Can You Negotiate a Taxi Fare in Fiji?
In Fiji, it is acceptable to negotiate a taxi fare but only in the right circumstances. Taxi drivers must use a meter within town areas, except for a few selected towns and islands. However, for long distances, negotiating a taxi fare is not only acceptable but it is the best way to keep the price fair, avoiding any nasty surprises. We go over when and how to negotiate a taxi price in Fiji in the guide below.
For more taxi advice, check out The Guide to Taxis in Fiji.
Tips for Using a Taxi in Fiji
- To make sure you’re getting in a licensed taxi, which should have a meter, look out for number plates which start in “LT”
- There are no central numbers or Uber to call for a taxi in Fiji, so if you liked the taxi driver’s service and want to book them again, ask for their driver’s card
- You are not required to tip your taxi driver but it’s good practice to round your fare up to the nearest dollar
- If using a taxi as an airport transfer, consider the alternative airport transport options which could be cheaper
- Taxis are not always the cheapest way to hire a driver for the day, especially for hiring a driver on the mainland – see How to Hire a Driver in Fiji for advice.
For more taxi tips, take a look at the 10 Things You Need to Know About Taxis in Fiji.
Taxi Meters in Fiji
The first thing you need to know about negotiating taxi prices in Fiji is that it is illegal for taxi drivers to negotiate taxi prices with you where a taxi meter is required. Taxi meters are mandatory in all town areas except for Korovou, Taveuni and Levuka, which includes the surrounding suburbs, not just the town centres.
The taxi meter flagfall in Fiji is around FJ$5 from the airports and FJ$1.50 elsewhere between 6am and 10pm. It is FJ$2 outside of these hours. It is then FJ$1 per km/FJ$1.60 per mile (it will be measured in metres in the taxi).
If a taxi driver says that their taxi meter is broken, don’t accept the taxi, as this is a well-known scam. It is illegal for them to operate with a broken meter.
When to Negotiate Taxi Prices in Fiji
So when can you negotiate a taxi price with a driver? The following circumstances are appropriate:
- In Korovou, Taveuni and Levuka where metres are not required
- If the trip exceeds 16km (10 miles).
Note that taxi drivers are not permitted to instigate a fare negotiation. Negotiating fares must be initiated by the passenger. If you, the passenger, prefer to use the taxi meter, even for longer journeys, the taxi driver must oblige.
How to Negotiate a Fair Taxi Fare in Fiji
Now that you know when it is appropriate to negotiate a taxi fare in Fiji, you need to know what is a fair price to negotiate.
Usual Taxi Fares in Fiji
The most common taxi fares to establish in Fiji are those from Nadi, where most people arrive. Some common taxi prices from Nadi include:
- To Vuda: FJ$25-$35
- To Lautoka: FJ$45-$55
- To Sigatoka: FJ$80-$130
- To the Pacific Harbour: FJ$170-$200
- To Suva: FJ$200-$230
If travelling to the above destinations from Nadi, it is acceptable to negotiate to these prices. For more about the cost of taxis, check out Taxi Prices in Fiji: The Costs You Need to Know.
How to Negotiate the Best Taxi Fare
Textbook negotiation techniques apply for negotiating a taxi fare in Fiji:
- Make the taxi driver name a price first
- Make your counteroffer lower than you expect to pay
- Meet in the middle (where the price should still be pretty low if your counteroffer was low enough).
Another technique you can adopt is staying silent if the taxi fare is too high for you. That way, the driver might feel obligated to fill the silence to justify their price or lower it just to move past the awkward moment.
And if you feel like you haven’t got a price as low as you think is fair, ask for extras like “stopping at the supermarket along the way” or agree that you’ll use this taxi driver’s service again if they go lower.