Getting into a taxi can be a little daunting if you aren't familiar with the ins and outs of it. Cab drivers are able to size up whether you're taxi savvy or not. Doing a little research ahead of time can prevent you from being taken for a ride literally --and then financially as well.
Do your homework!
Call ahead of time and secure a taxi if you know when and where you'll need it --when you land at an airport, for example. That way you'll be assured of finding a cab when you need it without a lengthy wait.
Ask questions about fares and surcharges. If you know where you're going, give them the exact location and ask for a fare price. Be sure to ask if there are any surcharges or other charges which may come up. This way, when you get into your cab, you'll be in the know.
Ask around: If you need a cab at an airport or other location where cabs are commonly used, ask the people there what the fares should be. Then ask the cab driver before you get in, If there's a big discrepancy, use another taxi.
Double-check: If you are told by a driver that he charges a surcharge, have him call in to the dispatcher to verify if he's telling you the truth. Surcharges are usually only used when you're going a good way out of the normal routes that the cab drives but even then, it's never a given, so always ask. There is sometimes an extra fee for baggage,- especially a lot of baggage, so ask about this, too.
Watch what the driver does when you get in the cab. The meter should immediately be restarted to zero so you aren't paying some of the last fare on top of your own.
Call: With just a phone call or two and a few informed questions, you should be able to assure that your experiences with taxis are fair.