Taxis in Paris: Overview
Paris taxis don’t have a unique vehicle color but can be identified by the “TAXI Parisien” roof light, the fare poster on their back window, the black plate on their front side with their parking number in red, along with the taximeter and the taxi’s license inside the cab. Overall, they are a fair alternative to the efficient and adequate city’s public transportation. Even if they are considerably pricier than buses, trains, and subways, they offer comfortable and direct transfer services to the exact location of the passenger’s destination. Hence, which are the pros and cons of hiring a taxi in Paris?
|Taxis Pros||Taxis Cons|
|They are easy to be found, especially at one of the 500 Paris taxi ranks.||Travelers who opt for individual unlicensed taxis get overcharged.|
|They offer safe transfer services.||The traffic levels affect the final prices.|
|They drop off their passengers at their exact desired location.||During peak hours or in case of heavy rain, taxis may be difficult to find.|
|They are handy for travelers who don’t speak French and feel stressed about using Paris public transportation.||Most taxi drivers don’t speak English well (or at all).|
|They are of the utmost convenience when carrying heavy luggage or travelling with children.|
Paris Taxi Fares
Taxis in Paris are metered, meaning that their fares are calculated by their taximeter according to the journey’s distance and time (exempt for airport transfers to Paris downtown, which have set rates). In any case, the rates are implied by the French government, and each taxi vehicle and taxi company is bound to apply them. In detail, the starting fare for taxi rides is 2.60€/2.60$ while the minimum fee (regardless of the distance) is 7.30€/7.30$. From that point, there are 3 types of rates:
- Rate A: 1.13€/1.13$/km – Waiting time: 35.11€/35.11$/hour
- Rate B: 1.47€/1.47$/km – Waiting time: 45.95€/45.95$/hour
- Rate C: 1.66€/1.66$/km – Waiting time: 37.50€ /37.50$/hour
Rates are applied as follows:
|Paris Zones||Rate A||Rate B||Rate C|
|Paris Urban Area (Red Zone)||Monday-Saturday: 10:00am-05:00pm||i. Monday-Saturday: 05:00pm-10:00am |
ii. Sundays: 07:00am-12:00pm
|Paris Suburban Area (Blue Zone)||-||Monday-Saturday: 10:00am-05:00pm||i. Monday-Saturday: 05:00pm-10:00am |
ii. Sundays-Holidays: day&night
|Areas over the suburbans (White Zone)||-||-||No matter the day and the time|
Additionally, there is no extra charge for up to 4 passengers (yet from the 5th and up, passengers are charged 4€/4$ per person). One piece of luggage is out of charge. Nevertheless, every other piece of baggage weighing more than 5kg ( including strollers and large sports equipment) brings an extra fee of 1€/1$. Still, wheelchairs are out of charge. Finally, called taxis have a surcharge of 4€/4$ for instant pickups and 7€/7$ for bookings in advance (approach rate). The approach fare concerns urban rides, that is, rides inside Paris and its adjacent suburbs. Out of the Paris zone, this fee doesn’t apply but called taxis start their taximeter from the moment the taxi driver starts his journey to the scheduled pick-up location.
Our tip: Airport taxi rides to the city center have set rates: 53€/53$ for drop-offs at the right bank of the Seine and 58€/58$ for destinations on the left side of the river.
Paris Taxis: Payment Methods
Paris taxi drivers aren’t obligated to accept payments via bank cards. Nevertheless, they should have their payment methods written and displayed on the vehicle’s windows. In general terms, payment in cash is preferable.
Our tip: Be sure to have small bills with you. Otherwise, the driver might not have enough change to give you, and you risk getting scammed when given back the change (especially if your local currency isn’t euro).
