Having arrived in Marrakech a few days ago, we are gradually familiarizing ourselves with the means of transport.
Our lodging being a little out of the center of the city and the bus passing nearby isn’t regular, we have to face our friends the cabs 🙂
And of course, with my European head and Anh’s Asian head, we are targets! It is known, cabs are one of the scourges of Marrakech, they refuse to put the meter to charge you at least 2x the normal price, sometimes much more.
When we arrived at the bus station in Marrakech from Casablanca, the drivers asked us 70 dh to reach our accommodation. We refused and we now know that the cost of this trip is around 20 dh.
Another example: when we arrived at the CTM station in Marrakech from Essaouira, the first cab that approached us asked for 80 dh! When we refused, it dropped to 50 dh. We finally stopped a cab that was driving a few meters further, he agreed to put the meter on. Price of the race: 16 dh.
If the amounts involved aren’t huge (although, counting 2 or 3 runs a day, it starts to add up quickly), it’s mostly the feeling of being ripped off that’s unpleasant.
Here are several ways to avoid getting scammed and to take the cab in a more relaxed way 🙂
1/ The strong method
This method was recommended to us by a French expatriate who has been living in Marrakech for several years.
The principle: get into a cab, say “Salam” instead of “Hello” (it catalogs you a little less like a tourist). Ask him to put on the meter.
There is a good chance he will refuse, remind him that it is mandatory. Unstoppable argument, you can show him the rates which are stuck on the right side of his windshield and which very clearly stipulate that the meter is mandatory. The poster also shows the price to and from the airport (which is a fixed rate).
If he refuses again, you have two options:
- Getting out of the vehicle
- Threatening to call the tourist police. It works, but of course it’s a bit cold 😀
One thing you should know is that it is possible to take a cab that is already busy. Signal an occupied cab, tell it where you are going, if it is in the same direction as the occupant, you can get in. The driver must then start another meter for your trip (there are multiple meters).
With the little experience we now have, we find that a cab stopped while it is already on the way will accept much more easily to put the meter on than a cab that has been waiting for a long time on a tourist spot and hopes to make the wait profitable by scamming foreigners.
2/ Green Taxi
So no, cabs aren’t green contrary to what one might think 🙂
Cab vert is a call center that groups together many cabs. You must call the number 05 2440 94 94 and indicate the address where you want a cab.
A few minutes later, the operator calls you back to let you know that the cab is coming.
The cab will put on the meter, without you having to ask for it. At the end of the ride, you pay the price indicated on the meter to which you have to add a reservation fee of 10 dh during the day and 20 dh in the evening .
Green cab, it is very practical but not infallible. Sometimes nobody answers the phone. Try again several times, hopefully it will work 🙂
3/ The Roby application
While Uber was kicked out of Morocco just two months after his arrival, a similar application took its place.
This is the Roby application which works really similar to Uber with one small exception, you pay cash to the driver, impossible to pay by card.
Interesting point, the amount of the trip is indicated at the time of booking, no bad surprises.
According to a driver with whom we spoke, there are about 200 cabs that use Roby in Marrakech. When a cab driver wants to use Roby, he gets 2 months free and then has to pay 500 dh per month.
Roby’s operation remains rather random. Several times, the driver who accepted our race was very, very far away. After a few minutes of waiting, seeing that he isn’t going in the right direction, I call him and he proposes me to cancel the race because it is too far for him. Lol.
Roby is very recent and I imagine that the application will improve little by little.
4/ The Heetch application
During our stay, the Heetch application landed in Marrakech. It is really very recent (January 2019).
I had never used Heetch in France but I thought “cool, they have experience, it must be efficient”.
Well, there’s still work to be done…
We made a single attempt and :
- As for Roby, the driver who accepted the race was on the other side of town.
- The application does not show an estimate of the waiting time before the driver arrives.
- Before the order, there is no estimate of the price of the trip.
- And there is no button to cancel the trip.
I then tried to contact the driver who didn’t answer, so I sent an SMS to the support and the race was cancelled very quickly afterwards.
I still think that Heetch can become a good solution. With their experience and big resources, it should improve quickly.
To get a coupon code of 5€ on Heetch, you can use the code JEAN92290.
5/ Take a cab for the day
If you plan to make several visits during the day and not run after cabs all the time, it is possible to book one for the day.
Ask any driver. The rates are about 200dh/day
You can also leave a generous tip at the end of the day if you are satisfied with the service.
For more practical information about Morocco, please consult our other articles:
- 12 days roadtrip from Marrakech to the desert + Essaouira
- Balance sheet after 2.5 months in Morocco
- and all our travel diaries in Morocco: in particular Marrakech #1, Marrakech #2, Marrakech #3
If you are looking for a hotel/riad in Marrakech, we recommend the following very nice riads: