Taxicard FAQs

Find out more about Taxicard below in our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How do I book online?

Making a booking for a taxi using your Taxicard could not be easier. Simply go online to www.taxicardbooking.com, and follow the on-screen instructions to make a booking.

2. Can I see a demonstration on how to book online?

Yes, just go to www.taxicardbooking.com and click on ‘View Demo’.

You can also download a printable version in pdf format of our Taxicard online booking demo.

3. What are the benefits of booking online?

Booking online is faster than on the phone. There is no waiting to get through to an agent, which can sometimes happen when we are really busy. Also you can pre-store your frequently used addresses on the booking programme which means you can easily pop them in on future bookings - it’s more accurate too.

What’s more, once you have made a booking you can track the progress of your taxi so you know exactly when your cab will be arriving.

4. Easier phone booking

We now recognise your phone number when you call in. After you have made your initial booking with us, we link your telephone number to your Taxicard number so each time you call up we know it’s you and we can already have your Taxicard number on screen. This makes the calls quicker and more convenient for you.

  • Here are some quick pointers to help you make your Taxicard booking quickly and simply:
  • Have your Taxicard to hand when you call us.
  • Provide as much detail about where you want to be picked up as possible.
  • Let us know if you are a wheelchair user and if you have a chair with special requirements (ie if you have a scooter or three-wheeled chair).
  • Let us know if your journey is particularly timely (for instance if you have an appointment, or train to catch or are attending an important event).
  • Wherever possible book your return journey at the same time as your outbound trip - this will make it easier for us to fulfil your return journey.

5. Why is the Taxicard scheme using cars?

In recent years private hire cars (often referred to as minicabs) have been brought into the Taxicard scheme to provide additional supply where there are fewer taxis available.

6. Can I choose the vehicle type?

No, however if you have special requirements, for instance if you use a wheelchair, make sure you let us know.

7. What is the difference between cars and taxis?

All taxis and private hire cars and their drivers are fully vetted and licensed by the Public Carriage Office and all drivers have undergone enhanced criminal record checks.

8. How do I make a query or complaint?

If you ever have a complaint or query about your journey, a taxi or car driver, please email us at taxicardgroup@comcab.co.uk or call us on 020 7763 5001.

9. How do I contact London Councils?

London Councils administer the Taxicard scheme on behalf of the London boroughs and the Mayor of London. You can call them on 020 7934 9791 or e-Mail them at taxicard@londoncouncils.gov.uk

10. How do the fares and charges work?

The fare that you pay in a licensed taxi is determined by the meter. The rate at which the meter ticks over is set by the Public Carriage Office. The meter in the taxi operates by distance and/or time. Therefore the fare that you pay in a taxi is affected by traffic conditions, roadworks and diversions.

Fares in a private hire vehicle are calculated by a mileage rate. All private hire drivers have a Taxicard fare calculation sheet in their vehicle which allows them to calculate the passenger contribution depending upon the distance travelled, any waiting time you may have incurred and how much to charge if you decided to Double Swipe your trip (see the below section for more information about Double Swiping).

If you were to book a trip from Victoria Station, SW1 to Oxford Street, W1 (approximately 2 miles) you would expect to pay approximately the flat fare contribution of £2.50 for a licensed taxi or a Private Hire Vehicle (with the exception of Hillingdon & Tower Hamlets where the flat fare is £1.50).

11. What is the run-in and how much is the run-in charge?

Whenever a taxi fulfils your trip you will find that there is always some money on the meter when you get into the taxi. This is called the ‘run-in’. This run-in exists so that from the moment your Taxicard booking is allocated to a taxi the cab will come directly to pick you up without running the risk of someone else hailing your taxi. The maximum the run-in will ever be is £2.40.

So for instance if the taxi coming to pick you up receives notification of your booking and the taxi is 1 mile away, the driver will switch his meter on as soon as he receives your job details. That way he can drive the 1 mile to collect you without running the risk of someone hiring that taxi.

12. How does the metered fare work?

Metered taxi fares work on distance and time of day so it is not unusual to see the same journey come out at a slightly different price from one journey to another. If there are roadworks or bad traffic then you can expect the fare to be higher than it might normally be. The taxi meter is regulated by the Public Carriage Office and the driver cannot interfere with the rates it charges.

