Wednesday, 20 Oct 2021

Brits abide by a strict code of ‘taxi etiquette’ – including no food in a cab

Millions of Brits abide by a strict code of "taxi etiquette", including never eating food, having cash ready – and asking drivers to stop if they’re about to vomit.

A study of 2,000 cab users found one in four know never to complain about the fare, while 15 percent don’t think it’s polite to ask for the radio station to be changed.

However, having spent so long away from taxis and nights out, four in ten adults admit to feeling "anxious" about hopping in one again for the first time.

For a tenth of those polled, it’s been so long since they taxied anywhere, they can’t even remember the last time they did it.

And 46 percent worry they have forgotten the correct etiquette for using taxis.

The research was commissioned by The Taxi Centre, whose spokesman said: “Up until 18 months ago, getting in a taxi was as natural as walking down the road.

“But after such a long time, it’s not surprising to see many have forgotten the strange little rituals and pieces of etiquette around a taxi journey.

“All anyone wants from a taxi service is for everyone – including the passengers and the driver – to feel comfortable and get where they’re going.

“That’s why it’s important to remind the nation of little ways they can do their bit to make the journey as smooth as possible.”

The study also found 39 percent of adults are looking forward to using more taxis as the world re-opens – with 68 percent claiming to regularly tip their drivers.

However, Covid-safe measures like paying by card mean that 66 percent will be less likely to give a tip.

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On a six-mile journey, Brits would tip an average of £1.40 – and more than half tend to leave a larger percentage tip if it’s been a longer journey.

However, a quarter of passengers believe it’s unfair for drivers to expect a tip on top of the fare price, according to the OnePoll data.

It also emerged that seven in ten adults have no desire to ever become a taxi driver themselves, with 58 percent believing they’d have no hope mastering "The Knowledge" – knowing almost every area of London by heart.

As a result, 46 percent of those polled have learned to appreciate taxis and their drivers more during the last 18 months of lockdowns.

And despite Brits’ reputation for keeping themselves to themselves, four in ten adults prefer to chat with their driver en route – more than those who’d like a silent ride.

The Taxi Centre’s spokesman added: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that has proven to be the case for Brits catching taxis.

“It was also nice to see from the results that Brits prefer a conversation with their driver, rather than sitting in silence.

“This shows that the journey isn’t just about getting from A to B, but has a human side too.”


  1. Never eat any food
  2. Have cash ready for the driver so they don't need to stop at a cashpoint
  3. Don't try and open the doors until the taxi has stopped
  4. Don't jump into a taxi that stops if there was already someone there waiting for one
  5. Let the driver know well in advance if you want to make more than one stop
  6. Make small talk with the driver
  7. Know the postcode of where you are travelling to
  8. Don't open a window without checking with all other passengers – and the driver
  9. Never complain about the fare
  10. If you're coming home from a night out, let them know if you're feeling ill so they can stop

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