"The London Taxi" Taxis Tip by film

Taxis, London: 94 reviews and 91 photos

All matters regarding licensed cabs are the responsibility of the Public Carriage Office, who set standards for the vehicles, the fares and service provided by the cab drivers. There are a lot of rules but they provide a framework within which the cab drivers can earn a good living and the public get a consistent service. Sometimes drivers bend the rules and it is useful to understand why this happens.

The taxi drivers operating in central London are often cockneys from north of the river. East London lads plying their trade, ferrying tourists in and around the West End. They are quite happy to do that all day because they can be pretty sure they can get another fare at any destination.

This is not the case if they go south of the River, particularly at night away from were all the entertainment located. They are, however, obliged to under the terms of their license:

'Drivers must, unless they have good cause, accept any hiring up to 12 miles (20 miles if starting at Heathrow Airport), or up to one hour duration, if the destination is in Greater London. The driver is not obliged to accept a hiring if the destination is outside Greater London, the fare for such a journey may be negotiated between the driver and hirer.'

Generally they will try to make any excuse not to go South. 'I'm just finishing for the evening' or 'I'm running low on fuel' or 'I've got mechanical problems' or some other dubious story.

None of this will wash with the Public Carriage Office and if a member of the public reports their Cab number, they will have to explain themselves.

If they do take you and you don't tip them, they can get angry. A lot of bar staff rely on taxis to take them home after work in the early hours of the morning. It is hardly fair to be pressured into tipping a taxi driver if the evening has been quiet in the bar with few tips.

Licensed cab drivers in London earn a very good living by UK standards. They are generally honest and helpful, only a few of them let the side down.

Type: Car/Motor Home

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 12, 2007
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