Paris Pratique - Taxis in Paris

Finding a Taxi

A friend of mine, who recently visited Paris, was about ready to wring my neck upon his return. I had given him several travel tips, but I failed to tell him that he would NOT be able to “hail” a taxi. Instead, he would have to go to a taxi station and wait for one to arrive, much like waiting for a bus.

If you know this, finding a taxi is quite easy. If you don't know this, it can lead to a missed dinner reservation.

Taxi stations are noted on most maps and they're usually near Metro stations. Almost any local person can point you in the direction of the nearest station.

Paying for a Taxi

On another occasion, another friend was absolutely convinced the drivers were crooks! While some fares seemed reasonable, others seemed expensive. “Why was the meter racking up fees at various rates? And, why did he charge me more than the meter rate?” he demanded to know.

In Paris, the fares vary considerably, depending on the time of day, the destination and a number of other factors.

It's a little complicated, but I'll try to explain…

Taxis are least expensive within the city limits from 10 AM to 5 PM, charging 0.86 euro per km. After 5 PM, on Sundays and during holidays, the fee increases to 1.12 euro per km for the same zone. For suburban destinations, Orly or Charles de Gaulle airports for example, the fee is 1.12 euro per km between 7 AM and 7 PM and 1.35 euro per km after 7 PM, on Sundays and holidays. Meter rates change as the trip progresses from zone to zone.

In addition to varying rates, there are a number of supplemental charges, they include:

-- 1.00 euro for each suitcase or cumbersome object, such as skis, baby stroller, etc.;
-- 2.85 euro for each additional passenger, beginning with the fourth passenger;

The base price for an unreserved taxi is 2.20 euro and the minimum fare for transport is 5.00 euro. If you call a taxi for a pick-up, the meter runs from the moment the driver responds to the call. So, there may already be a substantial fair on the meter when you get in.

Penalties for taxi drivers who do not follow the rules and regulations are severe, so its unlikely that one would risk the penalty. Providing a tip is optional, but customary. Ten percent is standard.

My best advice: Enjoy the ride, don't worry about the fare...afterall, you're in Paris!


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