A lot of tourists, particularly those who will be going to London for the first time, believe it is convenient to go around the city by using taxis. If you are travelling to London soon, here are some important tips when riding taxis.
If you are like most tourists, you most likely are planning on using the city’s official taxis, which are more commonly known as black cabs. Although they are named black cabs, they actually are not all black. Black taxi are the only taxis you can hail from the streets. You can determine if the cab is available if the yellow TAXI sign at the front is turned on. Black cabs are legally required to take on any job for journeys as far as twelve miles, or twenty miles if starting from Heathrow airport. Besides hailing black cabs from the streets, you can also find them at designated ranks in close proximity to commercial establishments and hotels, as well as train and bus stations.
Black cabs are metered taxis, and the minimum charge is £2.40. Nearly all black taxi take credit or debit card payments, but just to be certain, ask the driver before the trip starts.
Approved private hire vehicles and minicabs
Aside from black cabs, vacationers can also use private hire vehicles and minicabs. As opposed to black taxi which you can take on the road, these two variants of taxis must be reserved at an office, on the web, or via phone or email. Using minicabs can be a less expensive substitute to traveling in black taxi, especially when traveling long distances, since they’re not on a meter, instead, you will know how much the trip will cost when you make the booking. Prices are almost always negotiable.
Take care when choosing minicabs though as there are unaccredited ones that will offer their services. Some minicabs line up outside pubs and clubs, but they will be disobeying the law if they take your fare without prior reservation from you. The majority of pubs and clubs have approved representatives inside who can facilitate your booking. Unbooked minicab rides are not safe because there will be no record saved of your travel, your driver, and the vehicle used. Therefore, when there are problems, the driver will not be determined.
The hotel or hostel you will be staying in will also have a list of reputable, approved operators. If you need a taxi for City Airport, for example, the front desk staff can help you. Alternatively, you can make a booking on the web by visiting the minicab company’s website.