Features of the taxis in Paris

Taking a taxi in Paris can be difficult when we do not know how they look like: the color of the bodywork, if they carry the typical triangle that says the word “TAXI” in the roof of the car, the routes that they take, and the ones that don’t, among other taxi characteristics that we can see in the taxis of our country and we compare with the Parisian taxis at the moment of walking around the beautiful Parisian streets.

In this article we are going to learn about how the taxis in Paris are and we are going to answer some questions about them. Because, as tourists, we have to count with taxis services in a point (or many) of our trip in Paris.

Taxis in Paris are well known among many citizens and tourists for providing incredible and wonderful services. Many people ensure that generally Parisian taxi drivers are polite and gentle. They tend to be polite with the tourists most of the time, especially when they notice that the tourists do not know the city and that they know plenty of help in order to know the city without getting lost. Usually, tourists tend to say that finding a taxi in Paris is simple and easy, that there are not issues with it and that they are responsible with their jobs. Tourists say that taxi drivers will take you and bring you anywhere and they will do it with the interest of providing a good service. Although, sometimes there are some exceptions, but the majority of people who come to Paris as tourists agree in something: taxi services in Paris are easy to find and they will ensure you a good, safe and delightful trip to every part of the city.

“Taxi drivers are extremely helpful in Paris, seriously. Since I got here, I haven’t had any problem with any taxi driver, they even help me a lot when I have problems. The other day I got lost in a street that was near the Eiffel Tower, I don’t know what was the name and I don’t know how I got there, and the thing is that, as I couldn’t speak French, I just saw a taxi driver and told him “Eiffel Tower, Eiffel Tower?” and he realized from my tone of voice that I was lost. He gave me directions in English, an English with a French accent, but he did his best to express the message in a clearly manner, and he then asked me what was the hotel where I was staying. And when he said that I had an expression of happiness in my face, because what I was really expecting in that moment was to get to my hotel as soon as possible. So, I answered him and he offered me to give me a ride, completely free, to my hotel. He was really nice! I mean, completely free! After some minutes I was at my hotel and I was trying to pay him, but he refused, and instead he just told me: ‘I was not doing my job, I was just helping someone who needed help’. And the only thing I could say at that moment was ‘merci’. And then he left as he was saying ‘De rien!'” said an American man who was in Paris three years ago and was asked about Taxi drivers in Paris. 

They are also considered as the best way of moving around the city for many people. And that is something that many tourists have on mind while travelling to Paris, or to another French city. For example, it is easy for them to take a taxi on the street or just ask for a taxi service by phone, and make an arrangement in order for the taxi to pick the passenger or passengers up in the hotel. They can easily take them to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc of the Triumph, the Louvre Museum, the Gardens of Luxembourg, the Moline Rouge, or any other attraction or touristic place of the city. And then, when the passenger or passengers need to return to the hotel, they just simply call a taxi again or, take one of the thousands taxis that are spread in the city, especially in those touristic places.

It is easy to find taxis in Paris, and this is due to the fact that they are distributed around the city, and it is something well known, because, as Paris is one of the most popular cities for tourists to visit in the world, then tourists will be distributed around the city, as well. Especially in the most popular and touristic places of the city, those that make Paris a city with a beautiful set of cultural and social attractions and monuments, the city of lights, the city of romance, the city of love, the perfect corner of lovers in France.

Some of the things that we can firstly identify in the taxis in Paris are the models of the cars that are used to provide the taxi services.

France is considered as one of the first countries in introducing the taxis services, however, when this happened, the only models were the ones that consisted on a carriage being moved for horses. On the other hand, in the present, in Paris the majority of models of cars that are used to provide taxis services have been on the streets since the past century. Peugeot cars started to be part of the French system of taxi services since the 90s, and an example of these models is the Peugeot 406. Other models of taxis used in the streets of the French cities are from brands such as Škoda, Toyota, Citroën and Renault. They do not have a specific color, they can vary in colors.

