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Booking UK Taxis Online vs Hailing a Taxi on the Street

Booking UK Taxis Online vs Hailing a Taxi on the Street: Which is Better in the UK?

Have you ever wondered how to choose the best taxi option in the UK? Whether a local or a visitor, you may have encountered the dilemma of booking UK taxis online or hailing one on the street.

Both options have pros and cons, and depending on your situation and preference, one may be more suitable.

In this blog post, I will compare and contrast booking taxis online vs hailing a taxi on the street in the UK, and help you decide which one is better for you.

Let’s look at both options:

Booking a taxi online

Booking a taxi online is a way of arranging a taxi service in advance or on-demand through a website or an app. It allows you to compare different taxi providers, choose your preferred vehicle type, get a quote, and pay securely online. You can also track your driver’s location, communicate with them, and rate your experience.

How to book a taxi online

The steps to book a taxi online may vary slightly depending on the platform you use, but generally they are as follows:

  • Enter your pick-up and drop-off locations, date and time, number of passengers and luggage, and any special requirements.
  • Compare the available taxi providers, prices, and services, and select the one that suits your needs and budget.
  • Confirm your booking details, enter your contact information, and pay online using your credit card, debit card, or other payment methods.
  • Receive a confirmation email or text message with your booking reference, driver’s name, phone number, and vehicle details.
  • Track your driver’s arrival, meet them at the agreed location, and enjoy your ride.

Advantages of booking a taxi online

Booking a taxi online has many advantages over hailing a taxi on the street, such as:

  • Convenience: You can book a taxi online anytime and anywhere, without having to wait on the roadside, wave your hand, or call a taxi company. You can also book a taxi in advance and avoid the hassle of finding a taxi at the last minute.
  • Safety: You can ensure that you are getting a licensed and reliable taxi driver, who has been vetted and rated by other customers. You can also share your trip details with your friends or family, and contact your driver or the customer service in case of any issues.
  • Cost: You can get fixed or transparent taxi fares for your journey, without having to worry about metered fares, surcharges, or hidden fees. You can also save money by comparing different taxi providers and choosing the best deal for your trip.
  • Service: You can choose from a variety of vehicle types, such as saloon, minicab, estate, MPV, executive, or 8-seater, depending on your preference and comfort. You can also enjoy additional services, such as airport meet and greet, free cancellation, free waiting time, and diverse luggage options.

Disadvantages of booking a taxi online

Booking a taxi and private hire vehicles online also has some disadvantages compared to hailing a taxi on the street, such as:

  • Availability: You may not be able to find a taxi online in some areas, especially in remote or rural places, where there are fewer taxi providers or internet connections. You may also face difficulties in booking a taxi online during peak hours, holidays, or special events, when the demand is high and the supply is low.
  • Reliability: You may encounter some technical issues or errors when booking a taxi online, such as glitches, delays, or cancellations. You may also face some problems with your driver, such as late arrival, wrong route, or poor service.
  • Privacy: You may have to share some personal information, such as your name, phone number, email address, and payment details, when booking a taxi online. This may expose you to some risks, such as identity theft, fraud, or spam.

Hailing a taxi on the street

Hailing a taxi on the street is a way of finding a taxi service spontaneously by waving your hand or an object to signal a passing taxi.

It allows you to get a taxi quickly and easily, without having to book in advance or use an app.

You can also negotiate the fare or use the meter, and pay in cash or by card.

How to hail a taxi on the street

There are many taxis available on the streets of the UK, especially in urban areas and near popular destinations, such as airports, train stations, hotels, and attractions. The steps to hail a taxi on the street are as follows:

  • Find a suitable spot to stand, such as a pavement, a taxi rank, or a designated taxi stop. Avoid standing in busy or dangerous areas, such as intersections, roundabouts, or bus lanes.
  • Look for a taxi with a lit roof sign, which indicates its availability. If the sign is off, the taxi is occupied or off duty. If the sign is on, but the taxi does not stop, it may be pre-booked or heading to a different direction.
  • Raise your hand or an object, such as an umbrella or a hat, to signal for the taxi to stop. Make eye contact with the driver and smile to show your interest and friendliness.
  • Confirm your destination and agree on the fare or the use of the meter with the driver before getting in. Ask for a receipt if you need one.
  • Enjoy your ride and pay the driver at the end. You can tip the driver if you are satisfied with the service, but it is not mandatory.

