Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive in Kuala Lumpur. But, you should be prepared to unleash your bargain power.
Whenever possible, try to get the driver to use the meter, although this may be difficult especially during peak hours as most cabbies consider the official rates too low.
Fares start at RM3 for the first three minutes, with an additional 25 sen for each 36 seconds. From midnight to 6am there’s a surcharge of 50% on the metered fare, and extra passengers (more than two) add 20 sen each to the starting fare.
Blue taxis are newer and more comfortable and start at RM6 for the first three minutes and RM1 for each additional 36 seconds. Night surcharges of 50% also apply.
KL Survival Tips
The following KL survival tips should be able to help you get around Kuala Lumpur by taxis.
- One of the easiest ways to use taxis in KL is to download an app such as Uber, Easy Taxi or Grab (formally known as My Teksi) to your smartphone or tablet.
- If you have to bargain, aim for RM10 for short trips, RM15 – RM20 if going across the inner city.
- Metered taxis in Kuala Lumpur are called budget (red and white in colour) and executive (yellow and blue in colour) taxis – the former charges RM3 for the first 1km and RM0.10 for each consequent 115 metres while rates for the latter are RM6 for the first 1km and RM0.20 for each consequent 150 metres.
- Luggage stored in the trunk will be charged an additional RM1.00, and RM1.00 will be charged for phone booking.
- Between midnight and 6am you’ll be charged an extra 50% of the total fare.
- Giving tips are not encouraged but 10% can be given at your discretion.
- Taxis can be hard to find during Friday’s prayer from 1.00pm – 2.30pm, rainy days and also during rush hours between 6 and 9am, and again between 4 and 7pm.
- KLIA, KL Sentral and Menara KL enforce prepaid coupon systems, which is a bit expensive than using the meter, but a lot cheaper than bargaining.
- If the taxi driver refuse to turn on the meter (even after being requested), just get out of the cab and hail another one.
- If you’re not satisfied with the fare, or you suspect the cabbies tampering with their meters, or you’re verbally abused, take down the drivers name and vehicle number attached to the dashboard and report the case to the Kuala Lumpur Taxi Drivers Association (03-9221 4241) and the Tourist Police (03-2149 6590, 24-hours).
If you’re really desperate for a taxi while you’re walking around KL, just walk calmly into the nearest major hotel and join the queue placed for its guests. Most major hotels have an automatic taxi-calling service.