Taxis are an easy way to get around if you do not drive yourself or don't like taking other methods of transport. For many years they have proven to be a popular source of traveling in fact the taxi service dates back to the early seventeenth century. Horse led hackney carriages are the earliest recorded forms of taxi transport and were first used in London and Paris France. The first documented taxi carriage was in London back in 1605.In those days we did not have cars and motorbikes and many other forms of transport that we have today. So the horse led carriage was the best to get around in those days. In 1635 hackney horse cabs were legalised by parliament for the use of hackney carriages for hire. In 1654 parliament regulated hackney coachmen in London and licenses were issued in 1662.
The idea behind the taxi meter which measures the current fare was started in 1834 it was at this point the carriages were known as 'Taxicabs'. The horse carriages were replaced by a form of transport named the Hansom. The name Hansom was introduced due to the gentleman Joseph Hansom who introduced a new form of carriage which was light and agile enough to be pulled by a single horse. Safety measures were more in place with this invention also. After this other countries soon followed introducing their own. The very first Gasoline powered taxi cab was brought into the world in 1897 and was built by Gottlieb Daimler. The very first introduction of the gasoline powered taxicab was in 1903 in London right here in the UK. Since then the evolving of taxi vehicles have been something special. Up until a number of years ago, the majority of taxi vehicles consisted of Black hackney cabs which some still do. More and more these days though, you see the use of every day cars coming into play as taxi cabs. A lot of taxis you see on the road these days are similar and you see the same vehicles keep cropping up. There are many reasons for the vehicles that taxi drivers choose to drive, the main being reliability. Today here at Shortfall we are taking a look into some of the most used every day vehicles on our roads today that are used as taxi's.
There are quite a large number of most often used vehicles for the taxi service on the streets of the United Kingdom but today we are going to look at five of these vehicles which the chances are..you have seen them used as taxis.
So with our first look into an often used taxi.. we see the Toyota Avensis come into play.
The Avensis model was first introduced to the world back in 1997 and has since found it's place amongst the taxi community in the United Kingdom. Some benefits of this car is that it is fuel efficient, good value for money and is very spacious. The model received a face lift back in 2011 which helped refresh the line up and made it even more popular than it already was. One of the most fuel efficient vehicles to be added into the Avensis range was the 2.0 litre diesel engine which develops a total of 124 brake horse power overall. The sprint to 62 miles per hour from the get go is achieved from the Avensis diesel in just 9.7 seconds. The Avensis is currently in it's third life cycle and has even done big things outside of the taxi world. During the year of 2010 it was revealed that the British touring car championships NGTC model will be built around the Toyota Avensis.
To make the purchase on a brand new Toyota Avensis it will cost you between £17,700 and £26,595 for the saloon version of the car which is often used as a taxi.
The next most commonly used taxi on our list is the Volkswagen Passat. The Passat model is often seen all around the United Kingdom transporting passengers from A to B. The very first Passat was launched onto the streets of the UK in 1973. It has received many variations and changes over the years but some of the latest models from 2005 onwards have proven to be some of the best vehicles for taxi drivers. The latest version of the Passat to be released is currently the sixth generation vehicle and is still proving to be just as popular today amongst taxi drivers as it was back in 2005. One of the latest Passat models contains the choice of two petrol engines and two diesel engines. A 1.4 litre and a 2.0 litre petrol engine go on sales. Between the two we see power outputs between 158 brake horse power and 207 bhp. As far as the diesel engines go, we see the inclusions of a 1.6 litre which develops a power output of 104bhp with your alternative choice being the 2.0 litre TDI which ranges power between 138 and 175bhp. The likes of the Mazda 6 and the Ford Mondeo are all top contending rivals going head to head with the Passat. Some of the strong selling points of the Passat is that it benefits from a comfy interior making it great for long distance journeys. A Bluemotion version of the vehicle is also on offer which provides much more fuel efficiency.
Prices for the latest Passat model begin at £20,375 with prices rising to £27,885 for the top of the range vehicle.
