No matter in which part of the country you stay, if you are to survive in India, you have to know the basic rules to negotiate with the auto driver. In some parts of the country, like in Kolkata, you’ve got Shuttle Auto systems while in most parts of the country, you’ve got to reserve the auto altogether while traveling. If you’re new to the latter system, then go through this thread before traveling and save yourself from being severely harassed—
7. Don’t Pretend you’re New to the City
The auto rickshaw drivers’ ability to understand a person’s mannerisms are far better than any Intelligence Officer, and we’re saying this from sheer experience! If you’re one of those kinds who love to portray the “tourist” like feel through body language, then we request you to steer clear of auto rickshaws. They will act so convincingly that you might just end up paying 25%-50% more than the exact fair. So, we would ask you to act smart and give a tough look as though you’re familiar with the to-dos of the place!
6. Ask For Meter Readings
If you’re traveling by reserve autos, then before getting up make sure that you’re going by the regular meter readings and do not wish to entertain any further quotations. Even if you’re in a hurry, spare a moment to clear this otherwise, you can well be robbed off. And, tell this in a simple and regular manner otherwise—problem and more problems!
5. Try to Know the Shortest Possible Route
Well, you might be new to the city, but in this age of cyber technology, you can never be totally unfamiliar with a place. So, try to know the shortest route to the place you intend to visit (even if you’re unfamiliar to the place, try asking it from the hotel manager or the acquaintances or any shopkeeper) and tell the driver that you intend to go by that particular route only. Otherwise, for traveling even to the neighborhood, you might just be given a ride throughout the whole city!
4. Always quote 25% Less
If at all you find it impossible to make the driver agree to go on meter, then first listen to his quotation and quote a price 25% lesser than that. The trick is to be stubborn and quote a single fare—come on, you’re the boss and not them, and act accordingly. If still incapable of lessening the price, walk off.
3. Don’t Talk in English
Now, this is quite funny but the auto drivers tend to think that they can get you pay anything if you’re speaking in English, in other words, they’d hike up the rates like anything if you’re not speaking their tongue. So, the trick is to stick to Hindi, no matter if you’re not much comfortable with it. And, if you want to leave a “lasting” impression, learn up a few “phrases” in Hindi—that would surely do the trick!
2. Never Be Reasonable
You might be genuinely a gentle person but let not that come in the way of your argument. If you do not like the price quoted, or if you see yourself not being able to hold up the argument, do not just give in to their demands. It’s better to walk off than to give in to their demands. Seeing the ‘loser’ in you, they might just charge you double or make a fool out of you on reaching the destination.
1. Keep Calm
Well, in India, you need to argue really hard with the auto rickshaw drivers but never lose your cool in the process; otherwise you may get into serious brawls. The more you lose your calm, the nastier they become; besides, there’s no harm in keeping silent and listen to their point. You always have the opportunity to walk off.