Knowing what to pay in Morocco can be difficult, and it’s sometimes hard to shake the feeling that you’re being ripped-off because you’re a foreigner. It’s true that while salaries in Morocco are high compared to some African countries, the average wage is significantly lower than that in Western Europe. The result is that some unscrupulous individuals will try to take advantage of you and overcharge you for products and services. It is important to remember, however, that this is the exception to the rule, and most Moroccans are not looking to rip you off.
Haggling for Your Taxi in Morocco
In European cities like Barcelona, Paris, and Rome, taking taxis is never particularly fun but always expensive. As a tourist in a new city, you have to place a lot of trust in your taxi driver because you are in unfamiliar surroundings and perhaps do not know the local culture or customs. Unfortunately, it is well-documented that some taxi drivers in these cities take the long way round in order to artificially inflate the fare, or refuse to use the meter and charge more than it should be.
In Morocco, the same problems exist, and so it’s necessary to take the same precautions as you would in tourist hotspots like Barcelona, Paris and Rome. However, the good news is that it’s significantly cheaper in Morocco to travel by taxi, and if the driver is trying to get some extra cash out of you by going the long way round, it is likely to be a very insignificant amount for you.
But of course, out of principle you shouldn’t pay more for your taxi than anybody else just because of the colour of your skin or the language you speak, so there are a few things you should do in order minimise the risk of getting ripped off by petit and grand taxi drivers in Morocco.
- Use our Grand Taxi Fare Calculator to work out how much your trip should cost. This calculator is a general guide, and should only be used as an indicator, although it will at least give you an idea of how much you should pay for a given journey.
- Learn some Arabic expressions. Taxi drivers in Morocco are unlikely to speak any English, and French is not always as widely-spoken as some people believe. In the North in particular, French culture and speaking French can be a controversial subject, so being able to speak a few words of Arabic will get you much further in your Moroccan taxi negotiation and will probably be appreciated by the driver.
- Grand taxis do not have meters, but most petit taxis do. So, if you’re taking a petit taxi in a Moroccan city, you should ensure that they have their meters on. Not all petit taxis have meters, so if yours doesn’t then you should avoid taking it unless you have an idea of the right price and can agree on it beforehand with the driver.
- Try to avoid putting yourself into a position where you are a captive audience for the taxi driver. For example, airports and border crossings are generally bad places to take taxis because you have limited options, and this puts you at a disadvantage from a negotiation standpoint. If you know that you are going to be in a position like this, you should book online in advance through a reputable taxi company in Morocco so that there are no surprises.
- Be confident, and don’t act like a clueless tourist. Speaking a few words of Arabic is the best way to do this. You want to give the impression that you know where you are going, and that you know what the price should be. This will reduce the chance of the driver trying to rip you off.
If you follow this advice, you will be much more likely to achieve a fair price. You will still probably pay slightly more than the locals, but at least you won’t be taken for a ride and milked for every penny. Although taking taxis in Morocco is cheaper than in most of Europe, remember that the costs are not necessarily that much lower, and that petrol/diesel and insurance are only marginally cheaper than in more expensive countries.