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What you need to know about taking a taxi in Paris

The Local France
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What you need to know about taking a taxi in Paris
Photo: AFP

Paris taxi drivers have been the centre of several overcharging scandals in recent years - here's what you need to know about taking a taxi in Paris and how to avoid getting ripped off.

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Although most taxi drivers in Paris are perfectly friendly and honest, there are unfortunately some rogue operators, such as the man who landed two tourists with a whopping €247 taxi bill from Charles de Gaulle airport into Paris.

So here's what you need to know to about taxis in the French capital to help you avoid getting scammed.

Avoid illegal taxis 

If you're travelling from an airport, both Paris airports have official taxi ranks with staff directing passengers into the next available car.

However many unofficial taxi drivers hang around airports and train stations, including Gare du Nord, to try to pick up customers. Passengers are advised to avoid any offers for a taxi from people waiting at arrivals. 

Instead you should head to the official taxi rank or use a ride-hailing app like Uber, Bolt or Chauffeur Privé (there are others too) to reserve a cab.

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If you're travelling around the French capital itself, you can also head to taxi ranks or simply hail one in the street. Look out for taxis with the green light on the roof which means they are free. A red light means they occupied.

You are not allowed to hail a private-hire cab or an Uber, known as a VTC (Vehicle de Tourisme avec chauffeur) - you must book either on the app or by calling.

Identifying an official Paris taxi 

A official taxi will have a sign on top that says “Taxi Parisien” and this will be lit up if the taxi is available and there will be a plate on the outside of the vehicle (front right wing) showing the taxi's license number

Once inside you will see a meter on a very obvious display in the front of the car.

However unlike in other cities Paris taxis are not a uniform colour or model. 

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Airport flat rate fee

If you're travelling from the Charles de Gaulle airport to the city centre by an official taxi (not Uber), you'll pay €65 for a trip heading anywhere on the Left Bank and €56 for anywhere on the Right Bank, as of 2024.

If you're coming in from Orly airport, it will be €36 for the Left Bank and €44 for the Right Bank.

The government has decided on these fares and there are similar fixed rates for official taxis in Nice, Cannes, Antibes and Toulouse. A full list can be found on their website.

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However prices will vary and will often be higher if you use VTCs or ride-hailing apps like Uber and its French equivalents such as Chauffeur Privé or Heetch. Most recently, the minimum price per journey for VTCs was set to €9 without add-ons, bringing the average floor price to €10.60 for users.

For example a company like Uber says its prices are fixed for trips from the airports to Paris (see table below for fees) however the notorious "surge pricing" - when prices rise due to demand (known as marjoration in French) - means the rides are often more expensive and work out pricier than a normal Paris cab, particularly during a strike when services are very busy.

The fixed tariffs are in place even if it's a public holiday or weekend, as well as if the journey is at rush hour or it is nighttime.

Different rates

Your taxi rate will depend on the département you are travelling in, taking into account the rate per kilometre travelled as well as the time spent driving.

The national maximum rate was set to €1.27 per kilometre travelled, as of 2024.

However, there are surcharges based on the time of day and whether or not it is a bank holiday.

In Paris, the rates tend to be higher. They are set each year by local authorities - you can find the latest updates here.

Tariff A is from 10 am to 5 pm except on Sundays and public holidays, with the price per kilometre set at €1.22 and a maximum hourly rate at €37.90.

Tariff B is in effect from 5 pm to 10 pm (rush hour and nighttime) and Sundays from 7 am to midnight, as well as public holidays the whole day. The price for this tariff is €1.61 per kilometre, with an hourly rate of €50.52.

Last but not least is tariff C which is in place on Sundays from 12 am to 7am, with a price of €1.74 per kilometre and an hourly rate of €42.10.

Outside of Paris, the tariffs are different. The maximum price per kilometre travelled goes up by 50 percent for night-time journeys, and up by 100 percent one-way trips.

Tariff A (white sign) - a day-time trip, including a return to the station 

Tariff B (yellow sign) - a trip either at nighttime, on Sunday or on a bank holiday, with a return trip to the station

Tariff C (blue sign) - a one-way daytime journey (without a return load to the station)

Tariff D (green sign) - A one-way nighttime, Sunday, or public holiday journey (without a return load to the station)

The price per kilometre can also be increased by 50 percent for journeys on snow-covered or icy roads. 

What about private hire cabs/Uber  (VTCs)

Prices for taxi apps and private hire firms can vary according to demand so during strikes the prices tend to rocket. That being said, the minimum for a journey in 2024 was set to €10.60.

The benefit is that you will know in advance how much you will pay.

"If dynamic pricing is not activated during a peak period, waiting times increase exponentially and the number of journeys made drops dramatically," said a spokesman for Uber to justify the spike in the cost of a trip during transport strikes.

It's not possible to hail one in the street instead it is mandatory to go to the website or app to book.

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Supplementary charges

Taxi drivers will be able to charge for supplementary passengers once the number goes above four, which would mean a cost of €5.50 per extra passenger, as of 2024.

And there will also be a flat rate for the cost of reserving a taxi from airports in future - €4 for an immediate reservation and €7 if it is booked in advance.

For non-airport trips, you can also be charged a fee of €2 per extra large piece of luggage.

Tipping

It is up to you if you want to tip but a tip will not be automatically added to the bill.

Minimum price

In 2024, the minimum fare was set to €8 instead of the previous €7.30 for all taxis (Parisian and non-Parisian). 

Paying

A taxi driver in France can refuse payment by cheque however a taxi must be equipped with a payment terminal and, according to the law, payment by credit card cannot be refused.

Even though this is what the law says many taxi drivers will tell you their card machine is broken because they prefer you to pay in cash so for convenience sake it's best to take enough money on you to pay. There have also been cases of card payments in the hundreds being taken - eg the passengers thinks they are paying €16.18 but actually €161.80 is taken from their account.

If you're taking a VTC like Uber you will pay via the app.

Receipts

As soon as the cost of a taxi journey goes above €25, the passenger(s) should be given a receipt.

Below this price, it is up to the driver to decide whether to issue a receipt unless the passenger asks for one in which case it should be provided.

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Comments (3)

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Ruth Rainero 2024/03/04 18:48
Why not mention the G7 taxi app? It works well and avoids needing to use Uber.
Anonymous 2020/03/10 13:02
We often take a taxi to a hotel at CDG to stay overnight before a morning departure the next day. *Most* drivers will charge you the flat fee, but some try to charge you a meter rate - which is usually higher. To avoid this, we always tell the diver to take us to Terminal 2F, then as we come onto the airport grounds, redirect to the hotel. It's too late for the driver to argue or try to scam you then.
Anonymous 2019/05/15 20:15
Hello,<br />We took a taxi from CDG and it was to make two stops (one in the 5th and one in the 4th). I noticed about 10 minutes into the ride that he had his meter on rather than the flat rate. He said that was because there were two stops. Is that correct? I hadn't heard this before and was prepared to tip more or to pay from the 1st stop to the 2nd stop. Instead, because we were stuck in airport traffic, we ended up paying 90 euros via the meter. Thank you.

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