Like most countries in the world, Iranian cabs are usually yellow or green. But the issue of taxis in Iran may be a little complicated as compared to other countries. In Iran, you have the following options for traveling inside the city or sometimes between two neighboring cities by taxi:
Going to the nearest taxi stand
In big cities like Tehran, you can find taxi stands in main squares such as in Tajrish, Vanak, Enghelâb, Azadi, Jomhuri, etc. If you are close to any of these places, walking to a taxi stand is the easiest and cheapest way to take a taxi to wherever you want to go. There, you will find shared taxis waiting for three to four passengers. An important fact to remember is that each taxi goes to one specific destination through a designated route. They may pass by the place you want to visit, so you can always ask the drivers which taxi to take by letting them know your destination. For instance, you are in Vanak and you want to go to the Carpet Museum, which is on Kargar street. If you ask the taxi drivers which taxi to take, they will show you the ones going to Enghelab. Take a seat in that taxi, wait for 2-3 more passengers to come, and when the driver starts the car, tell him/her where you want to go. S/he will let you know where to get off. It may seem a little complicated, but on the bright side, you have a great opportunity to practice and learn Farsi for free by asking the direction and addresses. All the phrases you may need are provided for you by the Farsimonde group for free. You can also check places and asking direction to be prepared for more advanced talks. Not everything is for free though, so do not forget to pay for the ride, which is usually less than 50 cents per person, even in Tehran as the most expensive city in Iran.
And for a Short Trip to Other Cities:
Moreover, in some of these taxi stands, you can find taxis which can drive you to the neighboring cities. For instance, if you are in Tehran, you can take shared taxis to Qazvin, Kashan, Semnan, Rasht, etc. These taxi stands are called “terminâl-e tâksihâ-ye beyn-e šahri”, between cities taxi stand. You may think that taking a taxi to these destinations may cost you a fortune, but actually, you just need to pay around 3$ per person for a hundred-kilometer drive.
Taking a taxi by the roadside
You do not need to live close to a taxi stand to be able to take a taxi. Wherever you are, seeing a yellow or green taxi with an empty seat means that you can ask for a ride, just say your destination to the driver who is horning or looking at you. If they are going to the same destination, they will pick you up. Moreover, there are many non-official drivers with their cars who may offer you a ride. For safety reasons, you’d better stick to the official taxis and avoid this kind of ride unless you are professional hitchhikers, speak good Persian, and you know how to negotiate the price and take care of your belongings. You’d better remember that official taxis have insurance while the others take no responsibility in case of an accident.
There is a very common word for taking a taxi by the roadside, mostaqim straightforward. In all the cities of Iran, you see people raising their hands and saying mostaqim to taxis. It is not the name of a street or a place, but it means they want the driver to take them as far as they go in a straight line. If your destination is even up to 20 kilometers away in a straight line, you can also say it to the driver.
Tâksi telefoni and darbast
In Iran, especially in towns and villages where app-based taxi services are not very popular yet, you can find car rental agencies which are called âžans or tâksi telefoni. You need to have the phone numbers of these agencies and the ability to speak Persian a little to call them. These kinds of taxis are more expensive than shared ones for very clear reasons you may guess.
Moreover, if you are by the roadside, searching for a private taxi, you can use this magic word, darbast, which can change a shared green or yellow taxi to your private taxi. The word means closed-door, which describes the way you are going to use the taxi. There will be no passenger other than you to get in or get off the taxi till your destination. When you need a private taxi and you find a yellow taxi with no other passengers, just wave your hand and say darbast. The majority of drives like to hear this word, but do not forget to agree upon the price before boarding because there is no fixed fare and most of the taxis do not have a taximeter on board.
App-based Taxi Services
App-based taxi services are emerging phenomena welcomed in many countries around the world, including Iran. In these taxis, you specify your location and destination on the map, and you are free to pay the fare in credit or cash. You know the name of the driver, and you can see the route of the driver and your trip on the map. In Iran, these taxis carry a maximum of three passengers. Currently, there are two very popular internet-based taxis in Iran called Snapp and Tap30, pronounced as tapsi. These kinds of taxis are up to 20 percent cheaper than darbast and it is usually easier to use them because most of the time you do not need to speak to the drivers, so you do not need to speak Persian. These services are available in English and French for the time being.
However, when you ask for a car by using these apps, sometimes the drivers call you to confirm the location, let you know that they might be late, or tell you that they have arrived. So, you need to learn some fixed phrases which are used in this context. It is why on this page, we had categorized the conversations based on the different types of taxis you may choose to employ.
Good luck with taking a taxi in Iran