On my next visit to England, I would like to visit a historic site in the middle of the countryside, about 10 miles (20 minutes drive) from the nearest train station. Without nearby public transport or bike rental, I'll need a taxi (licensed Hackney Carriage).

After about 2.5 - 3 hours, I need to return to the station.

  1. Considering the journey time and the time I spend at the destination, is it usual just to pay for the rides there and back? Or might the taxi driver insist on waiting on site and charge me for the waiting time?

  2. If the taxi does not wait, will the outward and return journeys cost about the same?

(This might be a rather general question how taxi fares work. So far, I've never made a return trip by taxi, so have no experience how this works.)

Thanks in advance for your help.

Edit: Since you've been asking, the place is Hidcote Garden in Gloucestershire. I'll probably go by train from Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon, and onwards to Hidcote by taxi. On a previous visit, I took a taxi one way and returned by bus from nearby Mickleton. While researching my trip, I found the bus route has been under review and will be withdrawn soon - it's not clear when, and if at all, the bus service will be running again.


2 Answers 2


If the destination is only 20 minutes away, even if the taxi driver says they will wait, they probably will not. They will return to town and keep working, and come back to pick you up at the agreed time.

If the driver insists that you must pay them to wait, walk away and ask another driver for a more reasonable quote. For out of town journeys, they are allowed to make a fixed price quotation. Usually the meter is mandatory only within the city or town boundary.

In UK we have two types of taxi: hackney carriage (obtained on demand from ranks and street hails), and private hire (must be booked not hailed). The best option IMO for a return journey after a long wait, but from not very far away, is to obtain details of a local private hire operator, call them and ask for a price and make a booking.

You can easily google them. The biggest will usually have the best coverage, that is, there is a high probability that the operator has taxis near the location at that time anyway.

Another option is to ask the reception at the venue to call a taxi for you, or recommend one for you to call yourself.

There are also app-based taxi companies.

For a longer journey, one rule of thumb sometimes used is that either you pay full fare each way and the driver waits free of charge; or you pay waiting time and get the return journey at half price. You can alway try to negotiate with an individual driver. Taxis drivers are mostly owner-drivers, and the taxi companies are actually booking agencies (like with concert or theatre tickets).

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 11, 2022 at 20:29

You will not need to pay for more than 2 hours waiting time for two 20 minute rides. Sometimes when the waiting time is no longer than twice the journey time you can get the taxi driver to wait for you, but it is usually the passenger who asks for the wait, not the driver. If the driver wants to wait for you rather than going home, it is up to them, but they can not expect you to pay for that. (You are likely to pay for two return journeys for the taxi, if there are no likely other passengers where you want to go.)

In most cases the driver will not know when the passenger wants to return, only when pre-arranged on specific times the driver or their office may know.

Most taxi rides, and I am pretty sure that does include the UK, are based on a meter. The meter combines the distance and time needed for the journey and adds (or multiplies) with a night time fee or some such if you travel when such a fee is in order.
For two daytime rides I do not expect such a fee, but there might be an 'out of town' fee.

If the ride is based on a combination of time and distance, the return journey can be more or less expensive than the outward one, on the other hand, if it is solely based on distance and there is no extra out of town fee, the cost should be identical.

In some places (and again, I am not sure about the UK) you and the driver can agree on a price which is fixed, and in that case it can be more or less than a meter price.

If you add the location to the question it is possible that someone here has local knowledge and can help you with the best option.
Sometimes that is a prebooked taxi, which is often cheaper than a taxi you get from a rank, or when you call the company that is also on the taxi rank.

To find taxis to pre-book you can search the name of the place (or station) and minicab, private hire or taxi.

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    "Most taxi rides, and I am pretty sure that does include the UK, are based on a meter." Depends on local rules. Normally true "taxis" that you can flag down are meter based, "private hire" that you have to book via app or phone will more often be fixed/negotiated price. That said, the "flag down" type of taxi normally won't be available at say a historical site, so you'd have to call to arrange a prebooked ride.
    – CMaster
    Jul 11, 2022 at 15:47
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    When the driver drops you off on the way out you can ask the driver to come collect you when you want to return, sometimes they give you a number to call.
    – Willeke
    Jul 11, 2022 at 15:51
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    Prebooking both ways sounds like a good idea, I will check that.
    – user108733
    Jul 11, 2022 at 18:41

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