Advantages of hailing a taxi on the street

Hailing a taxi on the street has some advantages over booking a taxi online, such as:

  • Availability: You can find a taxi on the street in most areas and at most times, without having to rely on internet access or phone signal. You can also get a taxi faster than booking online, especially if you are in a hurry or in a high-demand area.
  • Flexibility: You can choose any taxi that passes by, without having to commit to a specific provider, price, or service. You can also change your destination or route along the way, as long as the driver agrees.
  • Experience: You can enjoy the traditional and authentic way of getting a taxi in the UK, which can be fun and exciting. You can also interact with the driver and get some local insights, tips, or stories.

Disadvantages of hailing a taxi on the street

Hailing a taxi on the street also has some disadvantages compared to booking a taxi online, such as:

  • Convenience: You may have to wait for a long time or walk a long distance to find a taxi on the street, especially in remote or rural areas, or during bad weather, peak hours, holidays, or special events. You may also face competition from other passengers who are looking for a taxi on the street.
  • Safety: You may not know the quality or reliability of the taxi or the driver that you hail on the street, as they may not be licensed, insured, or vetted. You may also encounter some risks or issues, such as overcharging, scamming, or harassment.
  • Cost: You may have to pay more for a taxi on the street, as the fare may vary depending on the distance, duration, traffic, surge, or the driver’s discretion. You may also have to pay extra for luggage, tolls, or other charges.
  • If you need a wheelchair accessible taxi, then hailing a taxi won’t get you one.

Comparison of booking taxis online vs hailing a taxi on the street

To summarize, booking taxis online and hailing a taxi on the street are two different ways of getting a taxi service in the UK, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Here is a table that compares the two options based on different criteria:

Comparison Table

Criteria Booking taxis online Hailing a taxi on the street
Convenience High: You can book a taxi anytime and anywhere, without having to wait or call. Low: You may have to wait or walk to find a taxi, especially in remote or busy areas.
Safety High: You can ensure that you are getting a licensed and reliable taxi driver, who has been rated by other customers. Low: You may not know the quality or reliability of the taxi or the driver that you hail.
Cost Low: You can get a fixed and transparent price, without having to worry about metered fares or hidden fees. High: You may have to pay more, as the fare may vary depending on the distance, duration, traffic, or the driver’s discretion.
Service High: You can choose from a variety of vehicle types and services, such as airport meet and greet, free cancellation, etc. Low: You may have to settle for whatever taxi is available, without much choice or flexibility.
Availability Medium: You may not be able to find a taxi online in some areas or during peak hours, due to limited supply or high demand. Medium: You may not be able to find a taxi on the street in some areas or during peak hours, due to limited supply or high demand.
Reliability Medium: You may encounter some technical issues or errors when booking a taxi online, such as glitches, delays, or cancellations. Medium: You may encounter some problems with your driver, such as late arrival, wrong route, or poor service.
Privacy Low: You may have to share some personal information, such as your name, phone number, email address, and payment details, when booking a taxi online. High: You may not have to share any personal information, except for your destination, when hailing a taxi on the street.
Experience Low: You may miss out on the traditional and authentic way of getting a taxi in the UK, which can be fun and exciting. High: You can enjoy the traditional and authentic way of getting a taxi in the UK, which can be fun and exciting.

Why choose Tappaxi for Booking UK Taxis Online

A taxi, cab or private hire vehicle is the most preferred way of travelling than public transport.

There are many options available, but one that stands out from the rest is Tappaxi.

Tappaxi is a leading UK airport transfer and licenced airport taxi company.

