Auckland is the 23rd most expensive city in the world to catch a cab from the CBD to the airport, according to a new survey.

But while many people baulk at the US$45.62 (NZ$60.83) cost for the 20km ride, spare a thought for the Japanese, who top the survey and pay US$189.91 (NZ$253.21) for the 71km taxi ride from downtown Tokyo to Narita Airport.

The next most expensive cities for taxi rides from the airport to the city are Milan US$101.62 (NZ$138.8) , Munich US$81.06 (NZ$110.72), Geneva US$79.44 (NZ$108.51), Nice US$72.45 (NZ$98.96), London US$72.31(NZ$96.41) and New York US$71.18 (NZ$94.90), according to the survey, conducted by Carspring, an online used car sales business based in the United Kingdom.

"Nothing beats the relief of hopping into a comfortable taxi," says Carspring chief executive Maximilian Vollenbroich, who acknowledges that in some cities taxis are unaffordable and in other cities tourists are at risk of being overcharged.

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"We hope our research helps travellers prepare for safe, fun and budget-friendly travel in whatever ride best suits them," he said.

Herald research shows its costs from less than NZ$50 by Uber to more than NZ$80 by taxi to travel from the CBD to the airport. SkyBus costs from NZ$17 one-way and NZ$30 return. Auckland does not have rail to the airport.

The Carspring figures were based on averaging the cost at peak and off-peak times using a popular model of car. In Auckland's case, it was a Holden Commodore.

It is more expensive to travel from Auckland to the airport than it does in Sydney US$38.22 (NZ$50.96), but Sydney Airport is 9km south of the city, compared to 20km in Auckland.

A better comparison is Melbourne, a distance of 22km, where the cost of a taxi from the city to the airport is US$35.62 (NZ$47.49).

Many third world countries have cheap taxi rides from the city to the airport. Cairo is the cheapest US$0.55 cents (NZ$0.73 cents), followed by Mumbai US$1.40 (NZ$1.91) and Tunis US$1.62 (NZ$2.21).

The Carspring survey was done in US dollars and NZ figures have been converted by the Herald using current exchange rates.