Title: Around the World in 15 Taxis

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Summary: Cab, tup tup, jeepney or jitney; whatever you call them, when you’re lost, tired or just need to get somewhere fast, the taxi is a sight for sore eyes.

Meta Title: Around the World in 15 Taxis | The Taxi Centre

Meta Description: Come around the world in 15 taxis and see new taxis for sale at The Taxi Centre.

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Around the World in 15 Taxis

Cab, tup tup, jeepney or jitney; whatever you call them, when you’re lost, tired or just need to get somewhere fast, the taxi is a sight for sore eyes.

Ever since motorised travel first came into use in the 19th century, people with nous and knowledge of the road have charged willing passengers for their services. Production of the first motorised taxi fleet is attributed to a few names and nations. One claim to the title of the first motor taxi is the Reimenwagen, produced by German industrialist Gottlieb Daimler and put into public use in 1897. However, in the same year Walter C Bersey’s fleet was set out onto the streets of London, and in New York the Samuel’s Electric Carriage and Wagon Company put their efforts out onto the road.

Whilst surely being new and exciting, by modern comparisons first motorised taxis were rickety, slow, and mostly meter-less, meaning that the both passengers and drivers could often be unsure of the correct fare price. They were also reportedly annoyingly noisy, with Bersey’s London fleet being dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the constant hum they’d emit when running.

However, they were probably an improvement on what preceded. Before motorised taxi cabs, you’d need to turn to animals if you wanted to get somewhere quickly. In London and Paris, horse and carriage taxi services became standard from the 17th century. These were the first Hackney Carriages, the term “Hackney” coming from the French haquenée – a small to medium sized horse – and sharing it’s etymology with the London borough of the same name. Taxi services in the 17th century operated in a surprisingly similar manner to today, with Inns acting as ranks, and passengers given the liberty to choose drop off points.

With the rapid development of industry in the 19th century providing the means and materials to mass produce motorised methods of transport, animal taxis were made practically obsolete in the developed world. However, in remote and developing areas where vehicles might be impractical, the animal taxi still exists. In many cases these are geared towards tourists, with the attraction of riding on a husky propelled sled, a Saharan camel, or an elephant surely having visitors rushing to ranks cash in hand. Many animal taxis may also be multi-purpose, with the animal performing agricultural duties during the day and being hired out on a needs must basis.

It’s not only the types of taxis that differ around the world, but also the cultures of practice surrounding them. For most readers, a taxi is probably something hired from a rank or company, with a price paid based on a standard meter, but this is far from the norm. Take for example Russia, which has a huge unlicensed taxi trade, with many people working as drivers for short periods after their full time jobs. In Moscow, it’s even common for civilian drivers to offer lifts on an individual basis when flagged down, agreeing a price before setting off.

Many countries also have taxis that are far more collective than those in the western world will be used to. Whilst taxi sharing in the U.K or U.S.A is something done infrequently to split a cost, in countries like Haiti and Nigeria “share taxis” exist in their own public transport category. At first glance, a share taxi may resemble a bus, with a large group of passengers paying a driver before setting off. However, share taxis are free to stop and pick up where they please, dropping off passengers to whatever destination they want.

Whether you’ve passed The Knowledge or were just taxi curious, we hope you’ve enjoyed this infographic. If you want to know about the taxis available to you, why not check out the cars on display at The Taxi Centre. We might not be able to get you a seaplane or an elephant, but we’re sure you’ll find a new taxi deal you love.

Author: Tom

Title: A Guide to the Most Economical Taxis

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Summary: For over a decade, the annual mileage of the average British driver has been dropping steadily year on year, due to factors like rising fuel costs, changes in shopping habits, and increased congestion. The most recent 2013 survey showed an average mileage of just 7900 miles per vehicle, a 1200 miles reduction from 11 years previous.

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For over a decade, the annual mileage of the average British driver has been dropping steadily year on year, due to factors like rising fuel costs, changes in shopping habits, and increased congestion. The most recent 2013 survey showed an average mileage of just 7900 miles per vehicle, a 1200 miles reduction from 11 years previous.

However, it’s perhaps safe to say that the taxi driver isn’t exactly the “average British driver”. In fact, whereas mileage for the general population dropped, surveys show that a vast majority of taxi drivers cover over 10,000 miles in a working year, with over a quarter exceeding the 30,000 miles mark.

When your car is your livelihood, a focus of fuel economy should be key, whether you’re concerned with saving money, the environment, or simply want to minimise trips to the petrol station. To help you choose the car that’s right for you, we’ve put together a guide to some of the most economical taxis on the market.

SEAT Toledo 1.6 TDi Ecomotive Diesel

Seat Toledo Taxi

CO2 (g/km): 104

MPG: 72.4

Road Tax: £20

Proving that fuel economy doesn’t have to mean loss of power is the SEAT Toledo, a medium sized 5 door with a lot to offer. Whilst the Toledo may look like a compact saloon, it’s actually a roomy hatchback, crated and marketed as a competitor to the Ford Focus. However, don’t let this lull you into thinking that the Toledo skimps on luggage space, as the car comes with a 500 litre boot, more than enough for suitcases, shopping, or whatever your passengers might be carrying.

