Taxis and private transfer cars waiting at the airport
Taxis and private transfer cars waiting at the airport

Airport Transfer: Private Driver or Taxi?


Many people ask me which Budapest airport transfer to choose for travelling from the airport to our hotel, or vice versa, from our hotel to the airport. In my opinion, the most comfortable option is to travel with a private driver, and I don’t say that because I am a private driver too… ☺

What is the Difference?


  • The most striking difference between a private driver and a taxi is that taxis are mandatorily yellow.
A taxi driver picking up a passenger at Deák Ferenc square
A taxi driver picking up a passenger at Deák Ferenc square

In costs:

  • Taxi rides must be paid by taximeters, which depends highly on traffic.
  • Whereas the price of a private transfer is set in advance, so the price is always the same.

In size:

  • In case of a taxi maximum four people (plus their luggage) can be squeezed into a car, and if there is a fifth, we need to pay for two taxis.
  • In case of a private transfer, it is enough to order one car because in the vast majority of cases private drivers arrive with an eight-seater minibus.

In type:

  • When ordering a taxi, we can’t choose a specific car, so we need to travel by the car that comes for us.
  • In case of a private driver we can even choose a luxury car.
A luxurious private transfer car
A luxurious private transfer car

In hygiene:

  • Taxis are clean both inside and outside and checked regularly.
  • Although private transfers are not regulated in this matter, drivers pick up their passengers with a clean and civilized car.

In the way of order:

  • A taxi can be ordered in the Budapest airport transfer office of the official taxi provider that can take quite a long time. Officially, only Főtaxi is allowed to be at the airport, and the cars of other taxi companies can only park for 5 minutes in front of the airport free of charge.
Passengers queing up in front of a Taxi booth at the airport
Passengers queing up in front of a Taxi booth at the airport

For a private transfer we can ask the driver to wait for us with a board, so we can leave the airport easily and fast, and we don’t have to search for any office. The private driver arrives at the airport or to our hotel at a time that had been set in advance. Parking at the airport is costly for private drivers as well, and they are also allowed to park in the premise of the airport for 5 minutes free of charge.

Private Drivers at the Airport

Due to the costly parking, private drivers are waiting at a location 5 minutes from the airport, and they come when the passenger says so, then they leave the airport with the passengers in a few minutes. In case of a VIP service, the fee of the costly airport parking might be added to the price on request.

Some private drivers holding up boards with the passengers'  names on them
Some private drivers holding up boards with the passengers’ names on them

What is the Simplest Way to Order a Private Transfer?

You can ask your hotel or check some offers on the internet and compare the prices.

The cars of both service providers have to be in line with the same regulations: that is they have to take a special exam on a yearly basis. All cars have to include an air conditioner, and the cars can’t be older than a given age. Private drivers always have a photo ID.

Regardless of our decision, the most important thing is that we get to our destination safely and at the easiest way for us.

More interesting and useful tips

Parking Budapest – check out our article on this topic to avoid fines and find the best parking spots, even for free.

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