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help on finding licensed, safe minicabs in London

After studying transportation in London and finding out about traditional Black taxis, licensed minicabs, and gypsy cabs, I have been trying unsuccessfully (not to mention thoroughly frightened) to find list of legitimate minicabs or at least link for this--but each time I search so many ads come up for different cabs, etc., that it is really confusing. It states that the hotel concierge can supply you with list--I have contacted my hotel twice for this and never heard. I read that you can only call these legit minicabs and when they pick you up they are to give YOU the address you requested and a password you have chosen--fine, great--but how do I find out how to contact such a company, and which ones are there?

Thank you for your expert advice.

Evelyn Smith

Posted by
6338 posts

Agree with Emma. STOP reading whatever you have you been reading that is frightening you about cabs in London. I've been traveling to London since 1972. Most often solo trips. Many cab rides. Day and night. Nary a problem. Do you intend to use cabs as transport the entire time you are in London. A little more clarity from you and we'll be happy to provide advice.

Posted by
12 posts

this is the website I studied: http://www.britainexpress.com/London/taxis.htm go to 'TAXI TRIVIA' and then under there, 'MINICABS', and under that 'PLEASE BE WARNED'-- here it explains about 'GYPSY CABS'

and this link was on there that I followed up on for safety--https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/safety/staying-safe click on taxis and minicabs

check out https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/safer-travel and scroll to bottom of page and click on video--every woman traveling in London or other big cities need to see this

Posted by
6338 posts

And? If you are staying at a hotel (given your original post I suspect you are) they can call a cab for you. Will be totally safe. Secondly is it your intent to use cabs as your main mode of transport instead of a bus, the London underground or your own two feet? Are you trying to save money and not use a Black Cab?

Posted by
3458 posts

" In the past it was not uncommon for a mini cab driver to get a bit lost because they don't have the "world famous knowledge" of a black cab driver " - For those of you unfamiliar with " The Knowledge " , take the time and watch this wonderful film from 1979 by the great English writer , Jack Rosenthal -- https://youtu.be/rlMMK_PIzUs

Posted by
1010 posts

We have never had problems with any cabs in London. The drivers are always courteous. It is extremely safe there. Plus all the drivers must pass a strict test before receiving their licenses. We feel the taxi always take the fastest routes also, You can also contact "Blacklane.com" if you want a prearranged pick up. You are then guaranteed the total price before travelling.

Posted by
3336 posts

I've used Green Tomato in London and have had good experiences. They have an app you download on your phone and they will pick you up within minutes. You can also book a car in advance...had a 4AM pickup in east London and they were right on time!

Posted by
2658 posts

There is no reason on earth to be scared to use a black cab. Before a person can become a black cab driver he/she has to pass a back ground check, medical assessment, plus mentoring hundreds of routes, it takes an average person between 2-4 years of studying, then they have to pass "The Knowledge" a test which is amongst the hardest to pass in the world. Have been to London many times, have used a black cab on each trip and never a problem.

Posted by
9363 posts

I have used Uber several times, but the tricky thing is whether or not there will be a car at that time (since Uber drivers can drive when they want). You won't know until you request one.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you for this wealth of information. I will definitely refer to it and use many modes of transportation in London and feel safe now. I am not afraid of the Black Taxis, not at all, was just researching to see if the minicabs were more economical and as safe as the Black taxis which are so iconic of London.

Evelyn Smith

Posted by
1010 posts

I recommended "Blacklane.com" above. They are very trustworthy. We have also had our particular hotel book a taxi from their preferred service. You mentioned that the hotel never responded to your inquiry. That surprises me. We always communicate directly with the individual hotel. We don't go through say the Hilton hotel site. Have you tried sending an email directly to the hotel reservations dept.?

Posted by
10053 posts

We have used Hailo twice now to get a cab in the early AM -- a legal Black Cab. In one instance we pre-booked for assurance we'd have a taxi at 6:00AM on a Sunday morning, and it worked like a charm. It is Uber-like in that it will bill your credit card. We like to use the services of the "regular" cab companies like this. Hailo makes it possible to do so in a very modern way. FWIW, on my limited experience in London I don't think the cabs are crazily priced, but I'd use public transportation for the airports.