Remember that if you ever ask a driver to stop en route during a Taxicard trip the meter will continue to tick over - drivers cannot ‘stop’ or pause’ the meter as this would then require the driver to start again and deduct another trip from your annual Taxicard allowance.

13. Do private hire cars have a run-in charge?

Private hire cars do not work on a run-in basis but do have a minimum fare followed by a mileage rate. This can work out cheaper than a taxi on longer journeys.

14. What is Double Swiping?

Double Swiping is the system which allows you to use one extra swipe of your Taxicard during a journey, thus making longer journeys more affordable.

15. What boroughs allow Double Swiping?

Not all boroughs allow Double Swiping and below is a list of those boroughs which do allow one additional swipe. If your borough is not listed below please do not ask your driver to swipe your card again during a longer journey as he/she will not be able to do so.

  • Bexley
  • Brent
  • Bromley
  • Camden
  • City of London
  • Ealing
  • Enfield
  • Greenwich
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Haringey
  • Havering
  • Hounslow
  • Islington
  • Kensington & Chelsea
  • Kingston
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Merton
  • Richmond
  • Southwark
  • Sutton
  • Tower Hamlets

Please note that the Taxicard scheme never allows more than one additional swipe in any of the above boroughs, so please do not ask a driver to swipe your Taxicard more than twice, you will need to pay the driver for longer journeys once you have exceeded the subsidy.

16. How can I make sure I travel safely?

Your safety is important to us and making sure your journey is safe and comfortable one needs as much help from you as it does from the driver. Here are some pointers to help you ensure your Taxicard trip is a safe one:

  • Always make sure you fasten your seatbelt when travelling. This is the responsibility of the passenger but ask your driver if you need assistance.
  • If you are a wheelchair user always let us know when you make your booking.
  • If you are a wheelchair user the only safe way to travel is facing backwards with the chair securely fastened. If you insist on travelling in any other position your driver is within his/her rights not to travel as this places your safety at risk. You should always avoid travelling in a wheelchair sideways on.
  • Always let your driver know if you are uncomfortable or if you need help.
  • If you use an electric wheelchair use the chairs motors to slowly move the chair up the ramps into the taxi.
  • If you require an intermediate step, always ask the driver to use this (most taxis have them) and use the grab handles in taxis to help you board the taxi.
  • You should not expect your driver to help you from inside your home. Drivers are only allowed to assist you from your door to the taxi and cannot come into your home to help you out of your chairs or down stairs. If you need additional caring in your home please raise this with your local authority.

17. Do the drivers receive training?

Since 2004 all taxi drivers joining Computer Cab plc have to undergo Disability Awareness Training. This includes learning how to load and secure wheelchairs as well as offering assistance and providing good customer service. Computer Cab the only taxi circuit to provide this level of service to its drivers and customers.

In 2006 Computer Cab won the Platinum Access Equality Award from Scope, one of the UK’s leading disability organisations, in recognition of the excellent level of service we provide to passengers with a diverse range of physical and sensory impairments.

In addition, all our taxi drivers are provided with handy disability guidance notes to help them help you even more. These notes are kept by the driver in his/her taxi for easy reference.

All private hire car companies (minicab operators) who wish to be part of the Taxicard scheme must undergo extensive PATS (Passenger Assistance Training Scheme) which is delivered by Computer Cab plc - a recognised PATS training provider. PATS was developed by MIDAS and is a nationally recognised qualification. The aim of PATS is to improve safety standards for people who need assistance, care and supervision on the move.

This gives private hire operators extra training and skills to make sure you get the high level of service the Taxicard scheme demands.

Managing Quality

ComCab holds the Quality Standard ISO 9001: 2000 for our entire business operation.

We undergo several independent audits each year to ensure we maintain this excellent standard.

We also extend our quality management expertise to any private hire car operators who undertake Taxicard trips and this includes auditing the operators and sometimes utilising ‘mystery shoppers’ to test the level of our service quality.

Frequently Asked Questions