How to stay safe when traveling by taxi in the UK

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Travelling by taxi can be one of the most convenient and efficient ways to navigate cities and towns in the UK. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, be sure to stay safe when traveling by taxi. The following guide provides practical tips and advice to help you stay safe when using taxis in the UK.

1. Choose Licensed Taxis

The first step to ensuring safety is always to choose licensed taxis. In the UK, there are two types of licensed taxis: Hackney carriages (black cabs) and private hire vehicles (PHVs). Black cabs can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi ranks, while PHVs must be pre-booked through a licensed operator. Always look for the taxi’s license number and driver identification, which should be clearly displayed.

2. Pre-Book When Possible

Whenever possible, pre-book your taxi from York to Manchester Airport through a reputable company. This not only ensures that you’re getting into a licensed vehicle but also leaves a record of your journey with the company. Many taxi companies now offer apps for easy booking and tracking, providing an added layer of security.

3. Verify Your Taxi

Before getting into the taxi, confirm that it’s the one you booked. If you used an app or called a service, check the car’s license plate number and the driver’s name or photo. Ensure that the vehicle and driver match the information provided by the booking service.

4. Share Your Journey Details

Let someone know your travel plans, including the taxi company, driver details, and your expected arrival time. Many ride-hailing apps offer the option to share your trip in real time with friends or family, which can be a valuable safety feature.

5. Check for Safety Features

Modern taxis and ride-hailing vehicles are often equipped with various safety features. Look for the presence of a partition screen (especially in black cabs), functional seat belts, and, in some cases, in-car cameras. These features not only ensure your physical safety but also act as deterrents to inappropriate behaviour.

6. Sit in the Back

While this might seem like a minor detail, sitting in the back seat can provide an additional level of safety. It keeps you out of direct reach of the driver and gives you more room to exit the vehicle if needed.

7. Be Cautious with Personal Information

Avoid sharing personal information with the driver. Friendly conversation is fine, but there’s no need to disclose details about your home address, travel plans, or personal life.

8. Trust Your Instincts

If at any point you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your instincts. Politely ask the driver to stop at a safe, populated location and exit the vehicle. If necessary, call for help immediately.

9. Know Your Route

Having a basic understanding of the route you should be taking can be very helpful. Use a GPS or map app to follow the journey and ensure the driver is going in the right direction. If you notice any significant deviations, don’t hesitate to speak up.

10. Pay Attention to the Driver’s Behavior

Stay alert to the driver’s behaviour. If they appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving erratically, or behaving inappropriately, ask to exit the vehicle at the next safe opportunity and report the incident to the taxi company and local authorities.

11. Secure Your Belongings

Keep your belongings close and secure. If possible, avoid travelling with valuables, but if you must, keep them out of sight. Always check that you have all your belongings before exiting the taxi.

12. Payment Precautions

When it comes to payment, use secure methods. Many taxis now accept card payments and mobile payment options, which are safer than carrying large amounts of cash. Ensure that any transactions are conducted through official payment systems to avoid fraud.

13. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

When waiting for your taxi, choose well-lit, populated areas. Avoid hailing taxis from isolated or poorly lit locations, especially at night. Staying in well-trafficked areas reduces the risk of encountering unlicensed or rogue drivers.

Also Read: The Best Cars for Road Trips: Perfect Guide to camping 

14. Report Any Issues

If you experience any issues during your ride, report them to the taxi company and local licensing authority. This helps improve the overall safety and quality of taxi services. Provide as much detail as possible about the incident, including the driver’s name, license number, and the nature of the problem.

15. Know Emergency Numbers

Familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers. In the UK, you can call 999 for emergencies. For non-urgent issues, contact the local police or the taxi licensing authority.

Conclusion: stay safe when traveling by taxi

Travelling by taxi in the UK can be a safe and pleasant experience if you follow these safety guidelines. By choosing licensed taxis, pre-booking rides, sharing your journey details, and staying alert, you can significantly reduce potential risks. Trust your instincts, stay informed, and enjoy your travels with peace of mind.

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