The best guide for a successful relocation
Taxis are expensive. The minimum charge with most companies is at least 80NOK, increasing to a whopping 160 NOK late at weekend nights. Short central hops cost upwards of 100NOK, so if public transport still runs, use it. Taxis in Oslo as in most of Norway are frequently new, large and comfortable cars like Volvo or Mercedes. Most taxis wait for customers in a line in front of hotels or train stations, or you can order one by phoning one of the handful of taxi companies (for an extra charge). You can also flag one from the street, or go to a taxi stand.
Several companies compete to have the most incomprehensible price structure. All taxi companies have a starting fee (0-160 NOK) and a fee per kilometer that varies from 14-30NOK. These fees vary by taxi company and time of day. Usually, there's three different rates: The lowest one is the day rate, usually between 06.00 and 18.00. The next is the evening and night rate, usually 18.00-06.00 M-F and 06.00-18.00 Sa. The last rate is usually for Saturday after 18.00 till Monday 06.00, but different companies do have different time frames. Beware that some companies will operate with a special holiday rate (helligdagstakst) on public holidays, including the night before, which will result in staggering rates.
Taxi drivers in Oslo aren't a particularly jolly breed, but they usually do not speed too much, and taxi-crime towards customers is almost non-existent (towards tax authorities, however, is a different matter). Sometimes a taxi driver will attempt to charge you extra for luggage, and some companies do have a surcharge for this. The price structure should be shown on a sticker inside the car, but is always in so small print, and with an overwhelming amount of details, you can't possibly decipher it. Another thing that often disturbs visitors is that the taxi drivers' name and license is not printed inside the car itself. If you encounter any problems, ask for a receipt which will help you identify the car later, or make a note of the taxi license number on the car roof.
All taxis accept Visa and Mastercard, and the card should be swiped in the meter at the start of the journey for card validation. The driver will usually keep the card on top of the meter so that you can keep an eye on it. If you are uncomfortable with this, it is possible to ask to get the card back, but the card needs to be swiped again when you arrive at your destination. Most meters are just swipe and sign, but some companies have EMV chip terminals where you'll need to authorize the charge with your PIN. There have been no known scams connected to credit card fraud in taxis.
Some people tip taxi drivers, or round the bill up to the nearest NOK 10, but taxi drivers do not generally expect tip - most people pay the exact amount by card anyway.
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