Taxi Tips for Tonga!
Taxis are a pretty universal transport method, but the way they work differs slightly from country to country. Wise up to the way that taxis work in Tonga, from identifying official taxis to when you can’t use them, in this list of things to know about taxis in Tonga!
For more taxi advice, be sure to check out The Guide to Taxis in Tonga. Plus, be sure to bookmark our Tonga Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get Around Tonga for even more transport tips.
1. Registered Taxis Have a “T” at the Beginning of their Number Plate
Registered taxis in Tonga can be identified by the “T” at the beginning of their registration plate. Some taxis will be easier to spot with a classic “taxi” sign on the roof of the vehicle. Either way, look out for the “T” if looking for an official taxi service.
2. Ask for the Going Rate for Your Trip
Most taxi drivers in Tonga don’t use meters. With this in mind, it’s best to ask the rate for your trip before accepting a ride. This way, you know what you’re getting yourself in for and whether you can afford the fare. Some fares should always be the same between taxis, especially for the airport runs, as listed in the How Much Does a Tonga Airport Taxi Cost? See more typical fares in Taxi Fares in Tonga: The Costs You Need to Know.
3. Guesthouses Might Book You an “Unofficial” Taxi
Guesthouses are the most frequent type of budget accommodation in Tonga, often run by locals. When asking for them to book you a taxi, don’t be surprised if one of their family members with a car shows up. In this case, they’ll just charge you a fixed rate for the trip. This is also a way that you can get around on a Sunday at some guesthouses, because otherwise…
4. Taxis Don’t Operate on a Sunday (Unless Booked)
Sunday is a day of rest in Tonga where it is against the law for businesses, except for a very select few tourism businesses, to operate. With that, taxis in Tonga don’t accept bookings on Sundays but can still provide taxi services for Sunday if booked before Sunday.
5. Taxis Can Only Be Found in Tongatapu and Vava’u
The islands with the largest road networks are Tongatapu and the main island of Vava’u. In Tongatapu, you’ll find taxis at Fua’amotu Airport and taxi stands in the city centre of Nuku’alofa. In Vava’u, although there are a few taxi stands in Neiafu town centre, it’s usually best to call ahead. More details on taxis and their locations can be found in The Complete Guide to Taxis in Tonga.
6. Taxi Drivers Can Be Hired on an Hourly Basis in Vava’u
With limited tours to see the sights on land in Vava’u, taxi drivers fill the gap in the market by offering tours/a driver-hire service. These usually have a starting rate with an hourly rate after that, while “sightseeing tours” are more costly. Learn more about tours by taxi in The Guide to Hiring a Driver in Tonga.
7. Taxi Services Operate 24 Hours
Like many places in the world, taxis in Tonga offer a 24-hour service, except for taking bookings on Sundays. You can usually call to book a taxi from 7 am on Monday and throughout the week without a problem but you may have more difficulty getting through during the early morning hours. Taxi services typically stop taking bookings at 11 pm on Saturday.
8. Taxis in Tonga are Pretty Old
Some might say that Tonga is where cars go to die, and after seeing the taxis, you will probably think that’s true. To some, old vehicles might not be a big deal. Just don’t set your expectations for luxury.
9. You Won’t Find Tonga on Uber
Uber and taxis go hand-in-hand when comparing your options. However, as you might have realised when trying to do online searches for Tonga resulting in very little information (except for TongaPocketGuide.com, of course), Tonga is pretty old-school. Needless to say, you won’t find Uber here.
10. The Taxi Driver Can Be a Good First Source of Information When You Arrive
In relation to the above point, Tonga is much more of a face-to-face country, where most information about what to do, car rentals, where to stay, etc. can be figured out by talking to people once you get here. Strike up a conversation with your taxi driver on your run from the airport to get some extra advice about your stay on the island.
More Things to Know About Taxis in Tonga
That’s it for our list of things to know about taxis in Tonga. For more on the subject, check out more of our insightful guides:
- The Complete Guide to Taxis in Tonga
- Taxi Prices in Tonga: The Costs You Need to Know
- How Much Does a Tonga Airport Taxi Cost?
Finally, be sure to bookmark our Tonga Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get Around Tonga for even more transport tips.