Which taxis are based at Gatwick Airport?

At London Gatwick Airport there is only one taxi company which has a desk/counter directly at the terminals. They are called Checker Cars. As in any niche market, where there is a monopoly, the monopolist can often put their prices at higher level. What it means is that if you haven’t pre-booked your taxi from Gatwick Airport with someone else you will end up paying premium ordering it with official Gatwick Taxi operator on the travel day.

How to get a cheap taxi from Gatwick then?

Solution to this is to arrange your airport transfer in advance. Many taxi and minicab (i.e. Private Hire) offices will accept a booking without a card pre-payment, so you can pay cash directly to a driver on the day. Some of them drivers will be able to take a card payments in the car, but it always is worth to ask beforehand and if they do not accept cards in their cars you can withdraw some cash at the airport before you set off.

How are taxi fares calculated when travelling from Gatwick Airport?

Most of the companies will have a flat rates/fares for journeys to and from Gatwick. Normally travelling from an airport will be slightly more expensive than to the airport, as it involves a waiting time (often included in the price for a predefined amount of time eg. 45mins). Some companies will calculate their fares based on mileage, some might extend it and take a traffic factor- peak times + £5-£10 pounds, or between 00:00 am and 6:00am surcharge of £10 can occur.

Tips for those travelling to Central London from Gatwick.

When getting a taxi from Gatwick Airport to London- West End, and Central area, this is to postcodes starting with: W2, WC1, WC2 and EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4 it is important to ask if there will be any extra congestion zone charge at the top of the fee or not. The tip here is to order a taxi with the operator which does not charge a ‘congestion charge’. All London based Private Hire operators and taxis can enter a central London without paying a congestion charge, but operators from outside Greater London have to pay an extra £8 just to enter the zone, often shifting the expense onto the passenger.

Conclusive suggestion.

For anyone willing to get the good price, cheap taxi from Gatwick Airport my advice would be to shop around and book it in advance with a licensed operator. You obviously want to check the company first.  See if they have a business address on the website- many unclicensed cowboys will not list any business addresses and some will have only 0800 xxxxxxx numbers- these are the dodgy and risky ones I would stay away from. It is fine to ask the operator if they are licensed to take bookings and who they are licensed with- some will be licensed with local council boroughs, and London ones with the Public Carriage Office.

Do not worry to much if the company’s head office is based 10-20 miles from the airport- if they say they cover the area they probably have some local drivers there, so  it is not always best to choose the closest to the airport operator (as I mentioned before they often charge premium rates).  You can check if the company is listed in yell.com or www.020.co.uk if they are there is a greater chance they are a legitimate business. Obviously if you do not care about your own safety and comfort and the only determinant for you is price- then get the cheapest offer, but do not be supprised if the driver will not be there on time then- gamble is a gamle. For those who a re making a connecting flights- ask the operator how long the journey might take- you do not want to miss your flight.