There’re plentiful taxis in UK. Unless it’s raining, you’re late for an appointment or you’ve lots of luggage, you won’t have any problem in finding a taxi. You can find two types of taxis in the city – licensed taxis and mini cabs, which are also known as Private Hire Cars or PVCs. All the taxis must be licensed either by local municipal or by borough council. You should also check the license number and taxi number of the vehicle before using it for your journey because it’s a legal requirement.
From a passenger’s point of view, the main difference between a taxi and a mini cab is that taxis can be hailed in the streets of UK while cabs can be booked by phone only. Many PVC providing agencies provide their services 24×7 with radio-controlled cars.
In UK taxis aren’t too expensive. In fact, they’re cheaper than many other European countries. Each cab must have a license number plate and driver must have a badge mentioning his driver number on the dress. Taxis in London cover an area of 1,580 km square. You can hire a taxi for minimum charge of £2.20 for first 335.8 meters. If you’ve to go far than that then an additional charge of 20p for each additional 167.9 meters is charged. And once fair exceeds £13.40, you’ll have to pay 20p for each additional 117.7 meters. Extra charges for additional passengers and luggage can also be charged. Surcharges for travelling in evening between 8:00 PM to midnight can also be charged. Fare from London Heathrow Airport to Central London remains between £40 – £70 and journey takes 30 – 60 minutes approximately depending on traffic conditions. If fairs have been increased recently but meter hasn’t been adjusted, you can find a list of additional charges inside the cab.
Mini cabs are a bit different than taxis. As I said above, the requirement of being licensed isn’t a must for them. Secondly, they may not have meters. However, if you find a meter in your cab and it’s licensed by the council, the meter must be set to the rates fixed by council. If there’s no meter in the mini cab, you must ask the rates before starting your journey.
All the licensed taxis and mini cabs must be insured for ‘hire and reward’ insurance. If a mini cab is unlicensed, it’s unlikely to be insured for hire and reward.