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United Kingdom (UK) - Taxis
Choosing an online service guarantees that your taxi driver is legally licensed to operate on the streets in the United Kingdom. Your record is kept as well as the driver and vehicle number should there be any need to trace your route, such as issues with the fare.
Black taxi cabs can be found at marshalled ranks at certain times. Beckenham High Street, Bromley Town Centre, Charing Cross Road, City of London, Kingston Town Centre, and Romford all have marshalled ranks. Typically cabs are found in these areas between 22:30-2:30. This will depend on the day, as some only operate as marshalled ranks on Fridays and Saturdays, whereas other locations such as Kingston Town Centre offer a cab every evening between the times stated.
In Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland you will usually need to use a taxi booking service to be picked up legally. You can hail a taxi on the street without need to book a minicab first, however you do run the risk of it being a private hire car with a taxi meter.
Taxi Fares in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has a minimum fare of £2.40 at all times. However, you may find that there are increased charges depending on the cab, journey, and time of day. For example a 1 mile distance which takes 6 to 13 minutes Monday through to Friday between 06:00 and 20:00 is £5.60 - £8.80 (tariff code 1). You can obtain this same rate between 20:00 and 22:00 Monday through to Friday, Saturday and Sunday 06:00 - 22:00 (tariff code 2). Then, every night 22:00 - 06:00 and all public holidays it is £6.80 - £9.00 (tariff code 3). Pricing for taxi fares is shown online using distance as the indicator of possible payment.
Heathrow and Central London fares which take 30 to 60 minutes can have set fares, which will be based on the time of day, distance travelled, and length of journey. Passengers must pay the full fare which is displayed on the meter at the end of the journey unless the driver and passenger set a specific fare at the outset.
Driver Acceptance for Fares
• The driver has to accept a fare for up to 12 miles or one hour duration if the fare is through Greater London.
• Hiring for one hour to any destination in Greater London must be accepted.
• Up to 20 miles must be accepted if the fare starts out at Heathrow Airport.
• Destinations outside of Greater London need to be negotiated before the journey begins.
• The driver usually has discretionary choice concerning whether to let pets into their taxi.
Although taxi scams are not very common in the United Kingdom, it is wise to take precautions and not use unregistered minicabs.
Taxi Fares Government Resource
The TFL website provides up to date information about taxis in London.
Taxi Hire Scottish Government Resource
This site explains the legalities and tariffs for taxis in Scotland.
This is an app for your phone that will help you book a registered taxi or minicab in your area.
An online resource for taxis, T Dispatch covers Greater London and England.
Cabubble is an online booking service for taxis and minicabs.
Minicabit is another online booking service for minicabs and taxis.
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