QUESTIONS / ANSWERS
About taxis in Paris
1. Run-in charge
Is it normal that when I book a taxi via a radio hub, it arrives with a (variable) amount already showing on the meter?
This is known as a run-in charge. When you request a taxi from a radio taxi hub, the operator immediately launches a search for an available taxi.
As soon as the driver confirms acceptance of the job, it starts their meter as required by law. As a result, the amount showing on the meter when the taxi reaches you varies according to the distance it needs to cover to reach the pick-up address and the time it takes to get there.
With TAXIS G7, clients enjoy the lowest possible approach times due to the 7,500 taxis affiliated to the company. Each taxi has a geolocation system. The search for a taxi is launched among those closest to the pick-up point.
I booked a taxi for 8.30 am. The driver arrived early - at 8.20 am - and left his meter running for 10 minutes, with the result that when I got into the vehicle, the meter had already clocked up a certain amount. Is this normal?
When you book a taxi in advance, your request is recorded immediately. The search for the closest available taxi is launched about 15-30 minutes before the pick-up time, depending on traffic conditions and the geographic sector. It is not possible to know in advance exactly where a taxi will be at any given time. Once a taxi driver has accepted the job, they are required to start their meter, which remains running until the end of your journey.
2 Method of payment
I took a taxi and the driver would not let me pay by cheque. Does he have the right to do this?
Yes and no.
If you do not specify your method of payment when you make a call requesting a taxi or if you hail one in the street, the driver is free to refuse payment by cheque as long as there is a small notice visible from the outside of the taxi to the effect that the driver does not accept cheques.
In future, if you do want to pay by cheque, we recommend that you advise our operators of this when you speak to them to request a taxi. TAXIS G7 can send you a taxi that accepts cheques.
I booked a taxi from the TAXIS G7 radio hub. When I reached my destination, the driver - although he had a card reader - would not let me pay this way. Is he authorized to do this?
Yes and no.
All drivers affiliated to TAXIS G7 have a card payment terminal and must accept this method of payment for any sum of €15 or above. On the other hand, the driver has the right to refuse a credit card in payment of an amount of less than €15.
A taxi driver charged me extra to transport my suitcase. Is this normal?
Our prices allow for an extra charge to be made for more than one bulky object. However the first piece of baggage must be transported free of charge.
What is the meaning of the illuminated letters A/B/C on the roofs of Paris taxis?
They indicate the rate applicable in the taxi - this depends on the time and the area in which the taxi is operating. These letters can be found at the top right of the meter recording kilometers per hour so that the client can check the validity of the rates being applied if they so wish.
I hailed a taxi in the street. The meter was already showing an amount. Is this normal?
If there is a set pick-up rate. As soon as you get into a taxi, the driver starts his meter. The regulatory amount is then automatically displayed on the meter.
There were four of us in the taxi, and the driver charged us extra for the fourth person. Is this normal?
Our prices allow for an extra charge to be made per person for the fourth and any subsequent passengers.
I would like a receipt at the end of my journey. Is this possible?
If the fare comes to less than €25, you will need to ask the driver for one. Otherwise, they are obliged to give you one automatically. However by the end of 2011 a receipt will be printed automatically by the meter showing the fare details and the journey components.
I asked a taxi driver to take a specific route and he told me that he knew his job - and certainly Paris - better than me. I’m the client, I’m paying, don’t I have the right to choose which route I want to take?
Yes, you do. Taxi drivers are obliged to drive their passengers to their destination by the route they consider to be the most direct unless their passengers ask them to take another route. In this case, the taxi driver should have complied with the wishes of you, the passenger.
Some friends and I took a taxi and the driver refused to make a detour to drop us in different places. Is that legal?
When they are in service, taxi drivers are obliged to stop their vehicles anywhere en route at the request of their clients, either to allow people accompanying them to alight or to pick up other people.
I booked a taxi through the TAXIS G7 radio hub. I went down just a couple of minutes late and the taxi had already left. Aren’t drivers supposed to wait for their clients?
Yes and No.
When a taxi is booked without the passenger being on board yet, regulations allow the driver to move off without waiting if it is impossible for them to park, or if the passenger has not paid the driver the amount shown on the meter plus a deposit to cover a wait of one hour.
It happens only too often though, that a client who has booked a taxi changes their mind without warning or takes the first taxi that comes along without waiting for the one that is on the way to pick them up. This is known as a “no-show”.
That is why we recommend clients to be at the pick-up point no later than five minutes after the agreed time.
6. Pick Up
A taxi driver refused to take us because there were four of us. Is that legal?
All Paris taxis are obliged to accept groups of up to four passengers. More precisely, taxi drivers may not refuse to pick up passengers when they are authorized in terms of the vehicle’s logbook to carry that number of passengers, unless the requisite seats have been removed from the vehicle.
