Can I book an Uber in Rome?

Lyft does not run in Rome - and only Uber's limo services are available, which are not good value for money. We tell you the alternatives.

Does Rome have Uber?

Yes, but it’s not a taxi replacement app, it’s a convenient way to order a limo.

Uber is not illegal in Rome, despite many local taxi drivers claiming so. It is perfectly legal to use Uber in Rome, and the app works – but it’s not the Uber you might be expecting: you will only be able to use the expensive Uber Black, Uber Lux and Uber Van.

As well as ordering a limo, since July 2022 you have also been call a cab from the Uber app in Rome. In a world first, the transport giant integrated the existing taxi hailing app itTaxi into its platform. You can therefore use Uber’s payment mechanism to pay any cab that you order by this method, but you are

Does Rome have Lyft?

Lyft does not currently operate in Rome.

Can I order an Uber to pick me up from the airport?

While you can order an Uber when you arrive at the airport, the pickup system is unsatisfactory and may require you to walk a considerable distance with your luggage to find a place that the driver can pick you up legally; also because Uber in Rome is a limo service, the price will work out about double what a regular cab costs – an Uber from Fiumicino airport may set you back more than €100.

If you want to have a guaranteed pickup and driver waiting for you at the airport to save you wasting time lining up for a cab, we recommend instead Welcome Pickups, which works out only very slightly more than a regular taxi.

Does regular Uber operate in Rome?

Thanks to lobbying by the city’s taxi drivers the regular “taxi” part of Uber does not work here, even though the app does: in Rome there is still Uber Black, Uber Lux, and Uber Van, but in price terms they do not go head-to-head with taxis, only with the local “NCC” limo service. As mentioned, the app does allow you to order a regular cab instead of an Uber, with regular taxi charges.

How much does Uber cost in Rome?

See the price comparison below – an Uber in Rome works out twice as expensive as a taxi, or even worse.

Quote from the inner suburbs to Termini station

Uber Black: €18
Uber Lux: €24
Uber Van: €24

Regular taxi: €9
FreeNow: €8-9

Quote from Fiumicino Airport to Termini station

Uber Black: €94
Uber Lux: €123
Uber Van: €123

Regular taxi: €50
Welcome Pickups: €51

Other Taxis in Rome

Regular taxis can officially only be hired from a taxi stand or ordered by phone or app, but very few of the operators speak English and they have a tendency to hang up on callers if they don’t understand them.

Can I pay by card in a taxi in Rome?

By law all taxis are meant to carry a “PoS” (point of sale) machine to facilitate card payment. By incredible coincidence about 90% of the time you hail a taxi you will find the driver claims the machine is broken. And even if they do have a card reader (or are PayPal enabled), it is not always possible to know that the car picking you up will have the facility. And of course Rome taxis do not have a good reputation for honesty at the best of times. Thankfully there are alternatives.

Alternatives to Uber in Rome

From the airport

If you try to use the Uber app to get to your hotel from the airport, you’ll be assigned an Uber Black or Lux limo which will work out absolutely extortionate (see price comparison table below). To avoid this your choice is either to join the long line for a regular “white” cab, at a fixed price of €48 provided you’re going within the city walls (see map), but better still is an alternative called Welcome Pickups which costs the same as a cab but has all the advantages of Uber – in that you can pay online and you will know who your driver is – but better still the driver is guaranteed to speak English and if you enter your flight details into the booking they’ll wait for you at the gate, even if your flight is delayed (within reason). More about Welcome Pickups here…

Around town

For getting around the city there is an alternative app to Uber! The Free Now app (formerly MyTaxi) allows you to pre-register a credit card or PayPal account and use the app to call a taxi and pay for your ride, rate the driver, etc. We recommend you register for this before or as soon as, you arrive in Rome. The drawback to this is that unlike Uber, the meter goes on the moment you book the taxi and continues to run as the driver comes to get you. 

Are there any problems with taxis in Rome?

  • Be informed: taxis from Fiumicino airport are always €50 to anywhere within the city walls (see map below) and from Ciampino are always €30 within the Aurelian Walls. There are a few possible extras for €1-2 such as baggage fee and late pickup fee. If you’re concerned about these, ask the taxi driver to point out the tariff card that must be displayed in every taxi.

    The driver has a special setting on the meter that will reflect the set fee. If you’re staying outside the Aurelian Walls the driver must use a regular meter, which can actually work out cheaper if you’re on the west of the city, but much more expensive if you’re on the east (which is why a Welcome Pickup is also a good alternative because the set fee covers the entire city).

  • Ignore the guys who will approach you in the arrivals hall to offer a “cheap” ride to your hotel from the airport – usually around €40 to €50 per person. These are third-party shysters who will hook you up with an off-duty limo or a private car, sometimes shared with other passengers so you’ll have to go around the city dropping everyone else off. What they do is completely illegal, and they do not offer liability insurance for passengers, and nor do they necessarily even have the correct drivers license. They can also sometimes “forget” the price they offered you in the first place and end up trying to rip you off, which happened to this author and nearly led to a fight in the street at 4am…

  • Don’t accept if official taxi drivers in town offer you a one-off “special” fare without using the meter. Unless you are on a set fee from the airport, insist that the driver turns on the meter before you set off, and if they don’t, get out of the taxi and threaten to report them, using the word vigili when you do (pronounced “VEE-jee-lee”) so even if they don’t speak English they will recognize the word for the local cops… 

Book a Welcome Pickup

For the price of a taxi, you get a named driver who will wait for you in the terminal, speaks perfect English, and can provide local insight.

Where are the Aurelian walls?

Now make sure you don’t miss out: plan your visit in advance:

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Photo credit: AFP

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