With Tappaxi, you can:

  • Book a taxi in seconds, through the app or our website.
  • Get a fixed and transparent price for your journey, without any hidden fees or surcharges.
  • Pay securely online.
  • Track your driver’s arrival, communicate with them, and rate your experience.
  • Enjoy a variety of vehicle types and services, such as saloon, estate, MPV, executive, or 8-seater, airport meet and greet, free cancellation, free waiting time, and diverse luggage options.
  • Get access to customer support 24/7, in case of any issues or queries.

Tappaxi is the ultimate online taxi booking platform for anyone who wants to save time, money, and hassle when choosing a taxi in the UK.

Whether you are travelling for business, leisure, or any other purpose, Tappaxi can help you enjoy your trip.

To book a taxi online with Tappaxi, simply visit our website or download their app, and follow the easy steps.

FAQ on Booking Your Taxi Online in the UK

Q: How do I book a taxi in the UK or a cab for my transport in London?

A: To book a taxi or cab in the UK, you have several options. You can hail a black cab on the street, use a taxi app like TappAXI, or book a minicab through a private hire vehicle firm. The booking process may vary depending on the type of service you choose.

Q: What is the difference between a black cab and a minicab?

A: A black cab, also known as a hackney carriage, is a traditional taxi that can be hailed on the street or pre-booked. It is licensed by Transport for London (TfL) and its drivers must pass the Knowledge of London exam. On the other hand, a minicab is a private hire vehicle that must be booked in advance through a licensed private hire firm.

Q: Can I book a taxi or minicab through a mobile app?

A: Yes, many taxi firms now offer mobile apps that allow you to book a taxi or minicab with just a few taps on your smartphone. Apps like TappAXI have made the booking process more convenient and user-friendly.

Q: How much will a taxi fare cost in the UK?

A: The cost of a taxi fare in the UK varies depending on the distance traveled, time of day, and type of vehicle. Some taxi firms may have fixed fare rates for certain routes or times, while others charge based on the taxi meter. It’s best to ask the driver or the taxi firm for an estimate before starting your journey.

Q: Are Tappaxi cars available in the UK?

A: Yes, Tappaxi is available in many cities across the UK. Tappaxi is a airport transfer and airport taxi service that connects passengers with taxis via an app. You can book through the app, and the driver will pick you up at your specified location.

Q: How do I recognize a licensed taxi in the UK?

A: Licensed black taxis in the UK must display a license number on the back of the vehicle. They also have a “TAXI” sign on the roof and a meter inside the vehicle to calculate the fare. Minicabs, on the other hand, do not have these distinctive features.

Q: Can I hail a black cab on the street in the UK?

A: Yes, you can hail a black cab on the street in the UK. Black cabs are licensed to “ply for hire,” which means they can pick up passengers who hail them on the street. Just raise your hand to signal a black cab, and if it’s available, it will stop for you.

Q: Do private hire drivers in the UK have to pass a test?

A: Yes, private hire drivers in the UK must obtain a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) license from the local council. To obtain this license, drivers must meet certain requirements and pass a background check. However, they do not need to pass the Knowledge of London exam like black cab drivers.

Q: Are there any restrictions on where a minicab can pick up passengers?

A: Unlike black cabs, minicabs must be booked in advance and cannot ply for hire on the street. Minicabs can only pick up passengers at a pre-arranged location specified at the time of booking.

Conclusion: Booking UK Taxis Online is the better option

In conclusion, booking taxis online in the UK and hailing a taxi on the street are two different ways of getting a taxi service in the UK, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

If you need a London taxi for your travel around London, Central London, or any part of the UK, then book online with Tappaxi, the leading licensed taxi in the UK.

author image

Mohammed Naseer is the Founder and Chief Cabbie at TappAXI, the UK’s first and only dedicated airport taxi app. With over 8 years of experience in the taxi industry, Mohammed has completed over 3000 airport transfers and helped thousands of passengers reach their destinations. He is a licensed taxi driver and operator in Oxford. He is passionate about travel and providing the best taxi service in town. You can connect with him on LinkedIn

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