Commentary / Data

Taxi Prices In Europe

Alapblog compared taxi prices to local wages in 6 Eastern European countries. Hungary is the least affordable after state controlled prices set in (and keep rising).


The chart compares the price of a 10km taxi ride in six cities, Budapest, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Bucharest (from left to right). The bars represent the number of 10km rides one can take on an average salary. 60 on a Hungarian salary in Budapest. 175 on a Romanian salary in Bucharest.

On this unembeddable chart you can compare Eastern European taxi prices for a 10 km ride in the capital – according to February 2018 prices and in forints. (Data: Hungarian state controlled prices have since gone up again.)


Taxi prices in European cities (315 HUF = 1 EUR)
Base fare HUF/Km Waiting Controlled or Market price Note
London Tariff 3 983 987 276 controlled night, weekend
London Tariff 1 983 649 181 controlled weekday
München 1103 504 137 controlled between 5-10 km
Berlin 1229 473 158 controlled Under 7km
Barcelona 2 662 410 114 controlled night (except weekend)
Paris B 1206 406 200 capped night, weekend
Vienna 2 1355 403 146 Controlled night, weekend
Bratislava 1257 365 82 market price Fun Taxi, on street
Barcelona 1 662 347 112 controlled daytime
Vienna 1 1197 340 146 controlled daytime
Paris A 1206 331 185 capped daytime
Prague (max.) 466 326 70 capped
Budapest  700 300 75 controlled
Ljubljana (Numbeo) 315 280 72 market price typical average
Warsaw 2 (Merc, Halo) 573 258 48 capped night, weekend
Zagreb (Numbeo) 576 247 27 market price typical average
Belgrade 2 437 218 32 controlled night, weekend
Vilnius (Numbeo) 221 217 46 typical average
Riga (Numbeo) 630 189 42 typical average
Bratislava 1257 176 82 market price Fun Taxi, phone
Tallinn (Numbeo) 788 173 116 typical average
Warsaw 1 (Merc, Halo) 565 169 47 capped daytime
Belgrade 1 437 167 32 controlled daytime
Bratislava (Numbeo) 945 167 63 market price typical average
Sofia (Numbeo) 127 127 35 market price typical average
Bucharest 97 97 16 market price

State controlled prices and the banning of competition increased prices for Hungarians to this point. And on top of it, there is even a massive shortage of taxis in Budapest.

You can’t just find a car in downtown in broad daylight on a weekday. The reason is that even though taxis have to charge the higher state price for a ride, they also have to pass on most of that money to their companies – and ultimately to the politicians who let the price control happen. That is why it is not so profitable to ride a taxi in Hungary, even before we count in the high cost of starting a taxi.

And now, barriers to entry to becoming a taxi driver are not about your safety. All they can do is what Uber also did, check the drivers’ criminal record and driving skills. That wouldn’t stop new drivers from entering the market. The rest of the pointless regulation does. Take the color of a taxi, for instance. One of a thousand requirements, but a pretty easy-to-understand barrier. If you want to start driving a taxi, you have to have your car painted regulatory yellow. It wouldn’t be such a great expense, but… There is only one company that is licensed to use that color, and that company happens to be owned by someone close to the regime. Yes, it is that petty. Now imagine a few dozen similar “safety” requirements that you have to pass before you are allowed to undertake the incredibly complex and complicated task of driving someone from A to B. The increased barrier to entering the market also includes a hostile bureaucratic and tax environment on small entrepreneurs like the drivers normally are.

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