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Every city has its quirks when it comes to hailing a taxi and Paris is no exception. Prepare for your upcoming trip by finding out all there is to know about hailing and booking a taxi in Paris.
To hail a taxi in the street, look for one with a bright roof light (a tiny dim light means it's occupied). They are not supposed to stop in the street if a taxi stand is anywhere nearby, but if there are none, and if your destination suits the driver's fancy, you have a sporting chance of hailing one. Studies in major cities of the world have shown that taxi drivers in Paris are more scrupulous than most, but you might as well play it safe and fake some knowledge of the city by telling the driver the métro station closest to your destination. Taxis usually aren't expensive, but rates increase between 10:00 pm and 6:30 am, on Sundays, and outside the city limits. If you've been picked up at a train station, hotel, or are carrying baggage or pets, there are additional fees which should be posted on the inside of the side passenger window. There is also a fee for booking a taxi.
Please note that we recommend the largest taxi company below, but note that for political reasons there is a shortage of taxis in Paris and it isn’t always easy to get them when you need them, during rush hour, rain or for short distances.
We recommend a trusted driver for airport and trains station runs, but whether you book your own taxi or the driver we recommend please, please allow plenty of time to get there! At least 3 hours for the airport and 1.5 or 2 hours for the train station. You never know when there’ll be a traffic jam…
Very Important note: If you book a taxi, note that the driver starts the meter running from the time when the taxi is dispatched, wherever they are in Paris. This means that the meter already has a charge on it when you step in. It usually isn’t a lot, but we’ve heard of as much as 15 Euros already on the meter when you get it. It doesn’t seem fair -- but please note it’s absolutely legal and it’s part of the price you pay to be able to book a taxi.
If you need to be somewhere at a specific time (including the airport), book your taxi well in advance; because there are often no taxis available during the morning rush hour ( 7 am to 11 am). i.e. book Victor at the same time he picks you up. Book a commercial taxi the day before, not 20 minutes before you’re ready to depart!
Please note that taxis can show up 20 minutes prior to the booked time and are allowed to start the meter running — so it doesn’t hurt to head downstairs early. Taxis can run late due to traffic so please, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airiport – 3 hours ahead of time or more. Better to relax at the airport being early than miss your flight.
If you call for a taxi at the last minute, the dispatcher will tell you how long it will take for the cab to arrive. It's not always easy to book a taxi for short distances so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get there. The radio-taxi companies favor their corporate clients, and individuals without credit accounts may get short shrift.
If you book a taxi for a rush hour pick-up (morning and night), a pre-booking fee applies. You may also be required to provide your credit card details over the phone.
Tips: Standard tips are 5% to 10%.
We do recommend that you always book taxis in advance — especially for your departure.
The largest taxi company and best for in-city use. There are also several taxi stands in the neighborhood - just look for the signs. If there isn't a taxi at a stand, there is usually an intercome (often a button that you just push on a green column near the taxi sign).