Taxis in France – things you might need to know

Taking a taxi in France is rarely just a matter of stepping out into the road and putting your hand out!
In the provinces, taxis need to be booked in advance.

Along with Germany, France is one of the most regulated countries as far as taxis are concerned. The number of taxis is restricted by a licence system. Around 14,900 are issued in Paris and 44,000 in the whole country. Taxi driving is subject to the holding of a licence or « parking licence », granted by the mayor or the prefect.

If you feel that your taxi ride has been very expensive, don’t yell at the driver! He or she has no control over his or her prices.
Taxi prices are fixed by the ‘Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances’ and regulated locally by the préfectures. Prices vary according to region, number of passengers, baggage, animals, or irregular items (skis, bicycles, wheelchairs, etc.). Taxi drivers must have the prices in full view in their vehicles. The starting tariff at present is *2€30 but this could be more depending on the above. A minimum payment of *5€60 is likely to be applied if the distance is very short.

Take a look at bulbs on top of the taxi to find out more about it

When the TAXI sign is switched on and when the bulbs above are switched off, that means that the taxi is free.

If the white bulb is on, the taxi is on a daytime rate A (round-trip including waiting time)

If the orange bulb is on, the taxi is on a nighttime rate B (round-trip including waiting time)

If the blue bulb is on, the taxi is on a daytime rate C (one-way)

If the green bulb is on, the taxi is on a nighttime rate D (one way)

Starting rate (flag rate): 2,30€ [(Rate A: round-trip daytime rate from Monday to Saturday: 0,75€ per kilometer)] [(Rate B: round-trip nighttime rate from Monday to Saturday and on Sundays and bank holidays: 1,13€ per kilometer)] [(Rate C: one-way daytime rate from Monday to Saturday: 1,50€ per kilometer)] [(Rate D: one-way nighttime rate from Monday to Saturday and on Sundays and bank holidays: 2,26€ per kilometer)] [( Waiting time: 15,40€ per hour)] [( Luggage rate: 0,50€ per bag)] [(Oversize/Overweight luggage rate: 0,63€ per bag)] [( More than 3 passengers: 1,45€ per person)] [(Animal (in animal carrier): 0,90€)] “Daytime” is considered between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
“Nighttime” is considered between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
*Prices correct in 2009

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