If you are travelling inter-city for work or pleasure, especially, if you are travelling alone, make sure the driver has a taxi badge and check the license, say experts.
Vivek Kejriwal, founder at Oneway.cab (one way inter-city cab service provider) and Aditya Loomba, joint managing director at ECO Rent A Car (luxury car rentals company), have rolled out key tips to keep in mind:
* Have you witnessed a scenario where the actual driver who comes to pick-you up is different than nominated by the company? This should immediately raise an alarm. The company has legally vetted original driver whereas replacement driver may be a rookie temporary driver.
Many people don't know that a Taxi Badge is required (issued by RTO after through examination) to drive a Taxi.
* Always check for driver's license. Else you will be at your own risk including risk of driven by un-licensed driver and no claims by insurance companions in case of any mishap.
* Driver re-sets trip-meter B (odometer) to zero and starts the journey. At the destination he shows you trip-meter A and asks you to make the payment as per distance travelled.
Most of the drivers, before arriving at your home, set trip-meter A to 0, resulting in extra 20-30 Kms reading. In overall scheme of things you will not question 25 kilometers extra if you are travelling 250 plus kilometers. That's easily 10 percent of your fare. Always check if driver is showing trip-meter A or B.
* Many cab operators charge multiple variable fare structure to make base fare look attractive like driver allowance, or keep minimum included kilometers in base fare so that you end up paying higher at the end of the trip. Its very important to ask what will be the total fare.
* We know our plans change. Most of the cab operators look for advance payment with non-refundable payment or put cancellation charge. Ideally look for someone, which has no cancellation charges or 100 percent refundable fare. There are few reliable leading cab aggregators.
* Many drivers in the interest of time leave punctured tyre or un-repaired tyre is in such a bad-shape that it will not last even 10-20 kilometers without getting punctured. It is one the most ignored fact by the guests. Always check the spare tyre is of road-worthy condition.
* Check with the driver if the cab you have rented has proper insurance and what kind of coverage does the insurance guarantee. All taxi cabs have passenger's insurance coverage included. You can also claim compensation in case of accident.
* Keep travel assistance apps on your phone. The basic food and navigation app, safety and security apps can help you a lot if you are stranded.
* Driver's experience matters: It is pre-requisite to have knowledge about the drivers experience. Driver should hold good experience of driving on highways and he should have control over the car. If you are going to hill stations, driver should have fair amount of experience of driving in hilly areas, terrains and mountains.
* Route knowledge is important: Driver's acquaintance with the routes is important. Though everyone is having GPS installed in their mobile phones, make sure that driver is having previous knowledge about the route and is not totally dependent on GPS system.