Also, in these characteristics, Germany has an important role to play. Germanyis known as country that has one of the best economies in the world, and with this, it brings a great offer in the public transportation, but, of course, taxis services are still a better manner of transport that ensures people going from one place to another in a short matter of time, although they are expensive. People who can afford these services can see vehicles of a “high level”. In general, they are cars of German brands such as Mercedes Benz, Opel and Volkswagen, and they are identified with a color beige.In the case of Paris, these models of cars are used in many parts of the city, to offer and provide exclusive and fancy taxi services that in some cases, are taken for famous and important people such as actors, musicians, politicians, artists, among others.The color of these luxury cars in Paris is black, most of the time, but it can vary, as well.

“They are easy to identify, and it is simple to find them on any touristic or crowded place.” said a man when he arrived in Paris for his first time. “I love the luxury ones, Mercedes with a beautiful and fancy black color, I wanted to travel in those cars, but my wife didn’t let me because they are expensive and all that. But I didn’t care, I told her that I was onmy vacations and I wanted to travel as I was an important person. So we took those taxis the most of the times that we needed to go from one place to another, and we travelled as kings. My wife ended up loving those taxis! That was the most incredible thing about my trip in Paris, she agreed with me on something!”

It is a little bit cliché for taxis to have a little triangle on the roof that says the word “TAXI”, many taxis around the world have them, and probably some of the taxis of your country have them, as well. And well, of course, taxi drivers in Paris also have to put an illuminated triangle with the word “TAXI” or “Taxi Parisien” in their cars, but they turn the triangle on when they are occupied by a passenger or more passengers. On the other hand, when they are not carrying any passenger or passengers, then they turn the triangle off in order for passengers around the city know that the taxi is available to provide services. This is something helpful, mostly at nights, when people require a taxi service because they want to get to their homes as soon as possible, and if they see a taxi with the non-illuminated triangle, then the passengers would know that the specific taxi can offer the service.

Taxis are supposed to have a taximeter device inside, this is something obligatory (in some instances) in the system of providing taxi services, and the driver must turn it on at the beginning of the service, when he starts driving to the passenger’s destination. It is well known that there are some taxi drivers that turn the taximeter on before the service without the passenger notices, in order to charge more money. Also, some of them manipulate the taximeter to work in a different way than the correct one, this makes that the passenger pay more for the service without knowing that the taximeter is tricked. Some countries do not have the system of having a taximeter in the vehicle.

Another thing that is included on the Parisian taxis are the GPS device, this is another thing that every car that provide taxis services must have, in order to guarantee the safety of the passengers, either if they are Parisian citizens, French citizens from other cities, foreigners from European or non-European countries or simply tourists, they deserve to be in a car that ensures the availability of a GPS device. Not having it or not using it at the moment of providing the services can generate distrust from the passengers to the driver.

There are many kinds of taxis, and not just on the streets, but in the water. And this is possible thanks to the new implementation of the new aqua taxis that started to work on September of this year. They are more expensive services, but they ensure a rapid and relax trip, with good benefits for the environment, without the stressful fact of waiting on the heavy traffic of the Parisian streets that can sometimes appear in some specific moments and places of the city.

“Aqua taxis are so perfect! They are an incredible way of knowing the city, from the water, and that is always that really makes me happy, and it is that having the opportunity of living this experience is really incredible.” said a Parisian woman when she was asked about the new aqua taxis.

In the characteristics of taxis in Paris there is also something very important that needs to be noted: the prices of the services. Commonly, the required rate in the beginning of the taxi service varies between 2 € and 4 €; and the minimum rate for service is in the rank of 5.20 € or 7.10 € including all its supplements. This is something really important, because it means that all the services, without exception, must be of 5.20 € minimum, without taking in count the duration of the destination. The rate for each kilometer from Monday to Saturday using the rate A from 10:00 to 17:00 varies between 0.96 and 1.07 €. On the other hand, the rate for each kilometer from Monday to Saturday using the rate B from 10:00 to 17:00 has a price that varies between 1.17 and 1.29 € and on Sundays the price varies from 1.21 and 1.29 € from 07:00 to 00:00. Yet, the rate C is known for being applied only on Sundays and it has a price that can be either 1.47 € or 1.56 € from 00:00 to 07:00. The supplements can be charged for being four passengers, having a pet, having luggage that weights more than 5 kilos and more. Also, taxi drivers generally do not accept credit cards or related ways of payments, the cash is required to pay the services.

These are the most important features of taxis in Paris that we, tourists or people who dream in going to the city of lights, have to take on mind.