London’s Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in the world handling more than 75 million passengers in 2015. Made up of 5 terminals it sits 25 km west of central London. Given it’s importance as a transport hub it is perhaps not surprising that there are many different ways to travel from the airport to the city. One of the most convenient however is to take a taxi. Here we’ll look at what you need to know before taking a taxi from Heathrow.
Black Cab Taxis From Heathrow
In London taxis are known as black cabs. Black cabs are the only form of hired vehicle which may be hailed from the street. Black cabs can be easily distinguished due to their unique four door saloon shape known as a Hackney carriage. Black cabs signal their availability by lighting up the “For Hire” sign which sits on the roof of the vehicle. Black cabs use a meter system. At the end of the journey the passenger will be obliged to pay the full fare which is on the meter. If you are looking for a taxi to Heathrow London then you should consider a prebooked minicab.
Currently you can typically expect to pay between £46 – £87 for a black cab taxi from Heathrow depending on the prevailing traffic conditions. If you are looking for a minicab then you will save a good amount of money compared to taking a black cab. Hired transport but they are well regulated and the drivers have extensive knowledge of the London roads. In fact all black cab drivers must undertake a very rigorous test of the London roads called “the knowledge” which means that no matter where you are going a black cab taxi driver will probably know the best route to get your there.
There are black cab taxi ranks at terminals 2,3,4 and 5 at Heathrow airport just outside of the arrivals area. You can ask for help to locate these taxi ranks at one of the information desks inside of the airport or simply follow the signs to the taxi rank. There is also a detailed map of the taxi ranks on the Heathrow airport website.
Mini Cab Services From Heathrow
The alternative to a traditional black cab is to use a mini cab which is a private hire car service. The key difference between a black cab taxi and a mini cab is that you can’t hail the later on the street. Instead you pre-book your mini cab from the mini cab office. This can involve either visiting or phoning the office, booking online or using an app. These days the mini cab industry is also regulated in London with a number of highly reputable and very large services in operation. The great thing about minicabs is that they cost less as they work on a fixed fee basis and they accept multiple forms of payment methods. Because of the competition in the mini cab industry prices tend to be lower than you would pay for a black cab tax from Heathrow. The exact price of a mini cab from Heathrow will vary greatly between different services. It may also depend on the day of the week and time of day. Unlike with a black cab you will arrange the cost of your trip upfront rather than using a metered system.
No matter which option you select you can expect to take between thirty minutes and one hour to travel the 25 km trip to central London and the sights. Both mini cabs and black cab taxi’s tend to be clean and reliable with personable drivers, making it an excellent way to travel to and from Heathrow airport.