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London Travel Tips

London Taxi Cabs

London Taxi Cabs

Finding entertainment in London, be it on a weekday or a weekend is hardly a challenge. You would be spoilt for choice and might need stamina to manage to try out all that the city has to offer.

Getting around London, however, can be a somewhat daunting task for first-time visitors unfamiliar with the transport network.

Luckily, London has a fantastic commuting system that offers numerous ways to get around. When in a rush or travelling long distance, you can make use of the underground’s fast and reliable services.

Those who wish to see and experience the city on a budget should take a bus. The bus network criss-crosses the entire city allowing you to travel for cheap and marvel the beautiful urban views.

However you choose to travel around this magnificent city, do not miss an opportunity to get on a classic London black cab. Budget-wise this is the most expensive means of transport through the city, yet the only one that offers the utmost privacy, comfort and above all speed.

Whether you need transport from the airport to your hotel or simply want to get to the nearest attraction, London taxis offer a great service. The best thing about taking a taxi in London is that you can always rely on the driver to know the quickest route through the often congested traffic and to get you to any destination.

In that respect London drivers are unrivalled as they undergo a thorough training, learning all of the city’s routes, before they are allowed to undertake the job.

You can hail a cab in the street or get one from a taxi rank but a safer and smarter thing to do when travelling late at night is to book by phone. Ask for advice at the reception desk of your hotel and you will be offered a list of reputable taxi companies.

Those hailing a cab in the street can recognise a free from an occupied service by the yellow TAXI sign on the top front of the cab – when the sign is alight the car is available. The minimum charge is £2.20 or £2.40 if you get a cab from Heathrow airport, an extra £2.00 is charged for phone bookings, while journey fares are metered.

There are numerous online services that allow you to calculate the price of your journey by entering the starting point and destination. There is no accepted standard for tipping and you can tip a lot if you are feeling generous or simply round the bill up.

Minicabs are a cheaper, yet equally reliable alternative to the black taxis. Minicabs cannot and should not be hailed in the street. These services can only be booked by phone, online or at a local office.

The latter usually bear the Transport for London logo. Fares are not metered but fixed and you should always inquire how much the journey will cost you. Watch out for your safety and always check that the driver knows your booking number, name and destination before you get in the car.

Two services that guarantee your safe journey are Cabwise and Findaride. Via Findaride one can search an online database of licensed operators while Cabwise allows you to find and book a taxi cab or a minicab by phone by texting CAB to 60835.

Are you visiting London for a very short time or wish you could have your own private tour guide? You can complete your holiday experience with a sightseeing tour in a black cab. A number of operators offer guided tours of the city’s iconic attractions provided by expert drivers. This is a great way to experience London with a private service tailored to suit your individual needs and desires. You will feel truly special and spoilt by being able to stop whenever and wherever you wish for photos or souvenirs

Did you know that…?

… Today many of London’s taxi cabs come in all the colours of the rainbow. It is quite common to see a taxi cab that is not purely black but is painted in the colours of the Union Jack or advertises a certain company or brand.

… Despite their retro-look London cabs are modern vehicles manufactured by the latest technological standards, yet keeping the classic design. London cabs have a service life of no more than 10 to maximum of 12 years. The majority of cabs are equipped with all modern cons such as air-conditioning, electric windows and a variety of features facilitating use by disabled people.

… Plans are underway to equip all London taxi cabs with hybrid engines running on hydrogen and electricity thus making London’s taxi rides the greenest in the world.

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