London: Taxis (Black Cabs)

London: Taxis (Black Cabs)

Taxis are a popular way to get around London and in many cases can be the quickest journey from A-to-B within central London. Taxis (also known as Black Cabs) can use bus lanes, which frequently makes them quicker than driving your own car. There are also no parking, Congestion Charge or fuel costs to worry about.

How do I hail a cab in London?
Black cabs are available to hail in London by sticking your arm out in the road. Do not shout out ‘Taxi’. You should only hail cabs that have the “Taxi” light switched as these are available. Those with the light switched off are already hired.

You can also find cabs at taxi ranks throughout the city – these are common at airports and rail stations.

Black cabs can also be pre-booked in advance through one of many taxi firms. Well known firms include Dial-a-Cab (0207 253 5000) and Radio Taxis (0207 272 0272), but many others are also available.

Finally, the technological elite may prefer to book a black cab through an app – MyTaxi and Gett are the biggest ones out there.

What training do London taxi drivers go through?
London cab drivers go through a rigorous test called ‘The Knowledge’. They must know every street within 6 miles (10km) of Charing Cross in central London – there are over 25,000 of these, as well as all the landmarks and the quickest way to get you there. Most people take three years to pass this test. Generally speaking, cab drivers are very friendly and happy to help you out with recommendations and any questions you have.

How much do London cabs cost?
Transport for London sets the pricing for all London taxis. Below is their pricing grid:

Taxi journeys are priced using a mixture of journey length and journey time. The minimum fare is £2.60.

Passengers pay the metered fare, unless a set fare has been agreed at the start of the journey – set fares are rare in London cabs. As far as tipping is concerned, rounding to the nearest £1 or £5, is common practice.

All taxis accept cash, debit and credit card payments. There is no surcharge for paying by card. The acceptance of card payments (including Contactless) in all black cabs is mandatory. Taxis do not accept Oyster Card credit for payment.

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