Taxi Cost

The Cost of a Taxi

Last Updated on September 8, 2021
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Even though most people own their own car, many American families prefer to use a taxi, because drivers know both the detour routes and the optimal route. Taxis in America tend to stand out in bright yellow. Thus, tourists and locals have the opportunity not to look for a car like all others, but to spot it quickly. But there are exceptions: these are companies that offer high-quality taxi services. Such drivers usually have black cars, but some are also white (although the white ones are only used at weddings).

The prices for taxi cab fares are calculated in different ways depending on the city. To give you an idea of what the cost will be, here is general information about taxi cabs. If you want to calculate specific prices for certain cities or destinations, visit the Taxi Fare Finder website.

How much does a taxi cost?

A flat fee, usually $3-$7 is charged for any taxi ride as a minimum cost.

The price of a taxi ride varies depending on the distance traveled. If you travel 10 miles, it will cost between $15 and $28.  There is also a certain amount of $2 to $5 per mile applied by some taxi companies.

Many taxi companies charge by the minute rather than mileage, with fares starting at $1 per minute and increasing to around $5 per minute depending on how bad traffic is in a certain city or area. So, if you take a cab to a destination that’s 10 miles away but takes 15-20 minutes, expect it to cost roughly between $18-$70 because of all the congested cars slowing down your ride along the way. This type of fare tends only to be used for large cities where there are lots of congestion issues.

Most trips that will usually require a taxi in the US are 5 to 12 miles long.

You might also like our article about the cost of ambulance rides.

The cost of a cab depends greatly on the location. For example, a long trip in Honolulu would cost about $50 while the same journey in Cleveland only costs around $28. gives you a rough estimate of how much your taxi ride is going to cost based on the starting and ending point that you input into their website.

The cost of getting a cab in Houston, Texas is lower than you might expect. The first mile costs $3.75 and each additional mile after that is only $3.20. However, if the driver has to wait for you for around an hour then it can increase to $28 per hour.

A surcharge will also apply when rides are requested between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. because this particular period is considered peak hours where demand outweighs supply so prices go higher accordingly.

Major City Per Mile Charge
Albuquerque, NM $2.35
Anchorage, AK $2.30
Atlanta, GA $2.30
Baltimore, MD $2.50
Boise, ID $2.45
Boston, MA $3.10
Charlotte, NC $2.65
Chicago, IL $2.10
Cincinnati, OH $2.10
Cleveland, OH $2.35
Dallas, TX $2.45
Denver, CO $2.50
Des Moines, IA $2.00
Detroit, MI $1.90
Honolulu, HI $3.50
Houston, TX $2.30
Indianapolis, IN $2.45
Kansas City, MO $2.20
Lexington, KY $2.40
Las Vegas, NV $2.70
Los Angeles, CA $2.80
Miami, FL $2.70
Milwaukee, WI $2.60
Minneapolis, MN $2.60
Nashville, TN $2.30
New Orleans, LA $2.20
New York, New York $2.20
Orlando, FL $2.70
Philadelphia, PA $2.45
Phoenix, AZ $2.30
Pittsburgh, PA $2.00
Portland, OR $2.55
Salt Lake City, UT $2.60
San Diego, CA $2.95
San Francisco, CA $2.90
Savannah, GA $2.30
Seattle, WA $2.60
St. Louis, MO $2.40
Spokane, WA $2.65
Tampa, FL $2.50
Toledo, OH $2.00
Tulsa, OK $2.00
Washington, D.C. $2.20

Note: For all the prices listed above there is an extra initial fee of around $3 to $7.

Important things to consider

The taxi drivers turn off the numbers on top of the cab once a passenger is in it.

The best way to hail a taxi is by standing at the corner of the curb and stick your hand out in front. As soon as one pulls over, always get inside the backseat where you can give them directions on where they have to drive you.

As we’re sure you know, it’s always good to keep your cab receipt in case something goes wrong. It also comes in handy if there is anything lost during the ride or even when reporting a driver who did not follow their route.

What are the extra costs?

Yellow Taxi SignThe $7-$18 fee is usually only added when someone needs to call a taxi and ask for it at one specific location. This can be avoided by just hailing taxis on the street instead of calling them up in advance.

When taking a taxi cab, make sure to tip 15% of the total fare. This means that if your bill is $20 you should leave roughly $3 as an additional payment for the driver.

Taxi drivers can often get stuck with long wait times and in this time they aren’t making any money. This pain point is what inspired taxi companies to come up with a solution that would help make more money while also helping the driver earn enough every hour. If a taxi driver has to wait for an extended period of time, the cost can vary from $17 per hour to as much as $45 depending on which company you use.

In case you need a taxi at night after 8 p.m and before 6 a.m., it may be 20-40 percent more expensive than usual depending on the demand for taxis during those times of the day.

With no limit on how far the taxi has to drive, a fuel surcharge may apply. The cost of this could be somewhere between $3 and $7 for one trip.

How can I save money?

There are a lot of ways to save money on cab rides, but the best way is sharing one with someone going in your direction or even going to the same destination.

TaxiMe is the most accurate and trusted taxi fare calculator. If you have an iPhone or Android, download TaxiMe to see how much a taxi should cost in your area.

There is a great debate today: should you take an Uber or call a taxi? Business Insider says that 99 percent of the time, ride sharing apps like Uber win.


Alec Pow
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