If you have been to any major towns or cities across the UK, then chances are, you will have come across the famous black cab – or the Hackney carriage, as they are also known. While private hire cars and companies like Uber are taking off, these are all pre-booked services. Uniquely, the black cab can pick up fares on the street.

While black cabs are a common feature on the roads across the UK, how much do we really know about them? We have compiled ten facts about the infamous Hackney carriage that you may not have known.

  1. If the taxi light is on, then the taxi is available for hire. If the light is off, they already have a passenger.
  2. To hail a cab, simply stand somewhere safe by the side of the road, and hold out your arm. Shouting at a moving vehicle will get you nowhere.
  3. While not all black cabs are based in London, drivers in the big smoke can spend anywhere between two and four years learning “the knowledge” that covers 25,000 roads and 20,000 landmarks, within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross. If they pass, drivers get the coveted green badge.
  4. Traditional black cabs have a tight turning circle of just 25 feet.
  5. Most Hackney carriages are independently run, so you are essentially entering someone’s business when you take a cab.
  6. Only 2% of black cab drivers are female, despite the flexible working hours.
  7. Taxi’s don’t legally have to give you change when you pay your fare.
  8. Black cabs are designed to be tall enough to accommodate passengers wearing bowler hats.
  9. Black cabs can actually be any colour – white, blue, red, green, pink… black is just the traditional colour. Many cabs today are like advertisements on wheels.
  10. The name ‘taxi-cab’ derives from taximeter cabriolet, which means taxed carriage.

While life in London might be focused on getting customers from A to B, as quickly as possible, here at Legends of the North, we have a selection of cabs available for our popular black taxi tours – the Belfast Political Tour, in particular.

Spend a leisurely 90-min drive taking in the sights that Belfast has to offer, from the comfort of our luxury vehicles, and get to grips with Irish political history and culture. All of our black taxi tours are bespoke, so you can create a Belfast tour that suits you.

For more information on our black cab tours, or, in fact, any of our tour packages across Northern Ireland, please get in touch with us today and get your trip booked – you won’t regret it.