Another one of the most commonly used vehicles in the taxi industry comes as the Octavia from the Czech brand Skoda. The Octavia has been one of the many vehicles that has helped to raise the brand awareness and all round popularity of the Skoda company over the recent years. The latest Octavia model was launched last year and has proven to be one of the key sellers for the mass manufacturer and a wise purchase for taxi firms. The addition to the range has multiple engine options on sale,A 1.4 litre,TSI petrol is a popular choice and it has a power output of 138bhp. A 104bhp 1.2 litre TSI engine is also available. Another two engine options are also on sale and we see these come in the form of diesels. A 1.6 litre TDI developing 104bhp with the alternative choice being the 2.0 litre 148 brake horse power range.
There are also various trim levels that go on offer with the latest Skoda which add additional pieces of equipment both for the interior and the exterior of the car. These features include the likes of DAB digital radio,a leather steering wheel,automatic air conditioning,cruise control, alloy wheels and a built in sat nav system which could prove to be very handy for the taxi driver. The petrol engines for the latest Octavia model start of at £15,990 with prices for the diesel range beginning at £18,040.
Next on our list of most commonly used taxis on the road, we see the introduction of the Vauxhall Astra. The Astra was first introduced back in 1979 and has since then proven to be one of the key sellers for the brand. The vehicle is great for those long journeys which is certainly a bonus for taxi drivers and it comes with much needed interior space. The Astra is now in it's sixth generation and for many years has proven to be some flight competition for the Focus from Ford and the likes of the VW Golf. The latest addition to the Astra family though has proven to be a good seller for the company. It comes with lots of options regarding trim levels and engines also which is always a good focal point for a vehicle. Engine wise and regarding the power side of things, we see the options of a total number of ten. Two of the main sellers on the market though consist of the 1.4 litre petrol which produces an output of 87bhp and the other being a twin turbo,2.0 litre diesel variant which sees a power put out of 195 brake horse power. Something else that makes the Astra something exciting is that there are range of styles and formats on offer for this car also. These include a five door hatchback,a GTC version or a sport tourer estate model. Prices for the latest Vauxhall Astra model begin at £12,240 with the price range raising higher varying on which trim level you choose and which format.
Last but certainly by no means least is the Honda Accord. The Accord is often seen as a taxi drivers choice of car. The Honda brand are well known for vehicle additions such as the Civic which many people prefer to drive today. Without a doubt the Civic is certainly one of the biggest sellers for the Honda company and has been for many years. For the taxi service though something slightly bigger may be needed which is where the Accord comes into play. The very first Accord model began production back in 1976 and has since gone on to be a key part of the success brought to Honda via the car side of the company. The latest version of the Accord sees a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel engine on sale with the car. The petrol engines come in the manner of i-VTEC engines. The first carrying 2.0 litres and a power output of 154 bhp. The quicker of the two though is the 2.4 litre, which develops 198 brake horse power and sees the Accord make the sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a good time of 8.1 seconds.
Your diesel alternative is a 2.2 litre and achieves the 0 to 62 miles per hour dash in 9.4 seconds thanks to a power development of 148 bhp. Some of the key benefits of the Honda Accord include one of the smoothest driving experiences from a diesel vehicle,great exterior looks and a high standard interior. Prices for the latest Honda Accord Saloon model roll in from £23,200 and rise right up to £33,685 for the top of the range version.
No doubt taxi cabs have certainly come a long way since 1605 with the horse drawn carriages. When you think about it though, the way the taxi system works is pretty much identical to how it was back then. A fare meter was registered to estimate the miles traveled and the cost which is still used to this day. The only thing that has really changed is the technology used. From the Horse drawn carriage to the Honda Accord amongst many many more taxi vehicles used today, the trade has certainly proven to be one of the biggest around the world. America is one of the biggest countries for taxi cabs also with an estimated 51,000 taxi cab drivers just in New York alone at this moment in time. It is certainly a form of transport that we think will never fade away and holds a very bright future.