Taxis in China

Taking a taxi is a very quick and convenient way to get to your destination, be it a hotel, a scenic spot, an airport, or a railway station. You can find taxis in almost every city, and the fares are relatively inexpensive for Western travelers. Tourists can also hire a taxi for a half day or a whole day, but please make sure to first agree on a price with the driver.

Taxis vary from city to city, but in most cases they are clean and air-conditioned, and have seatbelts hiding in the back. Common cars used include Hyundai, Volkswagen, Sonata, Elantra, Citroen, Passat, Santana, Jetta, and others. The taxis are usually painted in red, yellow and green, or yellow and black.
The following tips are for your reference.

  • Although you can get a taxi by simply signalling one or making a reservation phone call, please note that taxis cannot stop anywhere, such as in a busy street with traffic police, so drivers are likely to ignore your signal. Look for a taxi standing zone or try a side road when signalling a taxi.
  • Very few taxi drivers speak English. Please bring a business card for your hotel or have your destination written down in Chinese to show the driver. In large metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai, even the taxi driver can get lost. Have the phone number of your destination on hand just in case.
  • Usually the driver will turn on the meter. But if he doesn’t, you should insist that he do so, unless you want to hire the taxi for a half day or a whole day and have agreed on a set price.
  • Bring small change with you for short-distant rides. Drivers are reluctant to break 100-yuan notes, and you might end up getting fake notes. Usually, tips are not expected. Please note that the fare is rounded off before you pay.
  • After you pay the fare, please ask for the receipt and keep it. The receipt has the taxi’s plate number on it. In case you have any complaints or leave something in the taxi, you can call the taxi company’s central number to follow up.

Taxi in Beijing


  • During the day (5 AM – 11 PM), the flag-down fare is 10 yuan for the first 3 kilometers (1.9 miles). For distances longer than 3 kilometers and shorter than 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), the charge is 10 yuan plus 2 yuan for each additional kilometer (0.6 mile). For distances longer than 15 kilometers, the charge is 10 yuan plus 3 yuan for each additional kilometer.
  • During the night (11 PM – 5 AM), the flag-down fare is 11 yuan for the first 3 kilometers. For distances longer than 3 kilometers and shorter than 15 kilometers, the charge is 10 yuan plus 2.4 yuan for each additional kilometer (0.6 mile). For distances longer than 15 kilometers, the charge is 10 yuan plus 3.4 yuan for each additional kilometer.
  • The taxi fare for a ride from the downtown area to Beijing Capital International Airport is around 100 yuan, depending on where you get on and the traffic situation.
  • If you intend to hire a taxi to scenic spots out of town (such as the Great Wall), it is suggested that you first negotiate a price with the driver. Also, it is better that you hire the taxi for a round trip, because most drivers are reluctant to go one way for a long distance.

Taxi in Shanghai


  • During the day (5 AM – 11 PM), the flag-down fare is 11 yuan for the first 3 kilometers (1.9 miles). For distances longer than 3 kilometers and shorter than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), the charge is 11 yuan plus 2.1 yuan for each additional kilometer (0.6 mile). For distances longer than 10 kilometers, the charge is 11 yuan plus 3.2 yuan for each additional kilometer.
  • During the night (11 PM – 5 AM), the flag-down fare is 14 yuan for the first 3 kilometers. For distances longer than 3 kilometers and shorter than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), the charge is 11 yuan plus 2.7 yuan for each additional kilometer (0.6 mile). For distances longer than 10 kilometers, the charge is 11 yuan plus 4.1 yuan for each additional kilometer.
  • The taxi fare for a ride from the downtown area to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is around 50 yuan; to Shanghai Pudong International Airport costs around 100 yuan depending on where you get on and the traffic situation. If you don’t have much luggage and would like to try the Maglev train (which runs at 430 kilometers or 267 miles per hour), you can first take a taxi or subway to Longyang Road Station and transfer to the train to Pudong International Airport.
  • If you intend to hire a taxi to scenic spots out of town (such as the Zhujiajiao Water Town) or to nearby city of Suzhou, it is suggested that you first negotiate a price with the driver. Also, it is better that you hire the taxi for a round trip, because most drivers are reluctant to go one way for a long distance.

