Why Take a Heathrow Airport Taxi
The world-famous London black taxis are always available at LHR Airport, providing fast and reliable services. On the other hand, minicabs -private hire vehicles- also handle rides from and to London’s main airport. As a matter of fact, they are both listed among the most convenient ways to travel from Heathrow Airport. The reasons behind this “vote of trust” are:
- the London airport taxis’ availability. They are waiting at the taxi rank no matter the day or time, whereas you can always book your minicab.
- their door-to-door services. No need to try to find the way to your accommodation from the bus stop or the train station (carrying your luggage all along).
- their convenience. You simply head to the taxi rank (or the Short-term Parking if you have booked a minicab) and take your Heathrow taxi. Conversely, if you opt for a public transit mode, you’ll have to find the terminal’s stop or station, take the right route to your destination, and find the most suitable alighting stop. Moreover, depending on your journey’s end, you may have to change lines.
- their safety. Both London back taxis and minicabs’ drivers are background checked and pass through regular medical examinations.
- your luggage’s safety. During a Heathrow airport taxi ride, luggage is safely stored in the vehicle’s trunk. In contrast, during rides with public means of transit, baggage is usually exposed. Hence, you risk getting pickpocketed.
- their comfort. Black taxis in London are spacious, whereas minicabs are all kinds of models. Thus, you can select the right one for your needs. As a result, with a London airport taxi, you travel comfortably, relishing the route, whereas public rides can be tedious, especially during rush hours, when trains and buses often get overcrowded.
London Black Taxi and Minicabs
London black taxis are purpose-made vehicles with spacious interiors. In fact, they can comfortably accommodate up to 5 passengers. They are all accessible and their drivers can’t deny rides to guide dogs. Even though they are called “black”, they can be of any color. They are also called black cabs or hackney carriages. Black taxis can be hired from the taxi rank or be booked online.
An official and licensed London black taxi must have a distinctive “Taxi” light on the roof (on when it is available and off when it is busy), a white license plate with useful info (the car’s license and registration number, its capacity, etc.), and a yellow or green license sticker on its back and front windshields. Moreover, the driver must wear a yellow or green badge as well (yellow if allowed to operate around certain suburban areas and green if allowed to run around London).
On the other hand, minicabs can be any type of vehicle (from minicars to vans and limousines). However, they can’t be hired from the airport taxi ranks but must be pre-booked online or through the relevant apps. Private hire vehicles are recognized by the government as well. Drivers are thoroughly checked too, whereas vehicles must be up to 10 years old. A licensed minicab has its Transport for London license disk displayed on its front and back windows. What’s more, London minicabs’ drivers must wear their private hire ID.
Heathrow Airport Taxi Fares and Prices
All types of Heathrow taxis (minicabs and black taxis) offer similar prices. Minicabs tend to be slightly cheaper, to be precise. Although minicabs offer set prices calculated during the booking process, black cabs are metered. In fact, you can negotiate a fixed price with your Heathrow black taxi driver. However, if the taximeter displays a lower fare at the end of the ride, you are to pay that lower price.
The price for rides from LHR Airport to destinations outside Greater London is usually agreed between the passenger and the driver. Still, the passenger can’t pay more than the price calculated via the taximeter.
The tariff system of London black cabs is utterly complicated. In any case, the initial rate (and minimum fare) is 3.80£/4.40€/4.70$, while airport rides come with an extra 3.60£/4.10€/4.40$ fee. Fortunately, there is no extra charge for luggage. However, rides during Christmas and New Year’s Eve bring a 4£/4.60€/4.95$ surcharge.
Heathrow airport taxis have 4 tariffs, applying depending on the traversed distance, the time of the day, and the day of the week. Hence, Tariff 1 applies from Monday to Friday between 05:00 am to 08:00 pm, and Tariff 2 from Monday to Friday between 08:00 pm to 10:00 pm and on weekends from 05:00 am to 10:00 pm. From 10:00 pm to 05:00 am and on public holidays, the taximeter charges based on Tariff 3, while Tariff 4 is for longer than 6-mile/9.6km journeys.
Tariffs can change during the Heathrow taxi ride. Hence, not only the pick-up time defines the applicable tariff.
In general terms, the expected Heathrow airport taxi prices per mile/km are:
|Tariffs||1 mile / 1.60km||2 miles / 3.20km||4 miles / 6.40km||6 miles / 9.60km|
In any case, London black cabs are dependent on traffic conditions. Thus, high traffic levels affect not only the duration of the journey but also its price. Overall, the cost of a Heathrow taxi to Central London varies from 56£/64.50€/69$ to 105£/121€/130$, and the traveling time ranges from 40 to even 100 minutes!
