PLEASE NOTE: We urge the public to be aware of the many unlicensed individuals and companies offering cheap journeys online. Always look for a License Operator Number, UK address and a telephone that is a fixed landline. All London Fixed Telephone Lines Start with '020...' (+442... international). Any number starting '07...' ('+447...' international) is a mobile number, untraceable and therefore unsafe .  Our Telephone number is 0208 27 57 999 and Operator License Number is PCO 891. (London Public Carriage Office)We urge the public to be aware of the many unlicensed individuals and companies offering cheap journeys online. Always look for a License Operator Number, UK address and a telephone that is a fixed landline. All London Fixed Telephone Lines Start with '020...' (+442... international). Any number starting '07...' ('+447...' international) is a mobile number, untraceable and therefore unsafe .  Our Telephone number is 0208 27 57 999 and Operator License Number is PCO 891. (London Public Carriage Office)Public Carriage Office
Licensed Operator 891

Heathrow Airport Taxi
London Airport Taxi transfers to and from London Hotels & UK Cruise Port. We provide Transfers and Photo tours and we are the original online London transfer company. We are an Executive Minicab company.
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A Genuine Family-run Executive London Airport & Private Cruise Ship Transfer Service
and a Private Hotel Transfer Transportation Car Service.

We provide Private Transfers by Executive Minicab and also Private Photo Tours...
London City, Stansted, Luton, Heathrow, Gatwick and all UK Cruise Ports.
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WEBSITE TRANSLATIONS
Espano - Spainish version of this website - Somos un aeropuerto ejecutivo Family-run de Londres Heathrow, puerto de la travesía y
Servicio de la transferencia ejecutiva del hotel y del transporte de tierra. Ofrecemos Standsted, Luton, Heathrow y las transferencias de Gatwick, transporte portuario del coche privado de la travesía, hotel van y y la foto privada viaja Russian version of this website - Italian version of this website - Italiano - tassi britannico londra di Heathrow,trasferimento dl tassi dell'aeroporto di Londra,servizio pendolare poco costoso dell'aeroporto del minicab Chinese - Standard Chinese version of this website Greek version of this website Français - French version of this website - transfert de taxi d'aeroport de londres, taxi britannique Londonres de Heathrow, service bon marche de minicab de navette d'aeroport
Deutsch - German version of this website - britishes taxi London von Heathrow,Ubertragung des taxis des Flughafens von London,preiswerter minicab flughafen zubringerdienst
FAMILIE VAN STELT DE BRITSE CRUISE VAN DE LUCHTHAVEN VAN LONDEN &/HET BEDRIJF VAN DE VERBINDING VAN DE OVERZEESE OVERDRACHT VAN DE HAVEN… IN WERKING - Dutch version of this website
Japanese version of this website. Português - Portugese version of this website - taxi britanico Londres do Heathrow,transferencia do taxi do aeroporto de Londres,servco de shuttle barato do aeroporto do minicab Korean version of this website. English/US Language Translator - Our little laugh at diferences in our English languages.
AltaVista translates this site!
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Reduce your Carbon Foot Print by using London Air Connections Private Hire Transfer Services! London Private Hire Vehicles are tested (MoT) for road-worthyness and emissions every six months. With just one road-worthyness & emissions test a year (MoT), London 'Black Cab' Taxis are currently responsible for around 35 per cent of road transport exhaust emissions in central London. (source... TfL)
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PLEASE NOTE:
We urge the public to be aware that many unlicensed and dangerous individuals and companies are offering cheap UK airport transfer journeys online, through websites and hotel portals. Many are criminal gangs who want your credit card details, or illegal companies who use uninsured and unprofessional drivers who do not care for your safety or comfort.

Basic rule is... if it looks too cheap to be true, it's a bogus company!

  • Always look for a License Operator Number, UK address and a telephone that is a fixed landline.
  • All London Fixed Telephone Lines Start with '020...' (+4420... international).
  • Any number starting '07...' ('+447...' international) is a mobile number, untraceable and therefore unsafe.
  • If you are giving private information or payment details online, check these details carefully first.

  • Our Telephone Number is 020 8 2757 999 (Fixed Landline) (+4420 8 27 57 999 international)
    Our Operator License Number is PCO 891.
    (Licensed by Transport for London at the London Public Carriage Office.

    The difference between Licensed London Taxis & London Licensed Private Hire Vehicles?
    (and which is ...safer? ...friendlier? ...cheaper? ...more comfortable?
    )

    (From this point on all London Licensed Private Hire Vehicles will be referred to as 'Minicab')

    "Dictionary definiton of 'Taxi'... Tax'i (cab) n. Motor vehicle for hire with driver."

