London cabs the best

London taxis have been voted the best taxis in the world for the sixth year in a row, according to the annual global taxi survey from Hotels.com. London secured 22% of the votes, a clear runaway winner followed by New York with 10% and Tokyo with 9% in second and third place. London’s iconic black cabs won nearly a quarter of the vote in the survey, which also saw Berlin reclaim its position in the top five list, in fourth place with 5% and Madrid, Mexico City and Amsterdam in joint fifth with 4%.

Cabs on Tokyo roads
Cabs on Tokyo roads

The world’s best taxis:

Rank City % of votes
1 London 22%
2 New York 10%
3 Tokyo 9%
4 Berlin 5%
5= Amsterdam 4%
5= Madrid 4%
5= Mexico City 4%

Of the 30 countries surveyed, London topped the list across five of the seven categories, including cleanliness (23%), knowledge of the area (27%) and quality of driving (30%). While London cabs were also voted top for friendliness (23%) it was this category that was deemed the least important to travellers, meaning London’s friendly cabbies could be seen to put some punters off. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) voted safety their number one priority when travelling by taxi, which London’s cabs also ranked highest on.

New York and Bangkok taxis came joint first in terms of value for money (20%); interestingly the latter didn’t quite make the overall top five this year. New York’s recognizable yellow taxis grabbed the top spot when it came to availability (23%).

Taxi at Heathrow's terminal 5 in London. Photo: Wikipedia
Taxi at Heathrow’s terminal 5 in London. Photo: Wikipedia

Categories ranked in order of preference:

Rank Category % of votes
1 Safety 23%
2 Value 20%
3 Knowledge of Area 17%
4 Availability 14%
5 Quality of Driving 11%
6 Cleanliness 8%
7 Friendliness 7%

The global Hotels.com taxi survey also revealed the world’s more obscure objects that travellers have admitted to leaving behind, which included:

A wig and a bird in a cage left behind in a US cab
A prosthetic leg and an ex-boyfriend in Australia
A trombone in Finland
A Rubik’s cube in Italy
Dentures in Germany
Globally the survey found that people tend to text or email whilst in cab (19%), while sleeping was the second most popular activity (15%), followed by eating (10%) and kissing (9%). When asked which nation was the most amorous in the back of a cab, Brits came out with 14% admitting to displaying passionate behavior- 10% higher than the global average of 4%. According to the survey, 48.5% of Indian respondents wanted newspaper and music in the cab.

Other global findings include:

  • Over half of us (53%) would choose a taxi as our desired mode of transport from airport to hotel.
  • While the majority of people would round up to the nearest amount when tipping (38%), taxi passengers tend to choose to not tip over tipping more than 10% for the journey.
  • The most important feature in a taxi is WiFi (14%) beating both the radio and music.
  • The biggest pet hate for UK travelers is when taxi drivers take a longer route to the destination.

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