London Taxis vs Minicabs

Taxis vs Minicabs

The taxi culture has been prevalent in the United Kingdom since ages. We often find ourselves in need of this service more than often. Taxis are always plentiful but only when you need them the most they disappear. Desperate times such as a heavy downpour, when you have heavy luggage on you or even when you’re running late you will miss out on a taxi.

However, the taxi and minicab service is very useful no matter how many times you get ditched. People living in England rely on this transportation more than often. We often confuse the terms taxi and minicab. Let us explain more.

Difference between taxi and minicab from passenger view

As far as the passenger is concerned the main difference between and taxi and minicab are simple. A taxi is a service which you can avail by stopping it on the road. On the other hand, the minicab has to be ordered by a telephone call.

Some common facts about taxi and minicabs

  • Many taxi and minicab services only don’t stick to the normal routine. They offer special contract and account services such as pick and drop for children from school.
  • They also provide private hire facilities which include catering, wedding and sightseeing events.
  •  Most of the taxi and minicab services have a 24 hour service with radio controlled cars.

Taxi services in the United Kingdom

London Taxis

Taxi services are not quite expensive in the United Kingdom. They are actually quite cheaper than many other European countries. Taxis in London are called Hackney carriages officially or black cabs.

You can recognize them with vehicles having a black and yellow beacon above the windshield. The beacon is lit up when the taxi is available and switched off otherwise. Apart from their famous shape, they are much known for the knowledgeable and expert drivers. The drivers go through much rigorous testing before they can drive a black cab. The driver wears a badge which bears his driving number.

As far as the fares are concerned there is a minimum charge of £2.20 pounds per 340 meters. Once the fare exceeds £13 an additional charge of 20p is applied for nearly every 120metres.Taxis usually charge more on weekends after 8pm, midnights, service from airports and on public holidays.

Minicabs in the United Kingdom

London MiniCabs

Minicabs are private hire cars. They can only be booked via a telephone call. It is illegal for the minicab to pick up a passenger from the street. However, minicabs must be insured so that they are capable to carry a fare-paying passenger. Unlike the taxi drivers, minicab drivers do not need to pass the knowledge test. Usually, Minicabs do not have a meter. If they do happen to have one the council sets the fare.  You can easily find a minicab number in the Yellow pages.

If you happen to book minicabs mention beforehand if you have extra luggage. In the larger cities such as London black cabs have the facility to carry wheel chairs. However, minicabs usually don’t provide this service. It is better to mention your requirements beforehand.