Dog-friendly LondonGetting around

How to find a dog-friendly taxi in London: an essential guide

By October 14, 2018 March 8th, 2019 12 Comments

Getting around by public transport in London with a dog is great. Still, there are instances where you may need (or prefer) a car ride to travel with your four-legged. In this guide we tell you all about finding a dog-friendly taxi, cab, mini-cab or ride in London, stress-free!

Dog-friendly taxi in London

Small dog on black cab in London

The time we took a plane with Argo and had to carry our luggage and his crate to Heathrow, we found ourselves in the situation of needing a taxi ride. But this is only one example of the times you may need one. Think about when you need to rush your dog to the vet, avoid one of those heavy rain days or unbearable heath of the tube on the most scorching day of the year, or visit your family or friends on Christmas Day, when public transport closure would otherwise preclude you doing so. A cab or minicab welcoming your dog would come in handy.

While taxi drivers and private hires (minicabs and chaffeurs) cannot refuse guide and assistance dogs, they are not required to allow your non-guide dog on board, so knowing your dog-friendly taxi and cab options beforehand is essential. We put together a list of alternatives and investigated how easy it is to book a dog-friendly cab with each of them and compared the fares, so you don’t have to go through the hassle.

#1. Dogs on black cabs: Gett app

Gett taxi app screenshots for how to book with dog

Many black cabs allow dogs. Back in August I had the chance to experience how welcoming they are when travelling around London by cab with two small doggies and their owner (Miss Darcy and George with May, from Miss Darcy’s Adventures), to take photos around London’s main attractions. However, as this is the driver’s discretion, it can be a good idea to check in advance, especially if you have a large dog.

There is a way to do this with Gett, the black cab app (which doesn’t seem to have a desktop version), although I must say it is not the most user-friendly and stress-free one. In fact, unfortunately there is no option to book a dog-friendly black cab directly; instead, when booking a cab you can include a note to the driver and write that you are travelling with a dog. You will then have to wait and see which cab will accept the call, as explained by the customer care, when we got in touch with them to confirm how this works. See the screenshots above to see where you can add the note.

Gett

User-friendliness: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Stress-free: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Number of dogs allowed: unknown
Price: price by the meter applies (tariff information here)

#2. Dog-friendly Addison Lee cars

Addison Lee screenshot for dog-friendly cab

Addison Lee has a well-established dog-friendly policy and offers pet-friendly vehicles. Their terms and conditions explain that “the service is suitable for dogs, cats, and other typical household pets. Please be advised that if you’re travelling with a lizard, uncaged bird, a monkey, or any other exotic or less common pet, your driver will have right of refusal! We do not carry livestock as this is a restriction on our insurance policy, even if the animal is treated as a pet.”

We had a look at its online website and app to see how you can book a pet-friendly car and this is what we found:

Addison Lee website: on the booking page you are asked to select time, pick-up and drop-off points. Right below, you will find a “Choose your car” section, which last result is “Pet-friendly car”. This is indicated as a Ford Galaxy “prepared to carry you and your pet safely. Free Wifi and phone chargers included”, which carries up to 2 people and 2 bags. You can pay cash, Visa checkout, card or Paypal.

Addison Lee app: On Addison Lee’s website there is a GIF showing how to book a pet-friendly car within the app. Basically, on the screen where you select pick-up point and destination you will be able to select your car choice by clicking on the car icon and, in the following “choose your car” screen, select “Pet-friendly Vehicle” at the bottom (see the screenshots from the app above). Once selected, the app will provide you with a quote and you will be able to click on “Order your car”.

I downloaded it and found that, unlike the other apps, in order to use it you need to sign up (you will be required name, surname, email address, phone number and to set up a password). Download the app at these affiliate links for Android here and for iOS here, by using the code RIDE8 at checkout you will get £8 off your first booking.

Addison Lee

User-friendliness: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Stress-free: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Number of dogs allowed: unknown
Price: ££

#3. Minicabit for dogs

Minicabit app screenshots explaining how to book a dog-friendly ride

A couple of years back, on the tube I happened to see an ad by Minicabit, publicising their dog-friendly minicab feature. At the time, we had a look at their dog-friendly minicabs and we found that there were a few options, alas they will usually charged a higher fare.

Minicabit desktop version: On their website, in the booking mask you can input your desired start point and destination and, by clicking on the “Luggage” field, you will be able to add “Pets”, choosing between two options: “Small pet (in cage)” and “Large dog”.

Minicabit app: In the app it is equally easy to add a pet (see screenshots above). Just click on “No luggage” in the main menu, then scroll down in the next screen until you find “Pets” and click on that to add the relevant number of pets. In the app it seems that you can add up to 4 small pets in a cage and 2 large dogs.

Minicabit

User-friendliness: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Stress-free: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Maximum number of dogs allowed: 4 small pets in cage; 2 large dogs.
Price: £££


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#4. Sixt Mydriver dog-friendly rides

Sixt Mydriver is a chaffeur and limousine service, which operates in a numbers of cities worldwide and offers a pet-friendly alternative to taxi.

Their pet-friendly service page reads: “As long as there is sufficient room in the car you book and your pet does not pose a threat to the driver then you are able to bring your pet along for the ride. Please make sure that you inform us in the comment section when you book your ride to let us know that you will be bringing your pet along. This will allow us to find the best possible ride for you and your dog and avoid surprising your driver.”

You can pick the location and car class. In the booking screen there is a “Special requirements” section, that I would assume is where you would indicate that you will be travelling with a dog, although it is not very clear how it works.