    "Dictionary definition of 'Minicab'... Mini'cab n. A minicar used as a taxicab. "

    So what's the difference anyway..?
    Honestly in 2012, not a lot! The main differences between the two competing trades are...

    1. London Taxi can be hailed on the street.
      London Minicabs can not be hailed and must be pre-booked through a licensed operator.
    2. London Taxis are custom made and take 5 passengers (except new 'Minicab' style minivan Taxis which can take six).
      London Minicabs are normal mainstream vehicles used for Hire & Reward (including Family cars for four passengers and MPV/Minivans which can take up to 9 passengers).
    3. Taxis drivers have to pass a complete Knowledge of Central London Test which takes 3 years.
      New Minicab drivers have to pass a much smaller topographical test.
      (Both can Sat Nav's!)
    4. Taxis are allowed to drive in Bus Lanes marked Taxi.
      Minicabs are not allowed to driver but can stop in them (see below)
    5. Both trades can pick up and drop off at Bus Stops, Bus Lanes and on Red Routes, but neither can wait for any unreasonable time for their passengers.
    6. Both trades are vetted by Transport for London and have full criminal background checks (CRB) before being issued a license
    7. Taxis are checked once a year for roadworthyness.
      Minicabs are checked every six months!!
    8. Taxis can be of any age - currently (2012).
      Minicabs have to be less than 5 years old.
    9. Taxis drivers have vast amounts of 'Tourist Information Knowledge and have to know all landmarks in Central London.
      Minicab drivers are generally unknowledgable about landmarks, but some 'tourist' & 'Airport' companies do have knowledgable drivers.
    10. London Taxis have been working in London for over 200 years & have strong Unions that fight/protect the Taxi trade against competing trades, such as buses and 'Minicabs'. (They even managed to stop the then 'New' omnibuses stopping to pick up passengers in the City of London in the 1800's!)
      The London 'Minicab' trade only started in the 1950's, using a loop hole in the law to trade, and have been in conflict with the Taxi Unions constantly ever since. Minicabs were first 'licensed' in 2003 by the London Mayor only about 10 years ago!


    Licensed London Black Taxis explained
    Licensed London Minicabs explained

     


     

    The London 'TAXI' (or 'Black Cab').

    All London licensed Taxi drivers have had a Strict Medical test, a full Criminal Check and have passed a large Central London 'Knowledge' test. Taxi vehicles also have their vehicles checked every 12 months by the government, for correct documentation, safety & roadworthiness and general tidiness! Each Taxi driver has, and should be wearing, his license badge at all times whist working. Taxis can be hailed on the street.

    Taxi's in London are called 'Black Cabs', and are well known around the world together with our Double Decker Red Buses. Being a black cab doesn't mean they are necessarily black anymore - many are burgundy or multicoloured due to advertising! Taxi's are also called 'Public Hire Vehicles' in the trade because the public are allowed to Hail them in the street within London. London Black Cabs are recognized easily by their Lighted 'TAXI' sign at the front. Black Taxis are the oldest type of 'Hire Vehicles' in London, being around for nearly 200 years, and are mainly situated in the Centre of London, particularly in the City and Westminster areas.

    WATCH THE METER!!!
    Taxi's are metered and can be expensive, and are sometimes hard to find at night when you need one to get you home after a drink at a club or such like. They can not refuse to take you because of your destination, or because they... "don't go that side of the river at night!" They can however refuse you if they feel threatened or think that you may be too intoxicated!

    SHORT JOURNEYS ONLY!
    Traditional Cabs are not comfortable, as they are designed for short journey with easy access getting in and out, and have a low maximum speed, and are therefore not suitable for longer journeys. Newer ones are much more comfortable. As a positive point, all Black Taxis can accommodate wheel-chairs and guide dogs.

    THE KNOWLEDGE!
    Licensed London Taxi Drivers have passed a 'knowledge' of central London streets (3 square miles), which can take them up to three years to learn and pass - but newer drivers do often still get lost outside of Central London. London Taxis are now allowed GPS Navigation in their cabs, though some do have them hidden away so you don't know they are using it! This is what makes London Black Taxis so unique !

    NEW TAXIS ARRIVED!!!
    Original 'Black' London Taxis have a great turning circle to get around the city, but due to competition from Private Hire and Minicabs, newer taxis have been licensed without having this turning circle - much to the 'amusement' of other London drivers whilst watching them trying to do 'U-turns' to pick up passengers in the narrow streets! Again, because of competition from the Licensed Private Hire and London Minicab Trade, some Minivan type London Taxis have been allowed - but they are not very obviously Taxi's, but still can be hailed.

