As you exit Budapest Airport you will see Fő Taxi, the officially licensed taxi firm in partnership with Budapest Airport, in front of you.
A taxi ride from BUD Airport to Budapest City (Deák Ferenc Tér) currently costs €24-€26 and takes around 30-40 minutes.
Taxi companies in Szeged charge more or less the same price per km/mile and can normally be found in the city centre and near Szeged train station.
Tempo's website is in English, details its prices and tells you the whereabouts of its taxi stands. All very important info for the "Foreigner".
Below you will find information about taxi firms, their regulations, their fares and some sample journeys I have taken myself.
As many people use public transport, the bicycle and walking as methods of getting from A to B the taxi in Hungary is not really used that much by the general public. Even tourists and potential expats only tend to use a taxi for travelling from a train station, to an unknown and/or far away place (i.e. to the immigration office) or from an event to their hotel.
Taxis in Budapest charge a Basic Fee ('just got into the taxi' fee) of 700 HUF (£1.91) plus a Mileage Fee of 300 HUF (82p) per kilometer. If they have to wait for you, for whatever reason(s), they will also charge a Waiting Fee of 75 HUF (20p) per minute. These fees have been standardised by Budapest city council, so every taxi firm charges the same fees, with the mileage fee being classed as a Tariff 1 fee.
With standardised taxi fees in Budapest, this means a trip from the Parliament building (Kossuth Lajos Tér 1) to the Csarnok Vendéglő restaurant (Hold Utca 11), just over one kilometer, should cost around 1,000 HUF (£2.73); because it is within Budapest and within District V (5) in this case. A journey from Budapest Airport to Budapest Central should cost between 7,500 HUF (£20.53) and 8,000 HUF (£21.90), depending on the traffic, route taken and final destination.
If your taxi journey exits the border of Budapest, and therefore enters a rural area, the taxi driver can charge you a Tariff 2 (rural area) mileage fee for that rural area part of the journey. And if your journey starts inside a rural area anyway, you should be charged a rural area (tariff 2) mileage fee; until you reach Budapest, where the mileage fee should change to tariff 1. Tariff 2 is currently charged at 600 HUF (£1.64) per kilometer.
Here are a sample of taxi firms that operate in Budapest:
Just like in many capital cities, the locals find taxi fares too expensive to be used as a regular form of transport. Locals might see a three kilometer journey costing 1,600 HUF (£4.38) as an unavoidable one-off trip from A to B (i.e. from their home to the hospital), but taking another trip B to C or B back to A would be seen as "too expensive" already.
In Budapest in particular it is always best to use a commercial taxi company as they are tightly regulated, must give a receipt, must have a special YELLOW Background licence plate (as opposed to a standard white background license plate) and are monitored by the tax office. The same applies to the rest of Hungary, whose taxis do not normally have a yellow number plate on them. The rest of Hungary is also different from Budapest in that rip-off taxi fares rarely happen, if at all.
On the internet you may hear stories of rip-off taxi drivers (in Budapest) taking longer routes, doubling the fare because it is past 8 o'clock, giving you change that is not legal Hungarian forint, saying you gave a 1,000 HUF note and not a 10,000 HUF note and taking your credit card payment (whereby your credit card worked) but then stating your credit card did not work so you have to pay cash instead; among other scams.
These scams may be true (I have never experienced any), but from what I have read on the internet they are done by 'hailed down in the street' cabs and not by commercial 'yellow number plate' cabs. So avoid hailing a cab.
Before coming to Hungary make sure you:
Once you are inside Hungary:
Get to know the forint amounts together with the famous Hungarian faces
Once you are inside a taxi:
Below are actually timed recordings of taxi journeys I, and Hungarian friends, have taken in Hungary during the last few months. They document journeys that a local Hungarian and/or tourist, as well as yourself, might take during their/your own stay in Hungary.
I always tip around 10%. I find it easier to just add 150 to the fare or round the fare up to the nearest thousand. Examples: Fare 1,350 HUF - I give 1,500 HUF. Fare 1,800 HUF - I give 2,000 HUF.
Szeged Apartment to Szeged Train Station - 4.7 Km - 11 minutes - 2,000 HUF.
Kecskemét Train Station to Széchenyiváros - 2.7 Km - 7 minutes - 1,500 HUF.
Budapest Airport to Deák Ferenc (Budapest) - Depending on the route taken, you will normally pay between 8,000 HUF (€24.66) and 8,500 HUF (€26.21) for the 23-25 Km journey.