Any tips for riders ?


  1. Mary,
    Interesting, I never knew in London you could get cheated as well… yes, having the research at hand will help a lot. Now-a-days with services like Uber and Grab, you can estimate the fare as well. I have started to use Uber a lot to avoid issues.

  2. In these kind of cases , you just need to research beforehand roughly how much the taxi should cost etc. to avoid getting ripped off. If you arrive in London Heathrow you also have touts trying to rip you off .. happens everywhere, not just Malaysia.

    Yes, sometimes (well, a lot of the time!) taxis don’t like to use the meter, this is not just for foreigners but for locals too. You can negotiate to a reasonable rate which is similar to what the metered rate would be


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