how to take taxi at beijing airport

Travelling by taxi in Beijing is a breeze because there are plenty of cabs in operation. But it can be pretty hard in rush hour periods 07:00 – 09:00 & 17:00 – 20:00 due to heavy demand and the traffic jam. Beijing taxis are available day and night, and each car holds normally four adult passengers.

Beijing Taxi Price

Flag-down RateCNY13 for the first 3km (2mi)
Unit Fare1. CNY2.3/km over 3km in the daytime
2. CNY2.76/km from 23:00 to 05:00 the next day
Low-Speed Drive and Waiting FareExtra CNY4.6 for each 5mins’ waiting or driving with a speed of lower than 12km/h during rush hours. CNY2.3 during other time.
Empty-run FeeCNY3.45/km for the extra distance beyond 15km (9mi)

1. The price is usually rounded up/down to a whole number of Chinese Yuan. For example, CNY16 will be charged if the taximeter shows CNY15.7.
2. The toll fee should be paid by passengers if driving on the highway is needed.

Taxi Fare for Reference

Drivers use mileage meters for downtown travels, but negotiate a flat rate for long-distance trips. The taxi fare from Beijing Capital Airport to Tian’anmen is CNY100-140, and it costs CNY600-800 for a round trip by cab from the airport to Badaling Great Wall. Generally, an 8-hour day taxi rental with a dedicated driver costs CNY500-800 in downtown Beijing.

DestinationDistanceFare from Tian’anmen
Capital Airport30km (19mi)CNY100-140
Daxing Airport50km (31mi)CNY180-250
Summer Palace20km (12mi)CNY70-90
Fragrant Hills Park31km (19mi)CNY90-120
Badaling Great Wall65km (40mi)CNY500 – 700 for a round trip
Mutianyu Great Wall73km (45mi)CNY600 – 900 for a round trip


How to Hail a Taxi in Beijing

1. Hail a Taxi by Hand Signal

Stand by the roadside or at a designated taxi stand in Beijing and wave down a cab. Avoid intersections, otherwise, the driver won’t stop. Do not do it on the ring roads, urban expressways, and highways.

Beijing Taxi
Beijing Taxi
Beijing Taxi Stand
Beijing Taxi Stand

2. Taxi Despatch Number: +86 010 – 96103

Dial the number to call an official taxi. The service fee is CNY6 when calling over 4h in advance, and CNY5 within 4h in advance.

3. Online Car-Hailing Apps:

Didi,  Shouyue Limousine & Chauffeur …
Payment: cash, Wechat Pay, Alipay, UnionPay
Passengers can call a taxi or a private car using these apps. During rush hours, the price may be much higher or even doubled particularly in bustling areas like Wangfujing, Xidan and Sanlitun Bar Street.

How to Pay the Taxi Fare

The payment may be by cash, Beijing Transportation Smart Card, Wechat Pay, Alipay and UnionPay, but international debit cards like Visa Card and MasterCard cannot work.

Tips on How to Take a Taxi in Beijing

1. How to spot available cars & share a taxi

Cabs with the light behind the windscreen on are available. If the light is off, the taxi is occupied. An exception to the rule is the passenger in the car is willing to share the ride. The driver may pull over to carry additional passengers going in the same direction. When sharing, each passenger pays 60% of the total fare.

2. First come, first served & on queue in airport and railway stations

A number of passengers may hail a taxi simultaneously near subway stations, bus stops, shopping malls or attractions. The person gets the door first wins. So be fast! However, this doesn’t apply in airports and railway stations, where there are designated waiting zones and long queues for cabs.

3. Walking or cycling rather than waiting

Rush hours traffic jam in Beijing is normal, and walking or cycling to the destination outweighs waiting for a cab. In addition, many drivers are picky on short rides. At places like the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Wangfujing Pedestrian Street, it can be very hard. Just walk further to hail one, or choose city buses or subways.

4. Drivers speak little English

Since most Beijing taxi drivers speak little English, do make some preparations to overcome the language barrier. A note with Chinese characters showing your destination and detailed address would help a lot. Or show the driver a map with your destination clearly marked. Experienced drivers know the city well. From a hotel, ask the concierge to call a taxi for you.

Taxi call in Beijing

Taxi Call Tel: 96106
Taxi Call Fee: ¥6 ( book over 4 hours in advance ); ¥5 (book within 4 hours )
For taxi complaints:
Tel: 96123
Remark: Pre-book a Taxi in advance with a Beijing taxi company so that your taxi driver can “meet & greet” you, your clients, friends or family at the Beijing Airport, Train Stations, your hotel, or at your Office, Home or any other place.

Taxi Meters and driver ID

Every Beijing cab has a meter. On the top of the meters is a big lever to start and stop it. When the meter is turned off, the “For Hire” sign will appears in the window. It is a small red sign, which lights up at night easily to be seen.

