[If you read the section The UK, you will find this part a little bit repetitive]
As I’m French, the parallel with the taxis abroad will be mainly with the French ones. Even if you’re not French, I am pretty sure you’ve heard about our taxis.
You just have to cross the French borders to realize the French taxis are definitely not the best and the openness to the competition feels good.
I’m from Paris, so get a taxi was definitely the last of my solutions when I wanted to go somewhere. And the experience was always… “painful”. First… Financially…! Prices are just disproportionate… OK, drivers have to finance a very expensive licence but the fares can’t justify all expenses… The bill could be a little bit more accepted if the driver was at least somewhat nice and not like a bear with a sore head. I don’t generalise and only talk about my experience (I had a nice driver only once), and some of my friends already qualified my words by describing their positive experience with a few drivers (except for the financial topic that is always difficult to digest).
So when you notice a 20-minute journey between Paris Orly and your home with a driver who doesn’t answer you, put the radio station he fancies, and it costs you 50€….. And a 60-minute trip between a flat and a NYC airport with a really nice driver who asks a lot of questions about your trip, and it costs 47$ (around 40€)… The difference is way too obvious.
So like I said, the openness to the competition brought good things… at the beginning. In France, we all lived well the Uber experience, and especially the big change in the drivers’ behaviour and attitude.
At first, the driver is well dressed (not inevitably with a suit but he/she is clean), gets out of the car, opens the door, takes care of your luggage, asks for the radio station you want to listen, offers you sweats and water, checks the destination with you, has a nice driving… Aaaah good memories! Did you had fun thinking about it, huh?! Confess! Especially if you continue to use these services today…
Nowadays, the driver cancels the destination if it not suits him/her, doesn’t open the door and you deal with your luggage. You get on the car and you discover him/her wearing a tracksuit, on the phone with a friend. He/She just confirms your destination and rushes off like a shot. You won’t have your radio station, no sweats, no water. I caricature a little bit, but we already all have this kind of driver, or one that looked like that. Fortunately, we can find good drivers. But don’t have so much hope on a Friday or Saturday night… However, you still call them because they are way cheaper than a taxi.
In Ireland, the system is just the opposite. Fares are affordable, drivers are nice and almost always talkative. And you’ll find a taxi veeery easily. As it is a cheap, easy and quick way to move, the fleet is very important in the city.
Uber also exists but you will notice a specific feature on the app. When you order the standard fare, like UberPool, you actually can see “UberTaxi”. Yeah, official taxis could also be employed by Uber.
Like in many countries, you are able to pay in cash (except for Uber, as the app is the same everywhere and you have to enter your payment card details) or in card (there is also more and more apps created by different taxi companies).