Getting around Paris by taxi

Getting around Paris by taxi

Getting around Paris by taxi

Taxis are comparatively cheap especially at night when there are no traffic jams to be expected. There are not as many as one would expect, and sometimes finding a taxi can be challenging. In the daytime, it is not always a good idea to take a taxi, as walking or taking the metro Metro will often be faster. If you know you will need one to get to the airport, or to a meeting, it is wise to book ahead by phone

Remember if a taxi is near a ‘taxi station’, they’re not supposed to pick you up except at the station where there may be people waiting for a taxi. Taxi stations are usually near train stations, big hotels, hospitals, large crossings.

There are a number of services by which you can call for taxis or make a reservation in advance:

  • Taxis de France
  • Taxi-Paris, +33 014 1276699
  • Shuttle Taxi
  • Taxis Bleus

As in many other cities a taxi can be difficult to stop; you may have to try several times. When you do get a taxi to stop, the driver will usually roll down his window to ask you where you want to go. If the driver can’t (or doesn’t want to) go where you want, he might tell you that he’s near the end of his work day & can’t possibly get you where you want before he has to go off-duty.

There is a €5.50 minimum on all taxi rides, mandated by city law, but the meter does not show this amount, which can result in being asked to pay more than the metered amount on short rides. Frequently the taxi driver will not want to drive you all the way to the doorstep, but will prefer to let you out a block or so away if there are one or more one-way streets to contend with. Try to look at this as a cost-savings rather than an inconvenience. You should pay while still seated in the cab as in New York and not through the front window London style.

The driver will not let you sit in the front seat (unless there are 3 or 4 of you, which is a rare case usually expedited by more money). Taxi-drivers come in all types, some nice, some rude, some wanting to chat, some not. Smoking in taxis is generally not allowed, however it might be that the taxi driver themself wants a cigarette in which case the rule might become flexible.

Many drivers prefer that you avoid using your cellphone during the ride; if you do have to, make an apologizing gesture & sound, and do make a short call.

  • A tip is included in the fare price; If you’re especially satisfied with the service, you can give something (basically 10%), but you don’t have to.
  • There is an extra charge for baggage handling.

If for any reason you wish to file a complaint about a Paris taxi, take note of the taxi’s number on the sticker on the left hand backseat window.

Also if you take a taxi to the Charles de Gaulle airport be prepared to pay €70 or more because there is often heavy traffic. If there isn’t traffic it won’t be expensive, but that is rare. The RER B or a bus is cheaper.

Beware of illegal taxis

Livery or Black Car or Limos- Known as car services or livery cabs, these cars may only be called by phone, are flat rate rather than metered (ask for the fare before getting in), and are not allowed to cruise the street or airports for fares. There are two types of licence: the “Grande Remise” that allows the car & driver to pick-up & drop-off passengers anywhere in France, and the “carte verte” that allows pick-up & drop-off in the department or region where the company is based. The Grande Remise cars have a GR on their front plate. They provide more service than a normal cab

To stop a taxi…

… watch the sign on the roof: if the white sign is lit, the cab is on duty and available, if the white sign is off and a colored light is lit under it (blue, orange), it’s on duty and busy, if the white sign is off and no coloured light is on, the taxi is off duty.

Taxis. Parisien taxis tend to be standard cars (sedans or minivans) so almost all strollers will need to be folded and placed in trunk. Be aware that taxi drivers are proud of their cars and keep them very clean and are not big fans of messy kids.

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