Will Croatian Taxi Drivers Raise Their Prices Ahead of Tourist Season?

June the 7th, 2022 - Have Croatian taxi drivers started raising their prices as the height of the summer tourist season approaches? Many claim to have done so, as ongoing inflation would make it difficult for them to keep going otherwise.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the continuing wave of inflation has also affected taxi carriers and Croatian taxi drivers. Rising fuel prices, which account for the largest share of taxi drivers' costs, have led to higher prices for transport services in general. This immediately led to a drop in demand, but Croatian taxi drivers are pinning their hopes on tourists as we head into the summer season.

Over more recent years, they have often complained about the absurd prices of taxi services in this country. This year, most concessionaires have adjusted their price lists, so there should be no unpleasant surprises, at least for now.

Croatian taxi drivers are monitoring the growth of energy prices and say that they will adjust to them, which means price hikes, reports HRT.

"The market is terribly unpredictable and unreliable, something new happens every day that leads to increased costs, increased prices, inflation, everything. Our main raw material is fuel, and fuel has really skyrocketed and will continue to do so, and therefore we were forced to raise our prices,'' said Ivana Simundic Vulin, head of corporate communications of taxi services.

Back during early April alone, they were forced to increase their prices by 15 percent. Otherwise, they say, they wouldn't have survived in the increasingly difficult and demanding inflation-enfeebled market.

"Before, the average price of a ride in Zagreb was 50 kuna, now it's some 57-58 kuna. We had our customers in mind, of course, as inflation hit us just like it hit everyone and so that increase was minimal so that we could in some way cover our costs, at least to some extent,'' explained Simundic Vulin.

"We're trying to find some kind of balance with some minimal increase in prices that would follow this trend of rising prices in general in the retail sense. We have a steady clientele,'' said taxi driver Davor Stiplosek. Here in the City of Zagreb, they hope that the summer season will be improved by the arrival of foreign tourists, despite the increase in the price of taxi services.

"It's noticeable that there are more tourists in the city, which is again in our favour, so I expect that we'll find some way out of this situation in which we find ourselves," believes Stiplosek.

"The summer season is always strong. Not only in this part of the country, it will be quite strong down on the Adriatic as well. We have a lot of cooperation with hotels and travel agencies down there,'' said Simundic Vulin, also making sure to add that one single summer tourist season cannot save the whole year.

Croatian taxi drivers in Split have also upped their prices

Split taxi drivers are also hoping for a working summer, despite raging energy and fuel prices. Tourists, they say, are their most frequent clients during the summer.

"Specifically, with us, at the start we went three kuna up, and a kilometre costs one kuna, so we thought it was a good balance. Again, to be acceptable to people, but also to try to cover the difference in fuel because we haven't changed our prices for five years since we started working, and now that you 'rewind the film' a little bit - that's equal to about six kuna difference per litre from then until today,'' said Tonci Bratosevic, the head of the call centre of a taxi service.

"Taxi transport is not subsidised by any local self-government unit or by the state, it's all private entrepreneurs and they have to cover their own costs. The current price hasn't changed in the last decade, so there will have to be some kind of slight increase for customers,'' said Milivoj Topic, president of the Split Carrier's Guild.

''For the time being, we aren't really planning to raise the prices of taxi services down in Dubrovnik, but that all depends on future fuel prices. If that continues to rise, then we'll certainly have to, because now the costs have risen by 40 percent,'' said Mise Miloslavic.

"Our prices have been the same since back in 2015, so the price per kilometre is 9 kuna, the starting price is 29 kuna," stated Aljos Brkovic, vice president of the Association of Taxi Carriers of the City of Dubrovnik.

Fuel prices are far from the only problem. Car maintenance is also a big expense for them.

"In general, all products have become more expensive, as have the vehicles themselves that have to be serviced, works have become more expensive in general, repairs, oils in general, spare parts... all this has absolutely shot up. So it's not just a question of fuel, there are other costs involved that have also risen, so price hikes are unfortunately inevitable,'' warned Topic.

While service prices are rising unstoppably across all sectors, Croatian taxi drivers are carefully calculating whether and how much they'll need to raise their prices during the summer season. Although tourists often cannot manage at all without their services, which is a reassurance for them, local consumers, aware of the large increase in fuel prices, will definitely be thinkinf twice before booking or calling a taxi.

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