Shanghai Dazhong Taxi

I have been talking about Shanghai taxi for many years, but the most frequent questions I got from day to day email is still about the best taxi company, and is about asking me what is my recommendation regarding Shanghai’s Taxi. The answer is pretty easy and straight forward: Dazhong Taxi 大众 is the best taxi company in Shanghai, and is definitely my recommendation.

Here is a photo of the taxi.

Why is Dazhong Taxi Good?

There are several factors to rate a taxi company. Here is my reason to pick Dazhong as definite best taxi company in Shanghai:

1. Service. Among all the taxi companies in Shanghai, the service provided by the drivers of Dazhong is definitely the best: they will greet you in standard language when you get on board, and they will ALWAYS remind you to bring your belongs when you get off the taxi. Besides that, drivers of Dazhong taxi are really nice to you. They do face growth problems, and there are some new drivers who do not know the streets so well – sometimes I encounter with one or two of them, but they are generally very nice.

2. Quality of the cars.

If you pick cars by how clean the seat cover is, I suspect Dazhong taxi will be the winner. Their seat cover is always white – snow white. There are certainly some expectations, but it is very rare during my experience. I always use them when I have a choice.

Their Call Center

Remember this number: 82222

or +86-21-82222 for reservation.

The Story behind the Color Turquoise

There is a little story behind the color of Dazhong taxi. It was not always turquoise. At the very beginning, when Dazhong taxi started, they use red as their identification color. At that time, there are not so many taxis. Later, when more and more companies joined the competition later, they all use the same red color. This caused problem for Dazhong, since they cannot identify themselves from the competitors. So they made a deal with Volkswagon, the taxi car maker, and bought out all the cars with color turquoise. Today, if you see a Volkswagon Santana that is turquoise, it has to be a Dazhong taxi.

Now, more and more taxi companies are using their identification colors, like yellow for Qiangsheng, white for Jinjiang Taxi, Green for Qiangsheng Taxi, and Blue for Haibo Taxi. There are more interesting thing around the color. In Shanghai, there are just few big enough taxi companies are allowed to use identification colors, and the red color are used for all the little taxi companies.

18 thoughts on “Shanghai Dazhong Taxi

  1. i should say yellow for _qiangsheng_ taxi while green for _bashi_ taxi.

    and _bashi_ in my mind is equally good as dazhong.

  2. Yes, it’s the accepted truth that Dazhong is the best, but to be honest, there are good and bad drivers for all fleets.

    I got a Dazhong taxi the other night, the driver started taking a weird route, then after about two minutes he sparked up a cigarette. When I asked him politely to put it out, he refused. I then told him to put it out, reminding him about the rules, to which he replied that he could smoke because he was cold. I had to order him to stop and let me out. Obviously didn’t pay the fare. He then drove off still smoking.

    A Dazhong!

  3. Does Dazhong use any vehicle other than sedan such as station wagon or mini-van? As a party of two with 4 suitcases cannot comfortably sit at the back without holding one of the luggage on the knee during the journey from the airport. Any alternatives?

  4. Darn… try not to take the private taxi which is the dark blue or maroon color. The driver gave me a fake 20yuan.

  5. Thanks for this info! Very useful!

    Isn’t strange they have the same name of volkswagen in china? Isnt it a company from VW itself?

    Well take care.. see ya around!

  6. But if you’re one of those risk-takers who gets a thrill from situations that would make others want to wet themselves then go with one of the companies not listed above!

    I’ve had the (mis)fortune of encountering some real crazies that way. Drivers who twitched and cursed under their breath the whole ride. Others that took turns so fast they drifted well into oncoming traffic. And of course the ones that took me on a long “scenic” route back home. Adventure every time. :P

  7. Its not the main taxi in the front that catches my eye, its the OTHER 3 DAZHONG TAXIES in the background going the opposite direction that impress me :), also I heard from a Dazhong taxi driver a few weeks ago that there are less and less “local” drivers, meaning Shanghainese drivers are either not employed with Dazhong or switching to another company, 6258 0000 perhaps. Could be internal matters, who knows, I didn’t get into too much as I was at my destination. Nice story on colors, didn’t realize there was a background to the red and deals.

  8. I do not think so. They will not take a short booking and even cancelled them when they would select a long trip business on the way driving to you, this happens always.

    Another story, to share with all of you, I have ever asked for a Dazhong for a very short driving, finally arrived, I didn’t have a transportation card and small changes, I gave them 100RMB. But shortly later after taking my bill, he returned to me and said to give me a free driving this time. Just after stepping out of the taxi, I checked the bill, found it’s pirated one, not the one from me.

    It’s hard to say which one is better from Shanghai , just up to you’re lucky or not.

  9. Another story.

    Yesterday I took a striking Red color taxi home. That taxi driver beat the red light and nearly knock a pedestrian who was crossing the road. The pedestrian scream at the driver. Then, the drive stepped on the brakes and pull over to the road side. He stepped out the car and shout at the pedestrian to stand still, don’t move. And asked what you just said. What a horrible taxi driver.

    “Welcome to take my taxi again”, that’s the message you’ll hear from the taxi meter system. HAHAHA….

  10. you have taken such an amazing picture

    look! seven taxis in your picture, actually five are Dazhong Taxi

  11. Hmmm… Yes. I also encounter a bad Dazhong taxi or two in the last half year, but overall, their quality are among the most reliable in Shanghai. I will talk about Qiangsheng shortly.

  12. 有一天在梅龙镇广场的门口等taxi,有两个外国人不会讲中文,从一辆taxi下来求助.


    我看到是写的dingxi road 巴黎春天宾馆.后来请一辆大众司机帮忙载他们去的.

    many taxi driver can’t speak English.


  13. @Karim If you speak English to the operator of Dazhong Taxis for a reservation, they’ll speak English. And you can call +86-21-96822 for reservation. By the way, I think Jinjiang Taxi is also good.

  14. I had a bad experience on 25Jul evening when taking a taxi from the Pudong Airport to the Holiday Inn Express hotel at 梅龙镇广场. The Taxi driver No. is 279501 but I cannot see his name due too dark inside. On the midway on the airport express road, he stop by the side and opened the front cover and tunned something. After that, I started to notice that the charge meter was running inconsitently(sometimes fast but sometimes slow).

    Finally we arrived at the hotel and the meter charge were CNY243. We paid and asked for teh receipt but we denied and said the receipt was torn due to his carelessness. After he gone, I checked with others and found that the maximum charge should be about CNY170 only. This is a bad experience and I would like to tell everybody that this dishonest taxi driver that stains all those good and excellence drivers in the industry and would like the authority to look into this. Otherwise, the good image of the Shnghai City will be ruined by this bad guy. Can any body dig this bad guy out and inform the police to stop him from doing this again to others?

  15. If you have only one experience, you are lucky….

    I live in shanghai for 3 years, and have hundred of experiences like that…. The biggest I had, 560rmb to go from pudong airport to people square…. Also had a meter showing 12km to go from jing an to hengshan lu / wulumuqi lu which is normally around 3km….. It happens a lot with all company. Just depend on the driver….

    That is why in shanghai when you take a taxi you need to know the way, the distance and the cost…. to be sure to have no problem. And if they try to cheat you anyway, you dont pay and leave…. Usually they dont say anything because they know you are right. If they say something just take the licence card and tell them that you call the police, usually they leave quick…..

  16. Not good for tourist.
    Taxi driver from this company double charged me because he knew i was a tourist. My trip to beautiful shanghai city was ruined by ugly taxi driver.

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