I get this question all the time, Sri Lankans seem to think that foreigners are fair game and do their level best to try and screw them at every turn. My favourite saying is "sold their soul for a bowl of rice" which is against Buddha's teachings.
However, changes were implemented in 2013 to make it tougher for these unscrupulous drivers, I must say I have not noticed much of these changes. Below is a way of protecting yourself and being vigilant is the best advise I can give. Use Fare Fair highest price for a rough guide then haggle from there.
- All taxis and three-wheelers must have a copy of a government-issued permit on the windscreen of the vehicle.
- All three-wheelers should have an installed meter and a receipt should be issued to the customer at the end of the journey.
- Drivers are required to possess a “driver’s identity card” and visible at all times.
- All information included in the identity card shall be displayed clearly and visible in the vehicle.
- Drivers should not smoke while passengers are in the vehicle and taking longer routes without the consent of the passenger is prohibited.
- It is the duty of all three wheel drivers to hand over any material left by passengers to the nearest police station.
Note: Only use metered Tuk-Tuk or Taxis, never allow the driver to fiddle with the meter part journey. Keep an eye on the route, to make sure they are going the most direct route. Other services are Uber Zip and Pickme where you can get a journey price beforehand.