Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Coming To Terms

I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I don't own a cab anymore. It's great not to have to worry about anything cab-related as the garage take care of all that. I just pay my £180 every week and go to work (I still have to pay for diesel though). Unlike New York and other US cities I get to keep the cab with me 24/7. The front is slightly longer than my other cab as it's a different model and I wacked the post as I got on my drive last night, no damage, just a scuff mark on the bumper.

There's not really a lot to comment on as it was another short shift due to me going out around 10.30pm.
I did get one comment from an American asking me how come I was driving on the right instead of the left. I picked him up at the Savoy Hotel. It has a private approach road called Savoy Court and traffic enters it on the right side and is still on the right when they depart. It is the only road in London where this happens. This link will explain it a little better.

One little niggle I have with this job is the way people ask you how much a particular journey is going to cost. I generally tell them that it will be a metered fare and next they ask for an approximate figure. Some times I get it spot on other times I don't and some people try to hold you to the original figure quoted if it was cheaper.
This happened last night with a female passenger from Victoria Station to East Dulwich. I quoted her between £15 and £20. She wasted time trying to get money from 2 different ATM's. All the time the cab is waiting on the night rate the meter goes up pretty quick so by the time she got back in it was almost at £20 and we were still a couple of pounds away. She said "I thought you said it would be £15?". I replied "No I said it would be £15 to £20 and that wasn't including all the faffing about with the cashpoint". The job ended at £24 and she was "squealing like a pig" so just to shut her up I swallowed the £4 which I really shouldn't have done. Regular cab riders know how much fares go but there's another breed of cab rider who generally use minicabs which are an inferior mode of transport and often charge a lot less. I think she was one of those.

Well that's all I can manage for now as I need a nap before my shift.


wil said...

Having someone else own the equipment is so much better. As an owner/operator you didn't have the economy of scale to really afford the upkeep.

Now, if it breaks, just have it towed back to the garage and get another one to use while repairs are underway.

Also, that annual inspection that took the cab off the road for 2-3 days was getting more expensive each year.

I spent the weekend reading every entry you've made here and I can see where the headaches your cab was causing made a difference in how you approached each shift.

I think you'll be a lot happier.

Anonymous said...

Today I believe it is better to lease from the company. I am a cab driver in Tampa Florida. I pay $415 a week about 180 pounds.

I have a taxi blog where I post a lot of images. Not as many on the job like yours. You can check it out at

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog and I was curious… Is a minicab just an unlicensed cab? Or a whole different vehicle?

Anonymous said...

Oh nevermind, I just read your May 7th post again and that cleared it up!