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Hopping in a taxi can be a really convenient transfer option for reaching your holiday accommodation, for day trips abroad or even just for zipping around the UK- but what should you be aware of when travelling with young children too?
If your child is under 7 years old, it is always advisable to try and make sure that they have a car seat for the taxi journey, even if it’s not a legal requirement in the country that you are visiting. You can bring your own (many airlines will allow you to bring one on your flight for free), or it may be worth calling ahead to see if your taxi can come with a car seat already in place, even if this means waiting slightly longer for it.
Be law abiding
If you’re taking a taxi journey abroad, then double check what the law concerning car seats is, as these do vary between regions. Some taxi drivers may be unaware that car seats for certain ages are obligatory or will not enforce proper safety measures, so it’s always best to be clued up to make sure your child is travelling safely and legally.
If your child is old enough to wear a seatbelt, then make sure the shoulder belt is worn in the proper place across the chest. It will offer no protection to their head or chest if it’s behind their back or their arm, so it’s important that it’s worn correctly.
If you’re getting a cab then don’t rush to get everyone in! It’s so important to take your time making sure that car seats are fitted securely and everyone is safe and comfortable, even if the driver is keen to get going. Remember you are the customer, and the customer is always right!
If you know you’re going to need a taxi, whether for a transfer or a day trip, pre-book the taxi in advance either through your hotel or through a reputable company. You’ll know what to expect, avoid getting stuck in taxi rank queues and know that you’re travelling with a safe and reliable organisation.
It might also be worth writing down some local reputable taxi company phone numbers/taxi rank directions so you can get hold of a reliable ride whilst you’re out and about if need be.
Do your research
Call a number of companies/get quotes online to explore the kind of prices you can expect to pay for your journey. This means you can avoid being overcharged when you pre-book, and you’ll know what sort of price you should accept if you decide to hail a cab off the street. Agree a price before you set off if possible, to avoid surprise extortionate charges when you reach your destination.
If you find a company you’d like to travel with but have seen a cheaper price for the same route elsewhere, its worth mentioning this- taxi companies will often price match to secure your business.
Bring some small change
Make sure you get some small notes/coins of the local currency required for your taxi journey- most drivers will expect at least a small tip, so avoid having to overtip, asking for a large amount of change (which your driver may not have) or offending, by keeping some coins handy. Keep this change close to hand, so it’s easy to get out of your hand luggage.
Learn the lingo
If you haven’t already pre-paid or you decide to take a local taxi, it might be worth learning a couple of useful phrases in the language of the country in which you’re travelling, such as how to say ‘How much?’ or ‘Thank you’. Not only is this really useful, it’s also polite and your driver will be bound to appreciate it!
Enjoy the journey!
If you’d like to learn more about the area through which you’re driving then your taxi driver could be a great person to talk to! Chances are they will be used to talking to tourists, and are familiar with the surroundings- it’s always worth asking.
Travelling in the UK
According to Gov.uk the regulations for travelling in a taxi with children are as follows:
- Children under 3 years old can travel without a car seat or seat belt but only in the back seat
- Children over 3 years old can travel without a car seat if they wear an adult seat belt