When you enter the taxi and tell the driver where you are going, the driver should drop the lever, so other potential customers can see the cab is already occupied. Once the lever has been put down and removed from the window, the meter should then start.

On the dashboard on the passenger side is a placard with the drivers registration number. If this placard is missing then avoid it. So every official taxi should have his license prominently displayed in the front of the cab facing the front passenger seat. If your taxi has no license displayed, we suggest you find a different taxi.

On the dashboard on the passenger side is a placard with the drivers registration number
On the dashboard on the passenger side is a placard with the drivers registration number

Beijing Taxi rider’s rights

As a taxi rider, you have the rights below:
Direct drive to your destination;
The car pooling is legal in Beijing;
Booking a taxi on phone
Calling a taxi at a taxi stand;
Your car driver knows the streets in Beijing and the way to major destinations in Beijing;
Your driver should know and abide by all traffic laws;
Air-conditioning on demand;
A radio-free trip;
No Smoking
A clean passenger seat area;
A clean trunk
A driver uses the horn only when necessary to warn of danger;
No Tip.

How to identify black taxi?

How to identify black taxi, counterfeit taxi cab and cloning?
To identify these counterfeit taxi, the key is to look at the vehicle registration number. Beijing legitimate taxi license plates starts with “Beijing B”. If the taxi has the license plate of “Beijing E”, or “Beijing ” and not “Beijing B” license plates, then cab is possibly a black car. Fake Cloning “Beijing B” brand of taxis in the night have no taxi light. “If you have wrongly taken a cloned car”, you must request invoices! You can tell it is a cloned car from its invoice if he gives you a handwritten invoices instead of a computerized one.
What are the places most upset with the black cars?
Black cars could be found around the subway stations, shopping malls, and also aound some major tourist attractions. The most serious areas are the railway stations and Beijing capital airport. When arriving at the airport, keep away from drivers who approach you in the terminal or outside the terminal as they will ask for much more than the actual price.
There is a taxi stand just outside the terminal. Drivers should use their meter; make sure that the driver puts down the flag. Taking a taxi from the airport to Beijing downtown costs between around RMB120 according to the different distance. Beijing airport expressway toll will be paid by passengers. After paying a legal taxi, you will get a legal computerized receipt in which you can find the taxi company’s phone number while a black driver only offers you a hand-written receipt with which you will never find him! A black driver would charge you RMB 400 – RMB 500 for the airport downtown drive.
All the cab drivers are encouraged to learn English. But the situation is that most of them speak little English. The city bureau has devised a 12-item evaluation chart for cab services. Just name some of the items as follows:
Cab drivers are not allowed to smoke while driving, overcharge, spit or litter. They are requested to dress neatly and cleanly. They should be friendly and polite. Taxi drivers who refuse to use taximeters and pick up passengers will lose their job.

Travel Tips for taking taxi

1) Official taxis have a taxi sign on the roof, and on the dashboard on the passenger side is a placard with the drivers registration number. If this placard is missing then avoid it. At your destination, you should requrst a fappiao (a receipt, which is generated by the meter). If the meter isn’t working, you can refuse to pay, and if the driver threatens to call the police, encourage him to do so. At this point he will write a hand-written fappiao, but make sure he (or you) writes down the car registration and the driver registration before paying your money for the taxi.
2) Please keep the address card from your hotel or written by your hotel staff in Chinese to show the taxi driver. A hotel card with the Hotel’s name in Chinese for your return trip. So always carry a card from the hotel in the event you get lost in the city. Show the card to the driver and ask him to bring you there. Most of the drivers are not able to speak in English.
3) You can also charter a taxi ( as a private your own car ) for day trips to the Great Wall ( which is around 1.5 hour drive from city) or just to transfer you around various locations like Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Panjiayuan, Wangfujinging, etc. As long as it is within the city, most drivers are more than willing to let you charter their car for the day. A typical taxi will cost around RMB450 to RMB600 for an 8-hour day rental with driver. Each car can hold 4 comfortably. If you are sharing the car among 4, that is less than US$20 for a day.
4) Travelling around Beijing by taxi is quite easy. However, when it rains, it becomes a totally different situation. Keep in mind if you have a plane or train to catch, expecially if you have an unchangeable ticket! Firstly, cabs can be very difficult to find in the rain. Secondly, many taxis will simply refuse to take on longer journeys, especially to the airport and they also will refuse to go anywhere if it involves driving on the 3rd Ring Road which is jammed completely in the rain! So check the weather report and it is better to plan to get to the station or airport three hours before check-in time if your ticket is unchangeable.
5) The bridge and road tolls will be paid by passengers. For a journey that takes longer than 10 kilo or running after 23:00, the fares will be charged at 20% more.