How to Hire a Taxi in Paris
Hailing a taxi from the street used to be out of the question in Paris. Nowadays, however, you can stop a taxi on the street simply by yelling “Taxi” or by raising your arm, as long as there is no taxi rank located within a 50-m distance. The taxi driver may refuse to take you if:
- you seem drunk
- your destination lies outside Paris taxis’ domain (Paris taxis are entitled to circulate around Paris and departments 92, 93, and 94).
- you have a pet with you (unless it is a guided dog)
- your personal belongings (including clothes) may stain or damage the vehicle’s interior.
- a taxi rank is located 50m away.
Moreover, you can take a cab from one of the 500 taxi ranks lying near the major transportation hubs of Paris and close to the most central parts of the city. The taxi stands are usually distinguished by a sign with a blue square and the “taxi” word written on it. Still, during rush hours, you may not be able to find a taxi even at the taxi stands. Some of them are kitted with phones. You can use them and call a taxi driver from the closest taxi rank to pick you up.
Last but not least, you can call a cab or use a taxi app. However, in that case, you should bear in mind that a flat fare of 4€/4$ applies for immediate bookings and 7€/7$ for later booking appointments. Still, outside Paris and its inner suburbs, taxi drivers don’t charge this set fare, but they start their taximeter as soon as they begin their ride toward the pick-up location.
Paris Taxi to CDG Airport
A Paris airport taxi is an efficient and practical choice for transfers from Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport, offering fast, safe and hassle-free services. Although more than 15.000 taxis are circulating in the city, pre-booking (and paying the approach rate) is always a good idea to avoid a stressful check-in in case of heavy traffic. All in all, under normal roads conditions, taxis need 45-60 minutes to reach CDG Airport while their fares are fixed at 53€/53$ for routes from the right bank of the river (Rive Droite) and 58€/58$ for pickups at the left bank of the Seine (Rive Gauche).
A jumble of Tips & Hints about Paris Taxis
- Once entering your cab, you should check that the taximeter works properly.
- If you are not given a receipt at the end of the ride, you should ask for it. It will be proven really handy in case of forgotten items inside the cab or if you want to make a complaint about your transfer, as it contains the vehicle’s and the driver’s info.
- The small lights under the rooftop “Taxi” indicate the applied rate (A, B, or C).
- Not all Paris taxi drivers accept credit cards.
- Tipping is optional yet welcomed for pleasant rides.
- Never trust individual taxi drivers, as their purpose is mainly to scam or overcharge passengers (even if they offer apparently tempting prices).
- Unfortunately, a vast majority of Paris taxi drivers don’t speak English. Thus, having the address of your location written down is always a good idea.
- During peak hours or heavy rainy days, finding a taxi can be challenging. In those cases, booking your cab can be “life-saving”!
- When booking a taxi, make sure you are at the pick-up point on time, as the taximeter starts at the time of the scheduled appointment.
- You can choose your taxi vehicle at the official taxi ranks, but not at the airport or train station taxi stands. There, you’ll have to take the first taxi in line.
- At airports and rail stations, there is usually a taxi valet, a staff member who facilitates the movement of the waiting lines to prevent overcrowding.
- If you need a child seat, you’ll have to pre-book your taxi ride or bring your own.
Are taxis in Paris expensive?
Paris taxis are certainly not affordable. Still, they aren’t considered high-priced, at least in comparison with other European cities. Nevertheless, the heavy Paris traffic during rush hours greatly affects the taxi rates.
Is it safe to take a taxi in Paris?
Taxis in Paris are a safe and convenient way of transfer. However, you should be vigilant and never trust individual taxi drivers who are most likely going to scam or overcharge you.
What color are French taxis?
Paris taxis don’t have a specific color. In order to distinguish them, you’ll have to notice the rooftop “Taxi Parisien” sign, the poster with the taxi rates on the rear window, and the black plate with their parking number in red, placed in the front of the vehicle.
Do you tip taxi drivers in Paris?
You don’t have to tip your taxi driver. Nevertheless, if you are content with the transfer services, you can either leave some euros or round up the final fee.