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France - Taxis

When you want to take a taxi in France you should be aware that they can only collect from taxi ranks or be hailed in the street. A taxi rank is known as a ‘station de taxi’ and you should look for a blue square sign with the word ‘taxi’ in white letters. If you hail a taxi in the street you should ensure that it has a ‘taxi’ sign on the roof and if it is available it will be lit up. Hailing taxis is only really permitted in the busy cities. In other areas you may have to book a taxi in advance.

Taxi ranks can be found in several different places in the cities. Railway stations, airports and other busy areas will have their own taxi rank. If you get there and there is no taxi waiting you can call for a cab, as most ranks have a phone which connects to the local taxi company.

Taxi fares in France are calculated on the distance travelled and there is a price per kilometre which is regularly reviewed. If your journey takes you outside the town you are in you need to check with the driver when you get in the car as different rates may apply. If you want to take luggage on board with you then that may also cost you extra and you should check if you want to take a pet with you. Not all taxis will allow this and there will be a charge if they do. Prices are set by the department and each fare begins with a set amount (prise en charge) that is the minimum charged to all customers.

Rates in Paris are different from the rest of France. Paris has three tariffs – A, B and C. A is the tariff which was used for journeys which take place between 10 am and 5 pm and which are within the ring road which encircles the city. B is the tariff for journeys which take place between 5 pm and 10 am and are within the ring road. Also falling into the tariff B category are the journeys which take place between 7 am and midnight on Sundays, midnight to 7 am on public holidays and 7 am and 7 pm for journeys in suburban areas. Tariff C covers journeys on a Sunday within the ring road between midnight and 7 am, 7 pm and 7 am in suburban areas, public holidays and any journeys outside the suburban areas.

There are four main tariffs for taxis outside Paris, categorised as A, B, C and D. Tariff A is used for a round trip taking place between Monday and Saturday. Tariff B is a round trip taken during the evening or on a Sunday. Public holidays are also categorised as a B tariff. Tariff C is used if you want to take a one way trip during working hours from Monday to Saturday. Tariff D is the one used for single journeys that take place in the evening, on a Sunday or on public holidays. For the purposes of the tariffs, a day time journey is one which takes place between 7 or 8 am to 7 or 8 pm.

Rates are planned to cover 3 passengers. A fourth passenger can incur extra charges and if the driver considers that you have an excess of luggage then this will also add to the charges.

It is customary to tip taxi drivers but this is entirely up to you. If you believe that you received less than adequate service you are within your right to withhold a tip. Standard tipping rates are between 10 and 15% of the total fare.

An individual in France cannot simply become a taxi driver. It is necessary to take and pass a course and you should be aware that you cannot be refused a taxi as it is considered to be a public service. Taxis are regulated and monitored to ensure that good service is provided. Generally speaking, taxi drivers in France are considered to be honest and there are very few complaints but as all drivers are licensed it is easy to deal with any issues that you may have.

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