Taxi in Xi’an


  • During the day (6 AM – 11 PM), the flag-down fare is 6 yuan for the first 2 kilometers (1.3 miles). For distances longer than 2 kilometers, 1.6 yuan is charged for each additional kilometer (0.6 mile). The fare rises a little for relatively better cars.
  • During the night (11 PM – 6 AM), the flag-down fare is 7 yuan for the first 2 kilometers. For distances longer than 2 kilometers, 1.8 yuan is charged for each additional kilometer (0.6 mile). The fare rises a little for relatively better cars.
  • The taxi fare for a ride from the downtown area to Xi’an Xianyang International Aiport is around 100 yuan, depending on where you get on and the traffic situation.
  • If you intend to hire a taxi to scenic spots out of town (such as the Terracotta Army Museum), it is suggested that you first negotiate a price with the driver. Also, it is better that you hire the taxi for a round trip, because most drivers are reluctant to go one way for a long distance.

Taxi in Guangzhou


  • The flag-down fare is 7 yuan for the first 2.3 kilometers (1.4 miles) and 2.6 yuan is charged for each additional kilometer (0.6 mile). For distance longer than 30 kilometers (19 miles), 3.9 yuan is charged for each additional kilometer.
  • An additional 1 yuan is charged for each ride as a fuel surcharge.
  • The taxi fare for a ride from downtown area to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is about 100 yuan, depending on where you get on and the traffic situation.

Taxi in Guilin


  • During the day (06:30 AM – 11:00 PM), the flag-down fare is 7 yuan for the first 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) and 1.6 yuan is charged for each additional kilometer (0.6 mile). For distances longer than 4 kilometers (2.5 miles), 2 yuan is charged for each additional kilometer.
  • During the night (11:00 PM – 06:30 AM), the flag-down fare is 7.8 yuan for the first 2 kilometers and 1.8 yuan is charged for each additional kilometer. For distances longer than 4 kilometers, 2.4 yuan is charged for each additional kilometer.
  • An additional 1 yuan is charged for each ride as a fuel surcharge.
  • The taxi fare for a ride from the downtown area to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport is around 80 yuan, depending on where you get on and the traffic situation.
  • If you intend to hire a taxi to go to Zhujiang Wharf for a Li River cruise, it is suggested that you first negotiate a price with the driver and whether the price includes road tolls. Usually, getting from the downtown area to Zhujiang Wharf costs around 80 yuan, depending on where you get on and the traffic situation.
Hi, I'm Gavin Van Hinsbergh
I updated this article on February 28, 2014
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Questions and Answers About Taxis in China

C A Chandy 2014-04-14
Show Answer
How many adults can travel in a Taxi in Shanghai
Four persons at most. If you are too high, it can take three persons. Lussie Lu replied on 2014-04-14
satish khanna 2014-04-02
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i want to bbok a taxi from guangzhou aiport to Dongguan sheraton hotel.we are two persons with two suitcases and two bbriefcases.how much will be the fare.
Dear Satish Khanna, The cost might be CNY300(US$48) per car. Lussie Lu replied on 2014-04-03
jamal 2014-03-02
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Hi i need taxi to pick me up from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to Shantou , i will arrive on 5th march at 22:00 how much the price
Hi jamal, Shantou is too far away from Guangzhou. It takes about 5-8hours by bus. If you take a taxi, the cost would be very high. If you insist, please kindly let me know the number of people in your group. I will send you a quotation. Whitney Liao replied on 2014-03-04
Ruchika Goel 2014-02-26
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i want to book a taxi from Foshan to Macau for 6 passengers. Prefer a mini van. English speaking driver. Please can you give the rate ?
Hi Ruchika, we are very glad to offer this service to you. Could you tell me the exact date you need it, please? Whitney Liao replied on 2014-02-26
Keith Low 2014-02-16
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Hi.. I will be traveling to Guangzhou in coming June 2014, we have 5 people here. Can you recommend a taxi company which can fit with 5 people and quotation for a private driver? We can speak Cantonese as well.
Hi Keith, we can arrange this transfer for you. It is CNY650(USD108) for one way. If you need it, please kindly let me know 3 working days in advance. Thanks, Whitney Whitney Liao replied on 2014-02-17
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