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Legitimate cabs

Chicago, USA
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346 posts
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Legitimate cabs

So I'm reading through this website and have seen mentioned some cabs are to be avoided.

A bit confused here. Can someone please tell me in detail which cabs do I want to take, and which to avoid? Thanks.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for London
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1. Re: Legitimate cabs

You should stick to the black taxis which are metered and the price will show on the meter. If they have their yellow light on, then they are available for hire and you can hail them from the street.

You can also pre book mini cabs which are unmetered and you will have to agree a price before hand. Your hotel should be able to give you a number for a reliable firm. When they arrive, make sure the driver knows your name and destination.

The ones to avoid are people who come up to you in the street asking if you want a cab. These are often unlicensed and uninsured drivers and are illegal.

Sutton, United...
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2. Re: Legitimate cabs

Black cabs have drivers who have passed a test called "The Knowledge" which includes (and I do mean this) EVERY road in London and the suburbs (so much so that it is a proven fact that London cabbies have bigger brains than the rest of us because they store more information than the average man who only uses 70% of his brain!) so are value for money- if you ring the TFL phone-line they can let you know if your local mini-cab (normal non-black cab) is licensed within the law!

london
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3. Re: Legitimate cabs

What's the TFl phoneline?

I find the other problem with minicab firms is that drivers often only know a small area of the city, and you end up having to direct them yourself - no use if you're a stranger here.

London, England
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4. Re: Legitimate cabs

Hickney, TFL = Transport for London.

Yep as Mick said, always either hail a black cab or pre-book a car through a licensed minicab operator - never hail or agree to get into anything that's not a black cab on the street.

If ordering a minicab by phone, you want to be sure that it is the one you ordered - check that the driver has been given your name and destination by his operator, and when booking ask for the driver's name as well as the make and colour of the car if possible. Sit in the back and if you can, carry a mobile phone just in case. If you've booked or hailed an appropriate vehicle you shouldn't have a problem at all though, so don't allow it to worry you.

For women travelling alone you can opt to call Lady Cabs (020 7272 3300), or use Pink Cars, a minicab service run by women for women - these companies are often popular with women travelling in London particularly late at night. Have a fun and safe trip.

Annapolis, MD, USA
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196 posts
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5. Re: Legitimate cabs

Taxi drivers world wide have been shown to have larger hypothalmus than the rest of the general public. It's the storage area for things directional...very active in the profession...

Just sharing my experiences re: "The Knowledge"...we grabbed a Black Cab in Camden Town after a day of errands and laundry...La Gaffe was our destination...in Heath St...Hampstead. He professed no idea of the street or hotel. I was not impressed.

I have driven Taxis in 3 cities, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Seattle...so I have more than a passing interest in this profession.

Chicago, Illinois
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396 posts
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6. Re: Legitimate cabs

I noticed many cabs in London are painted with slogans, art work, or just painted in different colors, and they have a meter. Are these considered to be the "Black Cabs"? Also, what are the older model cabs with a word (something like "Freelife", cannot remember exactly) written on a boot?

Although I love the British cab as an auto, my experience with London cabbies is a negative one. I took a cab from my hotel twice, and was given a run around both times. Most likely one is treated differently when taking a cab from a street to non-hotel destination. Will try next time...

Watford
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for London
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7. Re: Legitimate cabs

Dimitry,

Black cabs is the generic term. Many of them are indeed plastered with ads especially at the moment for the 2012 Olympic bid.

Sorry to hear you were ripped off. Most cabbies are fine upstanding gentlemen with a language to match!

Serously, if you think you have been given the run around, you can report them to the licenceing authority or just don't give them a tip - then you will hear language!!

Sutton, United...
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8. Re: Legitimate cabs

The latest Christmas campaign has been "Never go with an unlicensed mini-cab" which turns into "Rapist" because ANYONE can become a mini-cab driver as no references are required just the ability to drive!