However, it’s the Ecomotive engine that really makes the Toledo a stand out taxi choice. With the 1.6 litre diesel model, the Toledo averages around 104g/km, putting at the lower end of the emissions spectrum and meaning you’ll only need to pay £20 annual road tax. Versatile, functional, and economical, the SEAT Toledo has everything you could need from a taxi.

Find more information on the car here.

Citroen Berlingo Multispace Diesel

Citroen Berlingo Multispace Taxi

CO2 (g/km): 115

MPG: 64.2

Road Tax: £30

Coming with 5 seats and spacious legroom as standard, the Berlingo has an advantage in its large storage capacity, with a 675 litre boot capacity. With a fold of the rear two seats, you’ll increase this to a 3000 litre space, easily allowing for passenger luggage. Don’t think that the Berlingo’s bulky looks bode for an awkward driving experience either, as this Citroen offering has a surprising agility, tackling city driving with ease.

If you’re thinking that the Berlingo must be a bit of a gas guzzler with all of this space, you’d be wrong. Boasting a CO2 rating of just 115g/km, the Berlingo lies at the lower end of the emissions spectrum, meaning you’ll only have to pay £30 annual road tax. Plus, with 64.2 MPG, if you’re looking for a big taxi that’s cheap to run, you might find your answer in this Citroen.

Find more information on the car here. 

Ford Mondeo Style 1.6 Diesel

Ford Mondeo Style Taxi

CO2 (g/km): 94

MPG: 78.5

Road Tax: £0

Ford’s reliability, affordability and “blank slate” nature has always meant that their vehicles have transferred well to the private hire and fleet car market. With the Ford Mondeo Style 1.6, you’ll find all the same features we’ve grown to expect from the Mondeo, alongside a refined focus on styling and of course, fuel economy. Coming with 5 doors, a streamlined almost Germanic exterior, and comfortable interior, Ford have shown that the Mondeo can bring a little luxury at affordable prices.

Of course, what really makes the Mondeo Style 1.6 Diesel a stand out option for a taxi is its fuel economy. With the Mondeo’s Econetic engine producing emissions of just 94g/km, you’ll pay £0 road tax saving you money from the off. You’ll need to refuel less frequently too, as the Ford Mondeo Style 1.6 diesel has an MPG of 78.5.

Find more information on the car here. 

Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 Ecoflex Diesel

Vauxhall Insignia Taxi

CO2 (g/km): 94

MPG: 76.3

Road Tax: £0

The insignia has been one of the most popular taxi and company car choices of recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. Combining affordability and drivability with crowd pleasing styling, the Insignia is a car built to be on its feet (or wheels) all day.

The Insignia comes with all the standard features of a larger hatchback, Vauxhall have also packed in a few extra perks that seem built specifically with the taxi driver in mind. One of these is stop/start technology, helping to save fuel depending on how you’re using the car. Alongside Vauxhall’s Ecoflex diesel engine, the Insignia only puts out 94g/km of Co2 emissions, meaning that you’ll pay £0 road tax. Alongside 140 BPH and 76.3 MPG, this is a taxi that manages to combine fuel economy with admirable power.

Find more information on the car here. 

All of the taxis listed above are available from The Taxi Centre, plus many more, so if you’d like any further information on any of these vehicles just get in touch. We’d also be happy to tell you about any other vehicles we have in stock, and even give you some advice on how to drive your taxi economically. We hope this guide has given you a good insight into just some of the many fuel economical taxis available.

Author: Tom

Title: A Guide to Driving Abroad

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Summary: When booking a holiday, it can be tempting to turn a simple jaunt abroad into a full on driving holiday. Taking or hiring a car on holiday can seem like a ticket to freedom; no more hassle getting taxis to and from the airport, no more getting stranded, and no more cramped tour buses.

Meta Title: A Guide to Driving Abroad | Bristol Street Motors

Meta Description: Check out the Bristol Street Motors guide to driving abroad in order to make your trip a little easier.

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Puerto de Alcala, Madrid

When booking a holiday, it can be tempting to turn a simple jaunt abroad into a full on driving holiday. Taking or hiring a car on holiday can seem like a ticket to freedom; no more hassle getting taxis to and from the airport, no more getting stranded, and no more cramped tour buses.

However, driving in a different country involves far more than simply remembering to stick on the right – or wrong –side of the road. However, with Bristol Street Motor’s driving abroad guide, we’ll give you a run through of all the essentials you need to know to keep safe when driving on holiday.

