where you live, the word ‘taxi’ will summon different connotations. By way of example,
a New Yorker would associate the word ‘taxi’ with the iconic yellow Jada 1957
Chevrolet or 2003 Ford Crown Victoria. A Londoner, on the other hand, would
only ever think of the traditional Austin FX4 black cab. Whilst these are both
well-known iterations of the taxi, the history of taxis begins in the historic
capital of France.
the taxi invented?
It was 1640
when Nicolas Sauvage first offered horse-drawn carriages and drivers in Paris
for hire. Not long after this, the Hackney Carriage Act was passed in London,
becoming the first legislation to control horse-drawn carriages for hire in
England. From here, horse-drawn carriages that were available to hire became an
extremely popular choice of transport, creating a demand that meant innovators
had to evolve their design.
In 1834, a
York architect known as Joseph Hansom worked to combine speed with safety to
develop the new age of horse-drawn taxis. Eventually, he invented Hansom cabs
which were light, pulled by a single horse, and had the ability to track the
cost of the taxi fare via a mechanical taximeter.
invented the first motorised taxi?
German engineer, Gottlieb
Daimler, invented the first motorised taxi in 1897. His design ultimately paved
the way for the taxis we use and know of today. Named the ‘Daimler Victoria’,
this model of taxi featured a two-cylinder gasoline engine rated at six
By evolving the vehicle hire to
be motorised as opposed to horse-drawn, the expectations for more speed and
agility from taxi vehicles was surpassed with this design.
taxis become a popular choice of transport?
For the UK,
black cabs became a classic part of London’s culture as a result of the cameos
they made in the likes of James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and Doctor Who. Firmly
entrenched in British culture, international tourists often expect to be
greeted by a black cab on arrival and for it to be the last thing they see upon
departure. In the event that this doesn’t happen, many tourists will actively
seek out a black cab to enjoy a quintessentially British experience.
are also popular with those residing in London. They’re readily available,
comfortable as a result of their spacious design, and the drivers tend to be
more qualified as a result of learning and passing “the Knowledge”, a tough
test on the routes around the capital. Whilst their taxi fares tend to be
pricier, the quality is often a winning factor for residents who regularly use
taxis as a form of transport.
regulated in the UK?
and private vehicle hire services in the United Kingdom are regulated by the local
authority. More specifically:
are required to be painted another colour in many places. E.g. yellow in Derby,
silver in Portsmouth, and blue in Bristol.
hire vehicles must be pre-booked, and the rates are set by the private hire
carriages can only pick up fares off the streets in which they’re licensed for.
legal way for a driver to approach customers from outside their area is to
obtain multiple licenses in each of the license authority areas.
So, the history of taxis and private hire vehicles is rich and heavily embedded into the cultures of many countries around the world through film and television. Furthermore, taxis and private hire vehicles continue to evolve in order to keep up with the demand for eco-friendly automobiles.
If you’re looking to book a taxi in Norfolk or a private hire vehicle for your next getaway, contact us on 01692 434007 today.