Guides To Avoiding Taxi Scams in Saigon Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam

Guides To Avoiding Taxi Scams in Saigon Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam

There is a variety of transportation in Saigon- the most bustling town in Vietnam, such as motorbikes, buses, cabs,… But catching a taxi is still the best choice for your very first moments in Saigon. It’s recommended that you should always be cautious when grabbing a cab, some drivers in Saigon will cheat on tourists because of their innocence. Here are Jackfruit Adventure’s 5 SIGNS OF TAXI DRIVERS THAT WILL CHEAT ON YOU IN SAIGON:

  1.   Hotline numbers and taxi brands that look different than the original ones.

Guides To Avoiding Taxi Scams in Ho Chi Minh City

The phone numbers and brands written on the taxi could be really similar to some famous taxi brands in Saigon. The owner of the fake taxi will replace the smallest characters on the information on the car, so always be cautious with them.

Here are some reputable taxi brands and their authentic looks in Saigon, always try to recognize the correct hotline displayed on the cab:

Mai Linh taxi (hotline 1055 or (028) 38 38 38 38)

guide to avoiding taxi scam ho chi minh

 VINASUN taxi (hotline (028) 38 27 27 27)

guide to avoiding taxi scam saigon vietnam

Xanh SM (hotline 1900 2088)- a new taxi brand that has just debuted in 2023, and is highly recommended by Jackfruit Adventure. By using electric cars, Xanh SM becomes viral and friendly to the environment but still keeps an affordable price.

taxi scam to avoiding in ho chi minh


  • It’s best to book a taxi via apps, all of the taxi brands above are available on AppStore and CH Play, you just need to type the brands on the search bar. Grab is also a good choice. (Always remember to double-check the license plate and the driver, make sure it’s the same as the information you got).
  • Don’t hesitate to ask the hotel staff to get a taxi for you.
  • Always pay attention to every details on the hotline number,brand’s logo, and have a quick comparison with the original ones. Stay away if you realize the fake taxi brands like this:

Different hotline than the original one of Mai Linh (1055), it’s also missing a character “H” in the last part of the brand but still really similar to the authentic logo, so patiently spend a minute and observe the taxi before coming to it.

guides to avoid taxi scam in ho chi minh vietnam

  1. Impolite drivers without uniforms.

Guides To Avoiding Taxi Scams in Ho Chi Minh city

All authentic taxi brands in Saigon have their own uniforms and it’s really easy for the tourists to recognize them. 

Both Mai Linh and VINASUN drivers are professional and good-looking in white shirts, black pants and shoes and their brand’s logo on the left arm. Mai Linh drivers sometimes wear a full green T-shirt and green cravat, while VINASUN drivers have red cravats. 

mai linh taxi scam guide

Generally, all authentic taxi brands in Saigon have their drivers well-trained and all guests are Very Important Persons. They will step out of the car, help you to arrange your luggage and gently open the door and invite you to get in with a courteous voice. 

vinasun taxi scam vietnam guide to avoid

If you find a driver with impolite behaviors like: tell you to get in quickly, annoying voice, unfriendly body language, don’t step out to help you anything…, plus no uniforms, uncorrect or strange hotline and logo, that’s definitely a scam (umbrella taxi in Vietnam) and the driver will try to take as much money as possible from your wallet.


  1. Drivers that deal the price in advance

Guides To Avoiding Taxi Scams in Ho Chi Minh city

There is no reason for a driver to do that, except they want to charge you a tremendous price.In Saigon, if you find yourself in the situation that the driver tells you the price after getting to know what your destination is, just leave immediately- it’s definitely a scam. A legit driver will only ask you about the destination and will charge you the amount displayed on the taximeter.

Fare rate is displayed somewhere on the car: window’s corner and under the taximeter…, or simply on the Internet.

Here is a detailed prices website of popular brands in Saigon: 


  1. No taximeter, driver’s profile and taxi serial number.

Guides To Avoiding Taxi Scams in Ho Chi Minh city

ho chi minh saigon taxi guide to no scam

First, make sure there is driver’s information, serial number and taximeter in the car, it’s a must to take a photo of this informations just in case. If you see none of those stuff in the car, just leave without saying.

During the trip, the taximeter must be turned on all the time. You should always take an eye on the taximeter and make sure the price per kilometer is the same as the fare rate sheet.

One more important thing, always track your position via (taxi apps or online maps) and your destination to know if you are still on the right track, unless you have to ask the driver to stop. Some drivers are supposed to make it a further distance to charge you more. 

Tips: Always trust your instincts.

  1. Drivers that want to keep the change.

Guides To Avoiding Taxi Scams in Ho Chi Minh city

Some drivers will refuse to give you back the change but keep it as a tip. Of course they have small bills to give you back, but they won’t do it  just to cheat on you.

The solution is, you should always pay taxi fare with small bills, in case the drivers want to keep the change, you will not suffer from a serious waste. Always take an eye on the taximeter to know the exact amount you need to pay the driver, so you don’t need the overbig bills. 


  • Most trips in Downtown of Saigon will cost from 50.000VND to 100.000VND
  • From District 1 to nearby districts will cost from 100.000VND to under 200.000 VND. 

ho chi minh vietnam money


  • Always separate the 20.000VND and 500.000VND ! They look similar but have a big distance in value.

guide to use money in Saigon Vietnam

Last but not least, besides catching a taxi to go to every single destination in Saigon, exploring the city by bicycle would be amazing. Let’s join Jackfruit Adventure’s Off-The-Beaten-Path Ho Chi Minh Cycling tour to know more about hidden gems in Saigon and the local activities, pedal through the secret paths that cars can’t go through. 




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