Heathrow Taxi Fees to Popular Destinations
If you are worrying about the complicated fare system of Heathrow airport taxis, you can take a look at the taxi rates for some of the most popular destinations from LHR Airport:
|From||To||Price (£)||Price (€)||Price ($)||Duration|
|Heathrow Airport||London City Center||80||92.10||98.90||50-70 min|
|Heathrow Airport||Victoria Train Station||60||70.20||75.30||50 min|
|Heathrow Airport||Paddington Train Station||60||70.20||75.30||50 min|
|Heathrow Airport||Luton Airport||70||80.50||86.50||50 min|
|Heathrow Airport||Gatwick Airport||80||92.10||98.90||50-60 min|
|Heathrow Airport||London City Airport||70||80.50||95.60||90 min|
|Heathrow Airport||Stansted Airport||80||92.10||98.90||90 min|
|Heathrow Airport||Southend Airport||100||115||123.50||100 min|
Where is the Taxi Rank at LHR Airport?
LHR taxi ranks are located outside the Arrivals levels of each terminal. Thus, the T2 taxi rank lies on the Ground level, opposite bus stop 12, while the T3 taxi stand is to be found next to bus stops 16-22. The taxi rank of T4 is located on the Ground floor, outside the Arrivals. Finally, the taxi rank of T5 is opposite bus stops 10-12.
Please note that minicabs can’t line up at the taxi ranks. Hence, your booked minicab will be waiting at your terminal’s Short-term Parking Lot. The waiting time at the LHR car park will be added to the final cost.
Airport Taxi from Heathrow Airport to Hotel
The vast majority of travelers valuing comfort during their rides opt for a Heathrow taxi to get to their accommodations. Thus, Heathrow airport taxis are widely preferred for rides from Heathrow Airport to hotels in London. Apart from their fast and convenient services, all their drivers are background checked and pass regular medical exams. Moreover, black cabs are spacious, whereas private hire vehicles can be any type of car. Hence, you can choose the most suitable, depending on your requirements and budget. Despite their many advantages, Heathrow airport taxis are considered somewhat expensive (especially black cabs during rush hours). Thus, it is advisable to check if your hotel offers courtesy shuttle airport services before settling on a LHR taxi ride.
Tips and Hints about Heathrow Airport Taxis
- If you opt for a black taxi ride from London Heathrow Airport, you should check if the taximeter is on and operating when entering the cab.
- Waiting in line for your Heathrow airport taxi is highly possible during rush hours.
- You should ask for a receipt at the end of the ride. Receipts have all the necessary info you may need in case of forgotten items or if you want to file a complaint. The complaint procedure is simple enough. You can even do it online.
- Neither black taxi drivers nor minicab drivers can refuse rides with guide dogs.
- Heathrow taxi drivers can’t refuse rides for up to up-to-12-mile (19km) or one-hour destinations inside Greater London. Nevertheless, they can pick rides when it comes to journeys outside this zone.
- Every time a taxi enters the LHR terminal forecourts to drop off its passengers, it is charged a 5£/5.80€/6.20$ fee (TDOC). Thus, they charge passengers a 5.20£/6€/6.50$ surcharge for dropping offs outside the terminal’s doors. In fact, the TDOC is different for each terminal. Thus, if a Heathrow taxi has to drop off passengers at different terminals, they will be charged the TDOC price every time the vehicle enters a different drop-off terminal zone. If you want to avoid the TDOC charge, you can ask to be dropped off at the Long-term Parking Lot of your terminal and catch the free airport shuttle.
- In London, tipping is optional. Hence, you don’t have to tip your Heathrow airport taxi driver. Still, rounding up the fare is a common practice.
How much does a taxi from Heathrow cost?
The taxi fares in London are complicated. Verily, black cabs charge according to the traversed distance, the time of the day, and the traveling duration. Overall, a 50-70-minute ride to downtown London via a Heathrow airport taxi costs around 80£/92.10€/98.90$. In any case, prices are dependent on traffic. On the other hand, minicabs have set fares, somewhat lower than London black cabs.
Can you get a cab at Heathrow?
Heathrow airport taxis are lining up at the taxi ranks located outside the Arrivals hall of each LHR terminal. On the other hand, minicabs -available only if pre-booked- wait for their passengers at the terminals’ Short-term Parking Lots.
How long does it take to get a taxi at Heathrow?
Heathrow taxis are always available at the official taxi ranks (but you’ll have to book a minicab). Thus, you won’t face any difficulties in catching your black taxi to your final destination. Still, during rush hours, the number of Heathrow airport taxis waiting at the taxi stands is usually limited. Hence, you may have to wait in line for your cab.