Five of the Best: London Cab Companies

Party-hopping on New Year’s Eve? Here's how to get around

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Drivr

WHAT? An on-demand and pre-booked luxury car service. Book via the app or online.

WHY? Get a chauffer-driven car for the price of a London black cab.

COST? £1.40 per mile plus £4 base fare. Minimum fare will be £30 from 4pm to 6am on New Year’s Eve.

PAYMENT? By your registered credit card, via Paypal

WAITING TIME? Book on demand or pre-book up to 48 hours in advance, or up to a week in advance when you book online. On demand bookings generally arrive within 20 minutes

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TYPES OF CAR? Mercedes E and S Class and BMW 7 Series, all with leather seats and driven by suited, licensed chauffeurs.

ANY EXTRAS? Once booking is made, follow driver live on the app's map.

CONTACT drivr.com

Hailo

WHAT? The free Hailo app uses your phone’s GPS to detect your location and find you the nearest available black cab. You can then track your driver’s location on a map as they come to you.

WHY? Hailo is London’s biggest taxi app, with over 14,000 black cabs registered.

COST? Regular cab rates, but on New Year’s Eve Hailo will be implementing a £15 minimum fare.

PAYMENT? Register card details via the app before you hit 'pick me up'.

WAITING TIME? Hailo says that you are never more than 2-4 minutes away from one of their cabs in central London, but we've found it may take a few tries to book one.

TYPES OF CAR? London black taxis.

ANY EXTRAS? The driver will wait up to five minutes before starting the meter and will email your receipt straight after the journey. There is a lost property feature on the app, which allows you to contact your driver directly for up to an hour after you’ve been dropped off.

CONTACT Hailocab.com

Uber

WHAT? The free Uber app uses your phone’s GPS to find your location and forward the information to the nearest driver.

WHY? Started in 2009, and now in 50 cities worldwide, it offers a range of cars from standard to luxury, but all at competitive prices.

COST? Estimated fare is calculated on the app when you enter your pick up and drop off locations. ‘Surge pricing’ will be in effect on New Year’s Eve, where fare prices fluctuate in relation to increased demand.

PAYMENT? Register your debit or credit card when you sign up for the app.

WAITING TIME? Cars can only be booked on demand and there is normally a 15-20 minute wait, obviously longer at NYE, but Uber are pre-empting increased demand by recruiting more drivers in the run-up to New Year’s Eve. Will only pick up in zones 1-2 but will drop off anywhere.

TYPES OF CAR? You can select the car type you would like (Prius, Mercedes E class ...) via the app, which calculates how much your journey will cost in each type of car. LUX: High-end cars offering a private-driver experience, with water and sweets in the back of the car and a driver who opens the door for you. UBEREXEC: Mid-priced cars. UBERX: The cheapest option, which is 30-50% cheaper than a London black cab.

ANY EXTRAS? Your receipt is emailed to you immediately after your journey. You can share your ETA with the person you are going to meet by sending them a live map of your journey via the Uber app. The app also has a ‘split fare’ option, which allows you to share your fare with another registered card-holder.

CONTACT Uber.com

Cabwise

WHAT? From Transport for London, the Cabwise app uses your location to find the phone numbers of the nearest two licensed minicab firms and one black taxi company.

WHY? Saves hailing in the street, or trying to find numbers of the nearest mini cab firm yourself

COST? Regular rates, dictated by individual firm’s prices.

PAYMENT? Cash and card.

WAITING TIME? Dependent on the distance to the nearest cab firm, and how busy they are.

TYPES OF CAR? Licensed minicabs and London black taxis.

ANY EXTRAS? No

CONTACT tfl.gov.uk/cabwise

Comcab

WHAT? Book a London black taxi by phone, text and online via the 24/7 Comcab call centre. They find the nearest available driver to you and give them your location. Taxis can be booked on demand, and in advance, but there is no advantage to giving them much more than two hours’ notice, as the job gets called 20 minutes before required pick up time.

WHY? Avoids the stress of trying to find a cab on the street.

COST? From 6pm onwards on New Year’s Eve there will be a £25 surplus charge in addition to the meter.

PAYMENT? Cash or by card.

WAITING TIME? With more than 2,500 taxis in their fleet you shouldn't have to wait too long. There is about a 20 minutes wait for ASAP bookings, and probably a longer wait on New Year’s Eve due to high demand.

TYPES OF CAR? London black taxis.

ANY EXTRAS? None

CONTACT Comcablondon.co.uk, 020 7432 1432; cash 020 7908 0207 credit card bookings

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