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Using Über in Paris

Is using uber a good option in Paris? We are considering it as a more convenient and hopefully safer option for getting from the train station to our lodging with our luggage than taking a bus or the metro. Rick says in his books that when using a taxi you should keep your luggage with you rather in the trunk so it can't be held "hostage", that taxi drivers sometimes don't like to take a fourth person but are required to, that they may try to cheat you on the amount or the change, etc. Would these cautions be true for uber also? While I realize every uber driver is different (just like taxi drivers), I would appreciate any insights/thoughts people have.

Posted by
3 posts

Uber is a fine option in Paris. However, I want to point out that taking the RER (the Parisian commuter train) to and from the airport is extremely convenient and super safe. I would really recommend this option if you are at all worried about being scammed by a French cab or uber driver. You can simply hold onto your luggage and ride the RER "B" into central Paris. It will stop at Gare Du Nord, Chatelet, Saint Michel/Notre Dame, Luxembourg, Port Royal (on Boulevard du Montparnasse), Denfert-Rochereau, and Cite-Universitaire.

But to answer your question I have always had safe experiences with uber and taxis in Paris! Have a great trip!

Posted by
9888 posts

Uber is fine, taxis are fine. I've never heard anything about this keep-your-suitcase-with-you-not-in-the-trunk thing. I can't imagine a taxi driver here pulling that kind of shenanigan.

Anyway Uber drivers can't cheat you on change since you pay direct to the company via credit card, there is no change to be dealt with as no cash passes hands.

Posted by
2466 posts

You might be reading some older editions of Rick's books.

Here are the new regulations for Parisian taxis, instituted in March 2016:

The metered fare is now good for 4 passengers. Any more passengers pay an additional 4 EU apiece.

There are mini-vans available for more than 4 passengers. Just wait your turn until one arrives in the official taxi queue.

There are no fees for baggage placed in the trunk. There will be no room inside the average taxi for 4 passengers and their luggage, so it must be stored in the trunk. This is also a safety regulation, so luggage isn't allowed in minivans, unless it's very small carry on stuff.

The best way to avoid confusion is to simply hand the driver the complete printed address of your destination - including the Postal Code. You don't need to give him a map, all taxis have GPS and better maps than you could provide. If you always remember to do this, you won't have any problems.

If you're arriving at a train station, there are often scam artists who walk up to you and propose a taxi. Ignore them and follow the signs to the official TAXI queue and wait your turn. Don't go with a taxi who double-parks and tries to "jump the line".

You can estimate how much the fare will be by plugging in the name of the station and your exact address on this site. Usually the middle range is pretty accurate:

You do not have to tip unless you want to, and only one or two euros will be appreciated.

When you get into the taxi, take a look at the meter - if there's already money registered there, you should refuse to get in.

The minimum fare for 4 passengers going any distance is currently 6.80 EU. If you're only going one block, that's what you'll pay.

If you're out and about and want to take a taxi home, look for a busy intersection and wait for a taxi with a green light on top, meaning it's available. Smile and stick out your arm, like you would in New York. Hand the driver your printed address.

I've lived in Paris for 8 years, take taxis frequently within the city and to the airport, and these new changes have made it much easier to get around. I have never been scammed, never received incorrect change (though the driver may not have enough coin change, so it's best if you come prepared with smaller bills). If you want to pay by Visa or MasterCard, ask before you get in the taxi. There is currently a lot of road construction within Paris, which means that the driver is aware and will try to take the best possible route to your destination. It's in his best interest to drop you off and go pick up someone else as quickly as possible.

There are new flat rates which apply to both airports. Depending on which bank of the river you're on, you'll pay either 50 or 55 EU for 4 passengers. No luggage fees, just the flat rate.

If you want to book a taxi to return to the station or the airport, this is a reliable company which most Parisiens use daily: Or, Google the Taxis G7 app or their English-speaking phone number. The operator will ask your last name, your street address and the driver will send you an SMS describing the model and color of taxi, which arrives in 5 - 7 minutes. You'll pay a small fee for this convenience - about 7 EU on the average, and well worth it if you're worried about making a flight.

Uber is just not necessary.

Many people claim that Uber is less expensive than regular taxis, but they are less convenient.
Uber taxis are not allowed to pick up passengers at official TAXI stands, including at the train stations and airports.
You will have to arrange to meet somewhere else, which could be farther than you want to walk. If you are not prepared to stay in contact with the driver, you will miss your ride.
Uber taxis are not permitted to pick up passengers without making prior arrangements - so you can't just hail one on the street.

I'd stick with the regular Parisien taxi.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for the input, and Chexbres, thank you so much for all the detailed information, extremely helpful! And you are correct, I was looking at a RS book from a few years ago, so the information on the new regulations makes a big difference. There are four of us traveling, each with a suitcase and carry-on bag, so I was concerned we might run into problems with taxis. You have put my mind at rest!

Posted by
509 posts

Although we heard positive comments regarding Uber/Paris from other Americans last week, we were unable to get a connection via IPhone. While our Uber App launched and showed our locations, we couldn't get beyond a "Can't connect to server" message when we tried to order a car. This may have been the result of our use of an Orange SIM card (providing a French phone number and cheaper data/email than ATT) in lieu of our standard Apple SIM. We suspect this prevented Uber from making an ID and getting access to our credit card info. Anyone else experienced this?? We had no problems with the taxis in Paris.