Private taxis - mini cabs and other private taxi firms in London

Article reviewed: 2013/01/18 | Next review due: 2014/08/06

The alternative to the black cabs is the mini-cab, which are pre-booked taxis and often offer cheaper fares.

Mini-cabs are often cheaper in London, however they must be booked, they cannot be hailed on the street. Frequently open 24h/7, you go to a licensed operator and book via phone or internet , with a large number of companies available to choose from.

If it's a legal mini-cab, they will take your name and number for the booking. If you have a foreign name that’s difficult to pronounce, sometimes it’s easier to give your name as something easy such as Rob or Claire.


If a mini-cab offers you a journey without a prior reservation, don’t take it as you may be dealing with an illegal cab and you can put yourself in danger.

Sharing a journey

If you’re going in the same direction, you can share your journey with one or two people and split the fare, but mini-cabs will only allow the maximum legal capacity in the car and any one time.

Official mini-cab companies

Official mini-cab companies pay taxes and are completely official. You can tell this from the ‘TFL’ sticker they have on each windshield, indicating that they are licenced cabs.

You can often negotiate a flat fee for a specific journey before getting into the taxi so you don’t have any nasty surprises at the destination.

It’s likely that you’ll find a mini-cab company somewhere near your house, however try it before booking them for an important appointment, some companies can be terrible and timings and/or losing reservations!

Addison Lee

With over 2400 cars, Addison Lee is the largerst network of mini-cabs in London. With a strong reputation, you can book your mini-cab several days in advance. The booking system is very advanced, with an SMS text being send once the booking is made.

Each text details:

  • colleciton address
  • destination address
  • make, model and color of the car driving you
  • licence plate registration
  • price

Always on time, with this 24/7 taxi firm you won’t miss your fight or appointment!

You can book by:

  • Telephone: 0844 800 6677
  • Internet: Addison Lee (
  • iphone: download the Addison Lee app

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