Picking up more than three passengers entitles a driver to add a supplementary charge to the cost of the journey for each additional adult.
I hailed a taxi in the street that had no passengers but the driver didn’t stop. Is that legal?
To tell whether or not a taxi is free, you need to look at the top sign: if it is white or green (new signs), the taxi is free. If the sign is off or red, the taxi is occupied.
If the taxi you hail is indeed free, the driver is obliged to stop, unless:
- he/she is less than 50 metres from a taxi rank. In that case, they have to join the rank at the tail of the queue.
- he/she is at a station or airport but is not in an area reserved for picking up passengers.
I wanted to take the third taxi in the queue at a taxi rank and the two drivers ahead of it were very annoyed. Aren’t I entitled to choose which taxi I want to take?
Clients are in fact free to choose from the drivers available as long as their choice does not cause traffic problems and/or the taxis are not being directed by the Police. For example, if a client is looking for a specific vehicle, it is possible they might have to go a long way back in the queue to find it.
Please do not hesitate to use this right however.
After having given my destination to a taxi driver whose light was indicating that he was free, he refused to take me. Is he allowed to do that?
Yes and no.
Taxi drivers are not authorized to refuse to take passengers unless they want to be driven to a location outside Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis or Val-de-Marne (with the exception of Orly and Roissy airports).
Taxi drivers in the ranks at Roissy CDG airport are obliged to accept passengers irrespective of their destination.
If I’m in a very busy place (eg. coming out of a theatre, concert hall, theme park etc.) and book a taxi, how will it find me?
Consider arranging to meet the driver some distance from the exit. Note down a precise address nearby (street name and number) and give it to the operator when placing your booking. That should enable you to avoid having a crowd around your taxi.
The driver of the taxi I booked refused to take me because I had a dog with me. Is that legal?
If you booked your taxi through the TAXIS G7 radio hub and mentioned the presence of your dog to the operator who handled your book, they would automatically have allocated you a taxi that accepts pets. The driver would have been notified of your request and would have picked you up with your animal.
Regulations permit taxi drivers to refuse to take animals, with the exception of guide dogs.
8. Bulky objects
I bought a small item of furniture in a store and a taxi driver refused to allow me to get into his vehicle. Does he have the right to do this?
Taxi drivers are free to refuse baggage that cannot be carried by hand. They are also prohibited from loading baggage or packages inside their vehicle that might dirty or damage the carpets and seats, or leave an unpleasant smell.
On the other hand, once a taxi driver agrees to take an item, he/she is obliged to transport it to its destination.
Drivers are never obliged to help load/unload bulky parcels.
To be safe, we recommend that you warn our operator at the outset and ask their advice. They will confirm whether your request is “acceptable” (or not) and if necessary, will send you an estate car or an MPV that is suited to your needs.
I have a meeting/flight to catch. I would like to book a taxi but don’t know what margin of time to allow.
Consult the TAXIS G7 online resource to calculate the estimated time and cost of your journey. The estimates provided are purely indicative, but will give you a good idea of the amount of time to allow. They are drawn up for normal traffic conditions, and do not provide for traffic problems or other unforeseeable events (strikes, demonstrations, weather conditions etc.) that might delay the arrival of a taxi at your pick-up address and/or significantly increase your journey time. In all cases, allow a good safety margin. If you are obooking a taxi to take you to a station or airport, we recommend that you add a margin of 30 or 45 minutes (respectively) to the estimated time.
10. FamilyCab Service
My child is aged under 3 but weighs 17 kg. Can I use your booster seat?
Our booster seats are certified “Group 2 to 3” for children weighing between 15 kg and 36 kg.
Can I put my child in the booster seat on the front passenger seat?
These booster seats can only be used on rear seats.
Are certain vehicles also equipped with baby seats?
Some of our FamilyCabs are now equipped with one group 0+/1 baby car seat for toddlers from birth to 3.
I asked a taxi driver to switch the radio down because it was annoying me and he refused. Isn’t he obliged to respect his clients’ wishes?
Yes, you do. A taxi driver should comply with your wishes and should adjust the volume of the radio if requested to do so.
Are taxis equipped with child seats?
In terms of Article R.412-1 of the Highway Code, the use of an approved child seat is not compulsory for passengers aged under 13 when travelling in a taxi. So a person travelling with a child aged under 13 cannot demand that a taxi be fitted with a seat specifically for transporting children. A taxi driver may agree to pick up a passenger accompanied by a child aged under 13 even if his/her taxi is not fitted with an approved child seat.
What are the rules on taxis and seatbelts?
Article R.412-1 of the Highway Code stipulates that all drivers of vehicles and their passengers must wear seatbelts. However, it is not compulsory for the driver of a taxi in service to wear a seatbelt.