How To Book The Perfect Cab
Getting from one place to another in the UK is becoming increasingly difficult. The rail network is not always reliable, the tube is crowded and bus lanes are mired in traffic. Using the taxi and private car hire industry can be a solution to these difficulties. Using a taxi can be easier whether hailing one in the street or pre-booking for a specific journey. If booking early then book a car or taxi well in advance and call to re-confirm a day or two prior to the journey.
Why Use a Taxi Firm?
Taxis and private hire vehicles now offer an invaluable service to those people who need to get to work on time, who prefer not to drive at times or who don?t have a car or can?t drive. Using a taxi or hired car helps avoid using trains, tubes, and buses, all of which may come with congestion, difficulties, and delays. Many taxi firms allow the setting up of accounts or ongoing arrangements for regular journeys.
There are hundreds of taxi firms that provide transportation services to major airports, including Heathrow, Manchester, and Birmingham Airports, Gatwick Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport, Newcastle Airport, Luton Airport, Edinburgh Airport and Aberdeen Airport from a home, hotel or other location. Using a taxi means no worries about traffic delays, parking, or timely arrival. If using a taxi to catch a flight make sure to book a pick-up time well in advance of the check-in time. Taxis also provide transportation between airports for connecting flights. Taking a taxi to the airport is convenient and cost effective.
Alternatively, when on holiday, a car hire firm may be more suitable — especially if there a few days free to explore surroundings, discover hidden sights and visit secluded villages, for example. Many will offer a free service to pick up and drop back at the airport if the car is hired for a week or more. This option allows time to explore at a leisurely pace. Prices start from ?30-?35 per day, depending on the duration of rental and type of vehicle.
How to Choose a Taxi Firm
When hiring a taxi in advance, use one from a reputable firm. Make bookings by phone or have the hotel arrange the hire. There will always be a registered taxi rank inside/just outside airports and train and bus stations. In many cities and towns taxi can be hailed down on the street for short journeys — in others, they may have to be picked up at a taxi rank/office. Don?t be tempted to use unlicensed taxis or minicabs — especially late at night in pub/club districts — as this can be dangerous.
Care Hire Tips
If hiring a car for a longer journey/longer period then these tips will be useful:
Be sure the taxi or car hire firm carries insurance.
If the vehicle insurance policy is an EU based insurer (including the UK), it will cover third party insurance in EU countries. But third party cover can be inadequate to cover all costs and it is safer to have more insurance when hiring a car. Check with the insurance company to see that there is adequate cover for the countries involved.
Take photos of the hire car before driving off and make notes on its condition. Before returning the car, take more photos and notes on its condition and sign them. This is valuable evidence should any dispute arise. The hire company should also note the condition of the car on the contract.
If an accident occurs, get a written estimate of the repair costs. Check with the hire company as to what to do next, but a written estimate should help avoid disputes regarding repair costs.
Return the car on time.
Check all paperwork and ask for a copy of the final form. Then no one can change the report or charge extra later. Check the contract thoroughly and ask for explanations of anything that is not clear. Be aware of extra costs like petrol/mileage, child seats, and taxes.
Choosing a Taxi Firm Online
There are advantages to choosing a taxi firm online:
Price quotes are provided in advance via e-mail or the website.
Ensures dealing with a known taxi firm.
No need to worry about language barriers.
There are many trade bodies/associations for taxi and private hire vehicle services including:
The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA)
The London Motor Cab Proprietors’ Association (LMCPA). Contact the LMCPA on Tel 020 7275 7589.
The Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA)
The National Private Hire Association (NPHA). Contact the NPHA on Tel 0161 280 2800.
The National Taxi Association
Setting Up a Taxi Account
By using a taxi firm consistently, they will get to know the journeys made regularly by the passengers and any needs they may have. Sometimes discounts are offered for regular use or regular trips. This also saves paying for a taxi as it is used as it will be charged to the account to be settled up later. Make sure to have the contract read thoroughly by an appropriate person in the company to check it is OK. Most importantly, do check that the firm is registered with an appropriate association and that they have full insurance cover. This will save time, hassle, and money.
Consider using a taxi firm or car hire for transportation instead of driving or using trains, the tube or buses. This could save a lot of hassle, time and money in the long run.