Dog-friendly LondonGetting around

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

By October 14, 2018 5 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).

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: £££

#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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