With over 14000 taxis operating in Mexico City, you’ll find it the most convenient and accessible mode of transportation in the city. However, if you’re a tourist from the US and you only have US dollars with you, you may wonder if you can use such as payment for your ride.
In general, most of the taxi drivers in Mexico City will accept US dollars as a mode of payment. However, not all drivers will do so, especially if you only pay a small amount. For this reason, it’s best to ask the driver if he accepts US dollars before hopping in to avoid inconvenience.
Most establishments in Mexico City accept foreign currencies as payment because US tourists are everywhere. As such, it can be a reason for you to refrain from exchanging into local currency. While it may work most of the time, it can also inconvenience you if you need help.
For this reason, we made this article to guide you in taking taxis using US dollars. This way, you’ll know how to ride a taxi and ensure both sides benefit. It will also help make your Mexico City trip more accessible and convenient.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Do Taxis in Mexico City Take US Dollars?
As I mentioned earlier, not all taxis in the city accept USD as payment. Therefore, ask before you embark on your journey or always keep some cash in local currency whenever you explore the city.
How Much Does a Taxi Ride Cost in Mexico City?
Another thing worth learning about is the fare costs of riding a taxi in the city. This information is helpful since you’ll learn the proper fare and avoid paying too much for a ride. After all, taxis in the city are notorious for overcharging tourists.
Taxis in Mexico City charge differently depending on their type. For instance, a Libre Taxi uses a taximeter only, while an official taxi charges a set rate, which is paid in advance. On the other hand, Sitio and Radio taxis provide a standard rate or a taximeter.
Another thing to note is that if you’re riding one at night, you’ll have a 20% increase in fare. Specifically, these hours start at 11:00 PM and end at 6:00 AM.
Below is the standard rate for every type of taxi in the city:
The Libre Taxi is one of the most affordable cabs in the city, and it’s because they are individually owned and operated. These taxis have only a base fare of 7 MXN or around 0.39 USD. In addition, the distance rate is 4 MXN or around 0.22 USD per kilometer from the starting point.
Sitio Taxi is another excellent option. However, it has a higher base fare because these drivers are members of established cab companies or syndicates. The base fare comes at 11 MXN or around 0.60 USD. The distance rate is the same at 4 MXN or around 0.24 USD for every kilometer run from the starting point.
The Radio Taxi is among the city’s most expensive types of taxis. The reason is that these taxis are available on call, meaning you can book them and have them pick you up at your preferred location within the city. Its base fare is around 22 MXN or around 1.23 USD. The distance rate is 6 MXN or around 0.33 USD per kilometer from the starting point.
Authorized Taxis are the ones you’ll see at transport terminals like bus stations, metro stations, and airports in the city. These taxis have a fixed rate, and you can book your tickets at terminals, which means you’re not paying directly to the driver. However, they can be more expensive since they are regulated and coordinated with terminals. To learn more about the rates, read our article: How to Get from Mexico City Airport to City Center?
How to Ride a Taxi in Mexico City?
Mexico City has over 14,000 taxis, one of the world’s largest fleets. This high amount of taxis makes obtaining one straightforward. You can phone a radio taxi business, stroll to a taxi rank or hail one from the street. Watch for the authorized white and pink taxis with the taxi number prominently on the side doors and bonnet.
The taxis you hail on the street are the least reliable because they frequently offer the lowest costs determined by a taximeter. However, they are a fantastic alternative if you need to get there quickly and are on a crowded street.
In Mexico City, you can find cabs outside the main streets and spots, outlet malls, nightclub avenues, and taxi ranks called Sitio Taxis. Move to the head of the line to speak with the one running the booth.
Most Sitio Taxis also provide a radio taxi service through which you can contact from any location inside the area. The company will send one of their available taxis to pick you up.
However, it’s important to remember that using this service will incur additional costs. Nevertheless, the city has countless radio taxi firms, so you’ll always have options.
Tips When Riding a Taxi in Mexico City
Below are some helpful tips you can use whenever you need to ride a taxi in the city:
Know the landmarks
If you mention a landmark to your driver before you get into the car, they can locate the correct location. It can come in handy since a lot of destinations in the city sound the same.
Pay exact amount
To avoid scams, always carry and pay the exact amount or with small bills. This way, you won’t get overcharged in case the driver does not give you any change.
Pick a suitable taxi.
When carrying expensive gear or valuables, make sure you go to a site or call a ratio taxi, do not hail one from the street if you have expensive gear. Most taxi drivers may overcharge you if they see you have some valuables.
Tip when necessary
Taxi drivers in Mexico City are customarily tipped if they use a taximeter when they give you a fare, but you shouldn’t do so if they give you a flat rate fare. To learn more about tipping taxi drivers, read: Taxi Tipping in Mexico City: How Much Is Appropriate?
In a nutshell, most taxi drivers in Mexico City accept US dollars as payment. However, we don’t recommend paying in such because drivers tend to overcharge when paying in foreign currency. Also, a small dollar bill will be of little use to the drivers since they can’t exchange small amounts, and it will be a hassle for them to do so.
For this reason, it’s best to always carry some local currency with you. A small bill of the 20s or 50s can be enough to get you a taxi ride. Also, paying exact amounts as much as possible is best since the drivers may or may not give you change.