Sri Lanka used to provide best taxi service for local people and tourists in most part of the important cities. Colombo is at its best for taxi service where you can get good taxis by giving a call to the taxi service provider whether it is a 4 seat or 10 seats with air condition. Tourists visiting to Sri Lanka can get taxi service provided by their star hotels or by the staff at the front desk of the hotel will provide a call taxi within minutes as the taxies used to wait out side of the hotel.
Some three wheel transport companies use to call their service as taxi and use to advertise at roads and in front of shops. These are cheap ones but they can't protect you from the road dust, rain or high day time temperatures. Some time the three wheelers you are travelling may have to stop in traffic next to a heavy smoke from the exhaust pipe of a bus or big lorry. Three wheelers are popularly called as "auto" and "three wheel". So if you are calling any unknown companies for taxis confirm that you are getting a good car as taxi for your travelling.
Most of the Taxis that are running in Sri Lanka are branded Japanese cars with A/C and good sound system for your listening pleasure, if you like. Some of these taxis are latest Japanese hybrid models which you can travel in comfort. Mean while Indian made Nano cars are introduced as Nano cabs and can be called through phones around the Colombo city to provide you the taxi service. These Nano cars may look small but they are comfortable to travel to your short destinations.
All the taxis are marked and come with tariff meter and you can pay to the diver according to the meter. If you like you can give some extra cash for the driver as a fine gesture and it is not compulsory. You can carry enough bags as a passenger and there is no charge for the extra luggage.
These call taxis are available 24 hours a day through different companies and nearly all of them charge the same rate for the same distance.
So far there are no complaints by the general public to the police about the taxi drivers as these drivers are very polite and nearly all of them speak good English too.
These taxis allow only 4 passengers to travel at a time as one in the front next to the driver and 3 in the behind seats. When you call for a call taxi from a friend's home, they may take 15 to 20 minutes to reach your place in Towns. So give enough time for the taxi to reach your place.
Some taxi companies charge extra tariff for hires after 9.30 pm in the capital Colombo.
It is not compulsory to share your journey with another unknown person in a taxi in Sri Lanka. So avoid strangers in your taxi when you are hiring a taxi for your travelling. There are special taxi services from and to Colombo air port when you are flying with an air line.