    HOW MUCH LUGGAGE???
    Most 'original' style taxis can take up to 5 passengers. However they have a tiny amount of baggage space (2 - 3 suitcases if maximum passengers are carried!) and often are seen with baggage spilling out of their back luggage compartments, which is illegal and can result in a journey stopped prematurely by the police! Newer Taxis do not have this problem so often and the large Minivan types, similar to Minicabs MPV/Minivans, are large enough to cope. Wheel Chair users however can be carried safely and securely by London Taxis, and many have ramps built in.

    TAXI APPEAL!
    Taxis appeal to businessmen in London who need to get from one building to another quickly, particularly in the city. The have easy access, knowledgeable drivers (in Central) who can take all the short cuts and side streets without getting lost. For Tourists using them in London, a Black Cab Drivers' knowledge can be incredible to witness, and many drivers have a great historical knowledge too. Taxi drivers can quite easily tell you what each and every building or landmark is, where the best places to visit are, and even the best restaurants to eat in! Most are happy to give advice and directions to... proud to be Londoners and part of it's vibrant history!

    London's Black Taxi Cabs, particularly the older types, are not environmentally friendly! London Black Taxis contribute more than 40% to the pollution total in London. This said, it is recommended that you take at least one ride in a London Taxi, as it is one of the 'Things to do' in London. Taxi drivers are normally very cheerful and very knowledgeable about the city, something they have in common with the licensed private hire drivers that specialise in the tourist industry trades and Airport Transfers like LondonAirConnections.com.

    Unfortunately this is not so common with the local 'Minicab' drivers, many from overseas who struggle with the English language, let alone the history of this great capital city! 'Private Hire' and 'Minicabs' can be as much as half the fare of a Black Cab!

    See below...

     


    Licensed 'Private Hire Vehicle Services' in London. (All Licensed Private Hire Vehicle checked every 6 months for safety)

    All London licensed PHV drivers have had a Strict Medical test, a full Criminal Check and have passed a smaller 'Knowledge' test called a Topographical. This is not a stringent as the Black Taxi Knowledge Test. Private Hire Vehicle drivers also have their vehicles checked every 6 months (twice as safe as Black Taxis) by the government, for correct documentation, safety & roadworthiness and general tidiness! Each Driver has, and should be wearing, his license badge at all times whist working.

    The 'Private Hire Vehicle' trade is basically divided into four sections...

      1. Minicabs. (Local Services such as shops, clubs and pubs)
      2. (Executive) Private Hire Services. (Airports & Longer Distance Journeys)
      3. Chauffeur Hire. (High-end Chauffeur Drivers - corporate and dignitaries)
      4. Passenger Transport. (Hospital services (non-emergency) , school-runs and care travel)

    'Private Hire' is probably what you are used to in your country and what you would call a 'Private Taxi', 'Limo Service' or 'Town Car Service'. Because of British bureaucratic and political hype, and the Taxi Unions in London, you have to call these types of service 'Private Hire', 'Minicab' or anything except 'Taxi' or 'Cab'.

    A warning about Minicabs (local car services)

    Unfortunately the friendly attitude of the London taxi driver, and Licensed Private Hire Drivers, is not so common with the local Minicab driver. Neither do they have professionalism of the Chauffeur driver. Many Minicab Drivers come from overseas, and this is their first job in a new country. Many even struggle with the English language, let alone the history of the country or city.

    This said, most people calling a cab or car service outside the central London, or in the suburbs, use Minicabs. They are safe, cheap and readily available with a quick telephone call. Apart from the lack of chat or often, the lack of English, most drivers are polite and will get you where you want to go. All are checked for criminal records (within the UK only) and all are insured and safety checked. Also many have free-call numbers. Most local services are open 24hours a day. Unfortunately you can not 'Hail' a minicab in the street, only by ordering one through a Licensed Operator / Minicab Company. Look in Thompson Local Directory or Yellow pages or ring 118 118 directory inquiries for a local number.


    Even with all the licensing and safety features, PHV drivers are still restricted by many out of date local laws which restrict them from trading on a level playing field against the London Taxis Trade. The London Black Taxis Union is very strong, and works in the interest of their members, of course, which doesn't necessarily mean for the greater good or safety of the general public!

      For instance...

      ... Licensed Private Hire Vehicle's still can not use bus lanes, even though taxis, motorbikes and cyclists can, and despite being assessed by London government as a integrated part of the London Transport Plan.

      ... taxi union activists once even camped out on a bridge above a Bus Lane on the M4 Motorway to take photographs of PHV's using the Bus Lane there! Thankfully Police force chiefs told them they would not get involved or interfere!
      (Point of interest: Local buses can not use this so-called 'Bus' Lane either as they are not allowed on a UK motorway!!!
      (Have you ever heard of a 'Bus' Lane, which buses can't use, on a Freeway or Motorway anywhere else in the world? - please let us know!)

