postheadericon Coming to the UK? What to know about British Taxis, the laws and how to stay safe

So you are set to visit the great United Kingdom and need some guidance on how to get around?

When in the cities, such as London and Bristol, hiring or hailing a taxi is a safe and efficient way to get from one landmark and site to the next. To best use this form of transportation, there are certain things visitors to the U.K. should know. Below, learn what different kinds of taxi services exist, how to employ them, and how the regions and their cab offerings across the country differ.


Ride-hailing companies that use an app to book rides are a popular alternative to taxis and other forms of public transportation. It is essential for anyone visiting London to be aware of, however, that Uber may not be a choice of transportation very soon. According to BBC News, due to safety violations, Uber will not be granted a renewed license to operate in London. If you are a veteran Uber-user, utilize this service when in London before it is obsolete.

Hackney Carriages

These types of taxis differ in appearance significantly from city to city, but what remains the same throughout the U.K. is that these are the only types of cabs that passengers can hail without pre-booking. They also do not need pre-booking to ride. In London, the taxi drivers are required to pass rigorous training called The Knowledge.

Referred to as black cabs in London, these taxis have plenty of space for passengers and luggage. These cabs have ample headspace with a large door to comfortably getting in and out of the vehicle.

In every city across the U.K., hackney carriages are differently coloured and styled. While looking for taxis in Bristol you should be on the lookout for blue coloured vehicles. Taxis in Leeds have white bodies and black bumpers and hoods. In Brighton, taxis are white and aqua-coloured.


Be aware that there are different licensing types drivers hold. A yellow license means drivers are only licensed to drive in the suburban areas of a city or borough. Green badge drivers are expected to pass a more extensive training course and can drive and pick up all over the city proper.

Minicabs for Private Hire

Not required to complete The Knowledge, private hire mini cabs are only allowed to pick up passengers who have pre-booked through the company. These taxis are still licensed and regulated and are a safe way to travel all over a United Kingdom City.

No matter the type of taxi you choose to employ while visiting the U.K., feel safe knowing the drivers who pick you up are knowledgeable, trained, and licensed for your safety and peace of mind.

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