Taking a taxi in France
Quick overview of taxi rules in France.
Update : June 2019
You can find them at taxi ranks (indicated by a square sign, saying “Taxi” in white on blue background) or hail one of them in the street (provided that the taxi is available: the sign “Taxi” on the roof is then fully lit and the small lights under this sign are also switched on). The fares are regulated in France according to the city (Paris or the rest of France), the time (day or night tariff) and destination.
Booking or taking a taxi implies paying attention to several aspects, particularly regarding payment conditions, tardy arrival, deviation but also accomplishing your duties as a customer. Frequently asked questions can be found here.
Taxi drivers: a very regulated profession in France
Around 50 000 taxi drivers are registered in France and practice their profession under regulated conditions. Bear in mind that taxis in France can’t be identified by their colour scheme; black or yellow are in no way mandatory. Remember also you can’t hail a taxi in every city in France. Most of the time you’ll have to wait at taxi ranks before being picked up. A taxi in France can be easily distinguished by its roof light. On this sign must also be written "TAXI" as well as the district the vehicle belongs to. Depending on its colour, another light gives some indication about the price. The taxi must also be equipped with a taximeter which records the driven distance and indicates the price, as well as a display machine on which the starting and ending hours of the taxi driver are written.
From 31/12/2011 on, taxis will also be equipped with printers for the edition of invoices.
The taxi rates are set every year by the prefecture. The consumer pays the fare on the taxi meter and any additional charges.
The rate depends on time slot, traffic conditions as well as on the conditions of the taxi’s return.
There are four additional charges: transport of luggage or parcels, picking up at the train station, transport of animals or picking up additional passengers on the way.
A « coming near » journey may also be charged to cover the journey driven right to the pick-up place, when the taxi has been ordered per telephone or from a taxi stand phone.
The amounts are determined by each department in France (to get more information, contact the local Council / Conseil Départemental).
There are four different rates:
- Rate A (white light signal): day journey with return to the station
- Rate B (yellow/orange light signal): night journey, Sundays and legal holidays with return to the station
- Rate C (blue light signal): day journey with empty return to the station
- Rate D (green light signal): night journey, Sundays and legal holidays with empty return to the station
The price is calculated on the basis of 3 elements:
- the amount indicated on the taximeter on departure
- the rate per kilometre
- the rate per hour or so-called « slow journey »: this replaces the rate per kilometre when the taxi stays parkedor when it goes very slowly (traffic jam, on hold time...)
Whatever the cost indicated on the taximeter, the price can’t be – additional charges included – lower than 7,10 € in 2019.
In Cannes, Nice and Toulouse, flat rate tariffs apply for rides from the airports. In Paris a flat rate is applicable to and from the airports.
Taxi fare in Paris, Cannes, Nice and Toulouse
In Paris, the picking up alone costs 4,10 €. The rate then depends on the traffic zone, the time slot as well as the traffic conditions.
- Rate per kilometre : maximum 1.10 €
- Rate per hour: maximum 36,73 €
Additional charges can also be applied for Paris itself (ring roads included):
- 4 € for picking up a 5th passenger
- 7 € for a reservation in advance
- 4 € if you make an immediate reservation
Rates are higher at night, on Sundays, on legal holidays and during rush hours.
Fixed taxi rates between the city and its airports
The four journeys that will be affected by this decision include:
- Charles de Gaulle-Paris via the Right Bank (Rive Droite): the fare cannot exceed 50€
- Charles de Gaulle-Paris via the Left Bank (Rive Gauche): the fare cannot exceed 55€
- Orly-Paris via the Right Bank: the fare cannot exceed 35€
- Orly-Paris via the Left Bank: the fare cannot exceed 30€
In Lyon and Nice you will be charged 4 € for a reservation in advance. Further details in the "arrêté du 24 décembre 2018".
Since October 2010, a receipt is mandatory if the amount is superior or equal to 25 Euros. Below this price, customers have to ask the taxi driver expressly for a receipt if they need one.
The taxi driver has to accept cash payment. He can refuse certain methods of payment such as check or credit cards but this refusal has to be clearly indicated on the outside window of the vehicle.
Be careful when paying your taxi ride by credit card. If the payment fails because no connection can be established with the card reader, it is necessary to call your bank. Some taxi drivers insist on making the call instead of the client. Te taxi driver gives the name, card number, expiration date and cryptogram (the 3 last digits on the back of your card) over the phone in order the banker to use your bank details.
- Variation: Encountering scammers while ordering goods online or over the phone happens more often than one thinks: Fraud with your CB online and via telephone is 20 times more frequent than in a shop!
- The mechanism: The person at the other end of the line or, more precisely, the computer click makes use of the card data. This is either done discretely, by picking up small amounts, such as 5 €, which go unnoticed, or in a big amount, buying a new iPad online, for example.
- Counter-measures: Never give out your CB number or your cryptogram over the telephone when in doubt. Only use online shopping websites that are well established and use the payment system 3D Secure (it identifies you with each purchase thanks to a unique user code provided by your bank via SMS or e-mail). Note: you have 13 months to contest the fraudulent use of your card (Article L 133-18 of the “code monétaire et financier”). Each month, go through your bank statement!
The French taxi service "Le Taxi"
In order to support taxi drivers, the French government develops a platform called “Le Taxi” , a service for consumers to order, pay and rate a taxi. The platform is not an application, but all these information will be accessible by using mobile taxi apps. With this measure, the French government wants to modernise the taxi trade in order to provide the same access to taxis as to private companies that provide the same services.