Sixt Mydriver

User-friendliness: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Stress-free: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Number of dogs allowed: Unknown
Price: ££££

#5. What about Uber?

Also with Uber, it is at the driver’s discretion whether they will accept dogs. We have heard of many people getting around with their pooches (mostly small and medium-sized ones) on Uber cars, although we have been told that it happened to a few people the odd driver who would refuse to take their dog.

Uber Singapore has recently launched a new feature, uberPET, which with a $2 surcharge gets owners and pets around (there is an opt-in system for drivers, and pet owner riders can select their preference in the app; you can read more about this on Uber’s blog here). In the UK at the moment there is no such service, but we would really love to see it introduced!

Cockapoo dog in taxi

The test: fares comparison

We tested the apps to compare their fares on a same route and at a same hour, from Parliament Square to King’s Cross Station. These are the quotes we received:

  • Uber: £8.59 – UberX: £9-13 (but no guarantee about dog-friendliness of vehicle)
  • Addison Lee – pet-friendly vehicle: £13.80
  • Minicabit – with 1 large dog: no cars available at the time requested (current time), by selecting one hour later we got a quote of £28.80 for the cheapest car, up to £34 for other options
  • Gett: fares are by the meter, so it is not possible to know them in advance. We had a look at a taxi fare simulator online, which indicated that an average fare for the chosen route could be of £16.73, but depending on traffic it could be rise to £25 or 55 in the worst case scenario.
  • Sixt Mydriver: it was not possible to book a car for an immediate pick up, you need to allow at least one hour for the pick up. Quotes were £42.98 for Economy class, £52.99 Standard Class and 74.99 1st Class vehicles.

Conclusion

In light of user-friendliness of the app to book with a dog, being sure that a dog-friendly car will be available and fares, in our opinion, the best choice among the apps we tried is Addison Lee.

We would love to hear your experience and hear from your if you have used any other cab/minicab companies and apps!


Other dog-friendly transport methods in London:

 

E N J O Y !


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12 Comments

  • Laurie says:

    This is a great article! Really useful information

  • Zoe Thompson says:

    I often use Uber, just call the driver once booked to check if they are happy. 9 times out of 10 they are fine, they just ask you to keep it on your lap. It’s useful to have a blanket if your dog sheds.

    On the off chance they do not want to take a dog you can ask them to decline the booking and that way you don’t get charged.

  • silvia says:

    Thanks for your suggestions!Very helpful

  • Kitty says:

    In London, Uber doesn’t give you the option to enter that you have a pet. The other day, an Uber Driver who had my pick up address listed as a Veterinary clinic, turned up and as soon as he saw me and my dog, just sped off, yelling at me for not calling him to tell him about the pet, then they tried to charge me for the cancelled fare – I mean who still calls anyone in 2018?!

    So yea in London, I just stick to Pet-friendly Addison Lee and London Black cabs.
    Great credit must be given to London Black cabs and their friendliness to your pets; perhaps its because most of them are proper Londoners who also own dogs. I was once an Uber fan but now my full support has gone back to supporting our overlooked London Black Cabs – they’re simply the best for your pets!

    • Lee says:

      Totally agree, black cab drivers love them, it’s much easier to get a pet in and out of a black cab as well and they use the bus lanes to get there quicker.

      • The Londog says:

        Thank you for your feedback, Lee. You are right that it is easier to get in and out from black cabs, they also have more room for pets, which, especially if you have a large dog, is a good advantage!
        Best wishes
        Cristina

  • Lucia Navarro says:

    Thanks a ton!!

    This was great. I was getting crazy trying to take my large dog to the hospital for an appointment. I knew Addison lee and it works fine sometimes but the last 3 times i tried to book with them they didnt have availability in my area (W4!), not even booking a week in advance. So I had to look for other options and when searching online myself couldnt find all the amazing options you have here 🙂

    Although Minicabit is more expensive than expected, you need to add the filter for pets after adding them as luggage, so the first outcome is 20 options (adding the dog to luggage) but when I filter Pet allowed, then only 1 option remains there and it is double the price of the other cars. I contacted them and they said I needed to use the filter so it was very expensive.

    At the end I used Sixt which was a bit cheaper than Addison Lee and Minicabit (same price than a normal Uber)!

    Also tried once with Uber and they were ok with my large dog, but you always need to contact them and make sure it’s ok. And I dont like how they drive, I always get car sick!

    So thanks a lot, your blog is an amazing help for foreigners who dont have family/friends to help out in this kind of situations!

  • Anna_London9 says:

    Uber experience for pet owners in London is horrible and you will spend ages before driver accepts dog in a car. we have a small fluffy poodle, she always sits on a floor but that doesnt help. most of the uber driver are also Muslim and we had few conversations with them and were told they will definitely refuse dog in the car (they will change seat if you are on a tube with dog so you can imagine inviting one to the car is a big NO NO). Cant wait for uberPET to operate here! So far only Addison Lee is reliable in London.

  • Minicab says:

    cabhit.com offers pet transfers. That means, if you are carrying your pet along with you during the journey, they will provide a suitable taxi that allows your pet to travel with you.

    However, not all minicab providers allow pets in their cabs. You need to check from the list of cab operators for those that show the pet-friendly icon before you confirm your minicab booking: https://cabhit.com/faq/do-you-allow-pets-in-your-cabs

    • The Londog says:

      Thank you for your comment, good to know of this further alternative, will have a look.
      Best wishes
      Cristina

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