London taxis, black cabs and minicabs

Find all the information you need to travel around London by taxi, from iconic London black cabs to local minicabs.
Two black cabs wait in front of a theatre for passengers in London at night
Black cabs wait in front of a London theatre. © visitlondon.com / Jon Reid.

Key London taxi information

  • Only black cabs can be hailed in the street. If the yellow taxi sign is on, the cab is available for hire.

  • Black cabs are metered, and the minimum charge is £3.20.

  • Minicabs can be a cheaper alternative. Ask prices beforehand as they are not on a meter.

  • Only book a licensed minicab with a Transport for London license disc. Unbooked minicabs are illegal, unsafe and uninsured.  

Complete your London experience with a ride in one of the city's iconic black cabs. 

How much does a London black cab cost?

London black cab fares are metered, and the minimum charge is £3.20. Additional charges apply when you take a black cab from Heathrow, book by phone, and on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. All black cabs accept payment by credit or debit card without a surcharge.

For a full list of fares, check out Transport for London's taxi fares information.

You can tip taxi drivers as much as you like, but most people round up to the nearest pound.

How do you call a taxi in London?

London's official taxis, black cabs can be hailed in the street or at designated ranks located in prominent places, including many trainTube and bus stations. They can also be booked through the Gett appand by phone.

If the yellow taxi sign on the front is illuminated, the cab is available for hire. Black cabs are legally obliged to take on any job for journeys up to 12 miles (20 miles for cabs at the Heathrow Airport taxi ranks) or up to one-hour duration.

Are London black cabs accessible?

All black cabs in London are wheelchair accessible and carry assistance dogs at no charge.

Most taxis have a variety of additional features for travellers, including ramps, swivel seat, an intermediate step, seat sight patches, large coloured grab handles, intercom and an induction loop.

Illuminated yellow taxi sign above the windscreen of a black cab in London.

Licensed private hire vehicles and minicabs in London

Private hire covers a wide range of services, from local minicab companies to chauffeur-driven limousines. Reputable, licensed minicab companies can offer a cheaper alternative to a black cab.

While the fares are generally reasonable, they are not on a meter. Ask how much the trip costs when you book.

Private hire vehicles and minicabs must be booked at an office, by phone or online. 

Most hotels have a list of reputable, licensed minicab operators. You can also find minicab offices on most high streets.

All licensed private hire vehicles have a distinctive Transport for London licence disc in the front and rear windscreen.

Check with TfL to see if an operator is licensed.

Staying safe using taxis in London

Unbooked minicabs are illegal. You may be approached by minicab drivers seeking passengers or offering a service, but these should be avoided because they are unlicensed and uninsured.

Only black cabs can be stopped by customers and can pick up off the street. 

Even minicabs lined up outside pubs and clubs are breaking the law if they accept your fare without a booking being made first. Many clubs have licensed minicab operators inside who can take your booking. Check with staff to see if a minicab service is available.

Booking through a licensed minicab company guarantees that your trip is carried out by a licensed driver in a licensed vehicle. It also means that a record is kept of your journey, your driver and the vehicle.