With all that in mind, and while acknowledging that there are of course plenty of good apples among the bad, here’s the low-down on using taxis or taxi alternatives in Istanbul.
The color of the car you get in will help determine how much you pay. In Istanbul, yellow taxis are the cheapest. Turquoise taxis (electric vehicles from Tesla) are slightly more expensive and black taxis are the most expensive option, but often have larger vehicles to accommodate extra passengers or luggage.
How much is a taxi in Istanbul?
All taxis in Istanbul are equipped with meters. The meter starts at 5 Turkish Lira (just over US$1), going up 3.10 lira (US$0.57) for every kilometer traveled. The rate does not increase for night journeys. The minimum fare is 13 TL (US$2.20), so if your total fee is less than this at the end of your journey, the price will be rounded to 13.
Are bridge and motorway fees included in the prices?
If the route you are traveling includes a toll bridge or highway, the tolls will be added to the amount on the meter.
Below is a breakdown of the best taxi alternatives in Istanbul.
• Turkey’s most popular ride-hailing app
• All drivers are registered
• English language version available
• Price is communicated in advance, so you know how much you’ll pay before ordering a car
• No driver communication required; you’ll be given the driver’s details, including his name, when the car is on its way to you
• No need to pin your destination on the map, only your pick-up point
• Pay by cash or credit card
• Option to provide feedback on driver and journey
• Similar to Bi Taksi
• Run by the municipality, guaranteeing a certain level of passenger safety
• Sea taxi option, connecting routes along the Bosphorus
• Pay by cash, credit card or Istanbulkart
• Fare calculator provided
• Follow your journey on in-app map
• Limited presence in Turkey due to conflict between Uber drivers and traditional taxi drivers
• When you order via Uber, you will be assigned a regular yellow taxi
• Uber XL unavailable
• Uber’s future in Turkey uncertain
• Private airport transfer service
• Safe and comfortable
• English speaking, professional drivers
• Best alternative to Bi Taksi, which can be difficult to order from the airport due to competition from traditional taxis