6 Money Saving Safety Tips for Using Rickshaws

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Rickshaws are generally a very cheap way to get around many countries such as India, Thailand, Cambodia and Bangladesh. Unfortunately due to an influx in ‘scams,’ it isn’t always the cheapest method anymore. This blog post will serve the purpose of getting you the cheapest possible rickshaw ride while still being safe.

There are places like Bangalore, India where the government has began to crack down on these scam artists for the well being of the public. These are scams that are not just considered ‘tourist traps’ but are also happening to locals on a daily basis. In order to ensure that you’re getting the best possible deal for the best possible ride, follow these 6 simple tips:

1. Always Use the Meter

Depending on where you are in the world, many rickshaw drivers will likely try to haggle a price with you before agreeing to use the meter. Of course you can’t be fooled, the only reason their not giving you meter right of the bat is because by naming a price, they will get much more money from you. Do not try and arrange a price with the driver, just use the meter. If they refuse (which they so often do) just go to the next one, it isn’t worth the hassle fighting with them. You may also hear excuses like ‘the meter is more expensive’ or ‘traffic will bump up the meter,’ no matter what, just please… stick to the metre.

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2. Avoid Getting a Rickshaw in a Heavy Tourist Place

This may be quite obvious, but most people won’t think to walk a few metres down the street to get a rickshaw ride that is half the price. Rickshaw drivers hangout around heavy tourists areas because they know this is where the money is to be made. Often times if you take a couple minutes to walk around the corner there will be another rickshaw that you can flag down for a much cheaper price.

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3. The Older the Wiser

Now I’m not trying to be ‘ageist’ here but I find that more often than not it is the older rickshaw drivers who stay loyal to following the rules and using the meter. The newer generations are coming up with clever ways to rip of tourists while most older citizens have kept in their ways and choose to act professionally. However, this is not to say that you should keep declining every rickshaw driver who is under the age of 35, but it’s nice to know every now and then that some of the older drivers won’t want to fight either.

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4. Keep an Eye on the Meter

Not all countries tamper with the metres but some do. If you’ve already take the route before, you should be aware of how much it costs per kilometre. For example, Bangalore, India starts their rickshaws at approximately 13 Rupees per kilometre. Often times here the metre will jump from say 7 kilometres to 10 in a matter of seconds. People are clever and will come up with many ways to get more money out of you. Stay alert and take note. If you have not learned the route you are taking yet, do a quite search online and see if they provide price lists online.

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5. Keep an Eye on the Route

Though we like to think that every driver will take us the fastest, quickest route, if their metre isn’t tampered with already, they will likely be taking you the longest route that may or may not be faster. A good idea is to get a map loaded on your phone or tablet, or simply just buy a map and be alert at where you are going. The bigger roads and highways tend to be quicker but will also add to your kilometres and bump up the price.

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6. Ride with 2-3 People

If you’ve already followed step one through five, riding with another person or two will be the same price as riding alone. If you’re traveling with friends, try to stay in groups of course for safety reasons, but also to split the cost of rides. Most standard sized rickshaws will hold a maximum of 3 people so fit as many as possible without going over the legal limit.

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More often than not these 6 tips will help you save a safe and happy journey in a rickshaw. Regardless, always be aware of your belongings as most rickshaws will not have car doors and are easily accessible by the public (especially while stuck in traffic). If you feel at all unsafe while in a rickshaw, taking a personal cab may be a better option for your journey.

What other ways have you learned to save money while riding in rickshaws?

About the Author: Jenna Davis

I am a 20-something Canadian travel blogger whose home address is as unknown as the next destination I will be visiting. I run my own travel blog at www.giveforgranted.com with a focus on affordable travel and unique experiences. Helping keep our true north strong and free, I have also developed a non-profit organization which supports northern Canadians living in poverty. Give for Granted.

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