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Those classy black cabs that dot the city of London are just as iconic as the big red double-deckers that navigate the London bus system. In big cities big lines of taxis crowd around all the major sights. Just hang out around places like St. Paul’s Cathedral and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and finding a taxi is as easy as looking up.
While there a variety of methods for London transportation, the fastest and most convenient mode is London taxis. However, the fares for taxis can get rather expensive. It’s not free like walking and biking in London. Don’t expect too many rides to be less than ten pounds. Yet sometimes the pros of taking a taxi outweigh the cons. So before hopping into a taxi, it’s good to find out what’s the deal with London taxis.
There is a detailed system in place for calculating the fees for taxi rides. It is calculated according to the time of day, distance of the ride and time length of the ride. Hence, the amount of traffic on the road can heavily influence the price of a taxi fare. It is also important to note that taxi rides at different times of the day can vary a decent amount in terms of pounds.
The meter starts at £2.20. From Monday to Friday from six in the morning to eight at night, a ride roughly one mile in distance spans from £5.20 to £8.20. A ride about two miles in distance spans from £8 to £12.80. If it’s more than 20 minutes, the price will be higher. A ride about four miles in distance spans from £14 to £21. If it’s more than 30 minutes, the price will be higher. A ride six miles in distance spans from £21 to £27. If it’s more than 40 minutes, the price will be higher. Rides around 12 miles will typically be over £40 and sometimes even over £70. From the Heathrow Airport, a ride ranges from £40 to £80 in price.
On weekdays from 8pm to 10pm and on weekends from 6am to 10pm, fares will be a bit higher. For rides that are a shorter distance, plan to pay one to five pounds more per fare than on weekday days. For rides that are around 10 miles or more, plan to pay more than five pounds more per fare. For rides from 10 pm until 6am, expect to fork out even more per fare.
Things to Remember
Fares from central London to places outside the city require the negotiation of a price with the cab driver. Understand that if it is less than 30 miles, you should not pay more than £80. If you feel a driver is attempting to scam you, simply find another taxi or tell the driver to just go by the meter. With the majority of drivers you should be able to negotiate a cheaper price than what the meter would give you.
If you have luggage, there is no added fee like some other cities have. However, if you book by telephone, there can be a service charge of up to £2. Taxis are not required to accept a ride that is more than 12 miles.
Only some of the taxis are able to accept bank cards. So have cash prepared just in case. There is a service charge of £1 maximum for swiping a credit or debit card.
The famous London black cabs are able to carry a total of five passengers. If you are with a group of five, you are in perfect luck.
Also, the black cabs in London are handicap friendly and have a wide variety of additional things to serve handicap people.
You can also hire private cabs for getting around London. However, ladies and gents should note that there are no meters used with such companies and that you should consider the price before making a final confirmation booking.
Moreover, you should not accept rides from “private” cab drivers that circulate around the various tourist sights in London. If a private driver offers you a ride, make sure to check that he has a licence to serve as a taxi from the Transport for London Department. If you are unsure about the driver or the license, do not take the ride.