      ... Licensed London Private Hire Vehicles' have only just been allowed small signage on the outside of the vehicle so you can recognize it as licensed and being from the company it was ordered! This has taken a five year battle against the Taxi Union, who still want signage banned on PHV's so only Taxis are recognizable to the public. (in 2010)

      ... Licensed London Private Hire Vehicles' have only just been allowed to stop at the side of the road where passenger want to start/finish their journeys, due to 'Red Route' laws held up by the taxis union. (In 2009)

      ... Licensed London Private Hire Vehicles' are also now allowed to stop in bus stops and at Cash Machines* in London, despite opposition from the taxis unions! (In 2009)(*ATM's)

      ...Licensed Private Hire Vehicle can not use a meter to assess the fare - but being un metered can be great for passengers because it means journeys are often agreed before you travel - but it can also lead to arguments over fares.

    Slowly the PHV trade is taking political & court actions against these laws, and as you can see above, changes to these laws are slowly coming into effect...

     

     

    Why are there such different types of Taxis & Minicabs in the UK?


    Unlike the rest of the world, the word 'Taxi' and 'Cab' in London is protected by law!

    It is not allowed to be used by anyone other than the Licensed London Taxi Companies. Since 'Minicabs' have been licensed they are becoming more and more popular in London, and this has got the London Taxi Driver Unions very worried about the effect of London Taxis. To try and balance one side of the trade against the other, the government in London inhibits the Licensed Minicab trade by various means.

    Already the most popular form of hired vehicle in the London Suburbs in the Minicab. Minicabs, or PHV's, are also becoming very popular in Central London, especially with corporate businesses who offer large amounts of account work for the movement of their staff.

    The Licensed Private Hire Operator system is changing in London.
    In the past operators have collected high rents for their services from licensed PHV drivers, and then have not offered enough work in return, making it hard for the drivers to make a descent living. More recently, since licensing, larger operators have taken work from large companies, on account, attracted to them away from taxi operators, by giving massive discounts on fares. Drivers working at these companies have no choice but to either accept the work at reduced fares, or leave and try another operator.

    But over the last couple of years, the Public Carriage Licensing Office has made it known that it will not turn down anyone who wants to be a Licensed PHV Operator. This has attracted many descent driver into becoming operators themselves. This means that they can attract clients for themselves, and literally means they become self employed Licensed Operator/Drivers, thus cutting out the middleman!

    LondonAirConnections.com has recognized this change and now uses only these small individual operator/drivers, because they are self employed and have a vested interest in being among the best PHV Drivers in London, with the quality in service that that brings. We do not charge a rental for our services, but a percentage for work actually completed by the operator/driver. This is fairer and possible the future of PHV services in London.

    Touting: A driver asking a member of the public to get into their car without a prior booking. (Even pretending to be a Taxi or stating that it is legal because he or his vehicle is licensed). Only London Black Taxis are allowed to offer immediate journeys in Greater London. If someone offers you a cab on the street of from a hotel foyer always decline and call a licensed operator. Call 118 118 for a local number.

    WARNING:

    Bogus and illegal drivers are still imitating genuine Licensed 'Minicabs'. Referred to as 'Illegal Minicabs' by the government, (another 'attack' at the Minicab trade), these criminal drivers float around the west end looking for trade. A genuine minicab will never approach a member of the public offering journeys, and unless you have pre-booked a car, you should never accept a lift with any driver. When you do order a 'Minicab' just check the vehicle has a green round badge in the window, that driver knows your name and your destination address.

    The 'Taxi' driver unions think that Private Hire Vehicles using the Bus Lanes in London maybe another nail in the coffin of the 'Taxi' trade as the sole provider of vehicle transport in London. In forward thinking cities like Oxford, PHV's and Taxis both use the Bus Lanes and both compete fairly for trade.

    It remains to be seen if 'Taxis' will be able to compete on a level playing field, as the Taxi Drivers Union (LTDA) is unlikely to loosen it's grip on it's government lobby 'franchise'. It is hoped that they can, because competition always drives a market forward, and there is enough business in London for both types of service.

    It should be noted that there are still a few idiots creeping through the PHV Licensing, and a few licensed drivers with badged vehicles are still 'Touting'. Although these drivers are much safer than the illegal gypsy cabs, because of the criminal checks involved with getting the PHV driver license are strict, getting into a PHV without a booking through a Licensed PHV Operator first invalidates the drivers insurance. SO the message here is ALWAYS BOOK THROUGH A LICENSED OPERATOR!


    Footnote:
    It should be noted that the opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and that it is not the P.C.O.'s views expressed here.
    The Public Carriage Office are the organization that manages and licenses both the 'Taxi' and 'Minicab' trades in London.