Essentials

Whether you’re a Monsieur or Madame, Herr or Frau, or Senor or Senorita, there are a few essential points to remember when driving abroad, wherever you are. A good word of advice is if you wouldn’t do it when driving at home, don’t do it abroad. It shouldn’t need to be stated, but drink driving, using mobile phones, and speeding won’t be tolerated, wherever you’re going to be. If you plan on driving abroad, make sure to check the national speed limits of the countries you’re planning to travel to; this might seem obvious, but it’s something many people simply forget to do.

Documents

Whatever country you’re driving in, it’s good practice to take a full set of identification, insurance, and proof of purchase documents. Chances are you won’t need to use all these, but in the eventuality you do and you don’t possess the document required, you’re likely to find yourself in a bit of a sticky situation. Whether you’re driving abroad in your own car or a hired car, you should always remember to take:

  • A full driving license (valid, not provisional)
  • Driving license counterpart
  • Original vehicle registration documentation (not a paper copy)
  • Car insurance documents – check you’re covered for driving abroad
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Passport
  • Letter of authorisation from vehicle owner (if using a borrowed or hired car)
  • License plate displaying country of origin (e.g. GB)

Depending on which country or countries you’re planning to drive through, a visa might also be necessary. If you’re driving through the EU, you’re unlikely to need this.

The documentation you’ll need is bound to change from country to country, so as always, you should check the specific documentation requirements of the locations you’ll be travelling to in order not to get caught out

Car Preparation

It’s not just yourself you should get prepared for driving abroad, but also your car. Create a checklist of how your car has been running in the past few months, and write down any points that may need improvement. Slight faults you may be able to cope with at home can appear accentuated when driving abroad in unfamiliar conditions, so it’s always recommended that you check your car in for a service before you travel with it. Also, make sure to keep on top of tyre pressures, oil and coolant levels, and tyre tread.

Make sure that you’ve got breakdown cover, and that this extends abroad; this can save you a significant amount of money in event of the worst happening. It’s a good idea to put a few items together in a kit you can simply store in your boot. A wheel puncture kit, first aid kit, torch, warning triangle, blanket and high visibility clothing can all be compactly stored away, so they’re there if the worst does happen. Preparing for breakdowns might seem pessimistic, but a little precaution is better than being stranded in an unfamiliar country.

Country Checklist

As well as the more universal guidelines, each country you travel to will have their own set of driving rules and driving habits. You may find that the driving styles in the countries you travel to differ significantly to those at home, and the British government suggests adopting a defensive driving style, wherever you are in the world. You should always check the full list of laws and requirements for the country you’re travelling to before driving there. As an introduction, we’ve put together some useful information for driving in some of the most common European Union countries Brits choose to drive abroad in.

France

The national motorway speed limit in France is 130kmph, or 80mph, changing to 110kmph in wet conditions.

All drivers, including foreign cars, must have at least one item of high visibility clothing, a breathalyser, and a warning triangle in the vehicle at all times. Speed camera detectors are now banned in France, and many speed cameras are no longer signposted, so be careful to drive within the limit at all times.

Spain

With a national motorway speed limit of 120kmph (74mph) in all conditions, Spain has one of the lowest speed limits in the EU.

All drivers must carry 2 warning triangles, replacement headlight bulbs, and reflective jackets for all drivers, and if you require glasses, a spare set of spectacles. Indicating is essential while overtaking on motorways, and it’s not uncommon for Spanish motorway police to hand out fines for forgetting to do so.

Germany

Germany is well known for its absence of a motorway speed limit. However, it’s not all fun on the Autobahn, as this only applies to around a fifth of Germany’s motorway network. For the other 4/5’s, a general limit of 80mph applies, although this can change regionally.

German law only requires drivers to have a warning triangle within the car, but it’s good practice to bring some of the items required by France and Spain, as they may prove useful in eventuality of accidents.

Italy

The motorway speed limits in Italy are 130kmph in the dry, and 110kmph in the wet, and all drivers are required to carry a warning triangle, replacement light bulbs and high visibility jackets within the car at all times.

Driving on the motorway in Italy is fairly similar to most EU countries. However, you should be wary when driving in cities, as many zones are permit only, and getting caught driving here can leave to a hefty fine and a wrist slapping from the Polizia.

Netherlands

The national motorway speed limit in the Netherlands is 130kmph, with only vehicles being able of 60kmph (37mph) being allowed on the motorway.

Motorists aren’t required by law to carry any essential equipment, but again, carrying warning triangles, high visibility clothing, and replacement bulbs is certainly a good idea. All fines are on the spot, and if your speed is judged to be a danger, it’s not unusual for your car to be confiscated.

The most important point to remember before driving abroad is to be prepared. If you forget important documents, don’t check your car is in full working order, and aren’t aware of the laws and standards of the country you’re travelling to, then you could be setting yourself up for a lot of stress. Driving in another country doesn’t have to be a hassle, and as long as you remember the points in our guide, your trip abroad should be memorable – in the right way. If you want to make your trip one to remember, why not treat yourself to a new car!

Author: Tom