Unsure about the best way to get home safe from a night out?
This guide explains the two main types of taxi in the UK and gives some top tips for staying safe.
These are more commonly known as black cabs or black taxis – but they might be a different colour in your city. They’re often blue in Bristol, for example.
The driver starts a meter when you get into the taxi and, at the end of your journey, you pay the price that’s shown on the meter.
You’ll see the word TAXIS painted on the road surface and there should be a sign that shows the times taxis can collect from that rank.
Stand in a suitable place beside the road and put your hand out. Look for the orange taxi sign above the windscreen, the taxi is only available if this sign is lit up.
A private hire taxi is also known as a minicab. Private hire taxi drivers are only allowed to pick you up if you’ve booked in advance with the taxi company via phone, an app, online or at their office.
Yes, unless you’re flagging down a black taxi. Don’t flag down a private hire taxi on the street, even if it has a visible license plate and the driver looks okay.
It’s not safe to get in an unbooked private hire taxi and it’s illegal for the driver to pick you up if you haven’t booked in advance. There is no record of the journey and you could be putting yourself at risk.
Some universities work with local taxi companies so you can get a safe taxi at night even if you don't have any money.
Each university’s scheme will be different, but they work something like this:
If you can't contact a reliable minicab company and there are no black cabs around, then the train, underground or bus are all safer options than an unlicensed cab or walking home alone at night.