Paris taxi drivers are not known for their flawless knowledge of the Paris street map; if you have a preferred route, say so. Taxis can also be hard to find, especially at rush hour or early in the morning. Your best bet is to find a taxi rank (station de taxis, marked with a blue sign) on major roads, crossroads and at stations. A white light on a taxi’s roof indicates the car is free; an orange light means the cab is busy. There is a service charge of €2.10. The rates are then based on zone and time of day:
A 10am-5pm Mon-Sat central Paris, €0.82 per km. B 5pm-10am Mon-Fri, 5pm-midnight Sat, 7am-midnight Sun central Paris; 7am-7pm Mon-Sat inner suburbs and airports, €1.10 per km. C midnight-7am Sun central Paris; 7pm-7am Mon-Sat, all day Sun inner suburbs and airports; all times outer suburbs, €1.33 per km.
Most journeys in central Paris cost €6-€12; there’s a minimum charge of €5.60, plus €1 for each piece of luggage over 5kg or bulky objects, and a €0.70 surcharge from mainline stations. Most drivers will not take more than three people, although they should take a couple and two children. There is an additional charge of €2.75 for a fourth adult passenger.
Don’t feel obliged to tip, although rounding up to the nearest euro is polite. Taxis are not allowed to refuse rides if they deem them too short and can only refuse to take you in a certain direction during their last half-hour of service (both rules are often ignored). If you want a receipt, ask for un reçu or la note. Complaints should be made to the Bureau de la réglementation publique, 36 rue des Morillons, 75732 Paris Cedex 15.
These firms take phone bookings 24/7; you also pay for the time it takes your taxi to reach you. If you wish to pay by credit card, mention this when you order. Alpha 01.45.85.85.85, www.alphataxis.fr G7 01.47.39.47.39, www.taxisg7.com Taxis Bleus 08.91.70.10.10, www.taxis-bleus.com