Which Is Best? A Metered Fare Or A “Private Hire” Set Price?

This is something we’re frequently asked, so let us see if we can clarify this for you.

When you call ahead of time to book a taxi there are two ways for that trip to be calculated. Either the booking is taken and the subsequent trip charged at the meter price (the driver switches the meter on when you alight the vehicle, off when you arrive at your destination and you pay whatever the meter stops at), or you can ask for a “Private Hire” set price and the taxi company quotes you a price, which you either accept or decline. Keep in mind that the metered fare is controlled and regulated by the IOW Council, whereas the “Private Hire” price is NOT.

The problem with booking via a “Private Hire” set price, is it relies upon two important factors:

1. Either you’ve known the taxi operator who’s quoting you for many years and, from experience, you know they will always give you a fair price.

2. Or you know in advance exactly what the metered fare should work out at and, therefore, know if the set price offered is reasonable or not.

For the latter solution, you could, indeed, use our Friendly Cabs “Taxi Fare” page, which includes an up to date Tariff Table, published by the IOW Council and one which should be displayed in the window of any IOW taxi for all to see:


We were recently alerted by one of our now regular customers that he was quoted a “Private Hire” cost of £25.00 to go from Medina View in East Cowes to the Red Funnel Ferry Terminal, about 1/2 a mile away. Fortunately, he called Friendly Cabs for a second quote and we duly let him know that the correct metered fare should be around £5.00..

You’d naturally expect that a “Private Hire” cost should be slightly cheaper than a metered fare but unless you know exactly what the metered fare should be, how would you know whether you’ve received a “good deal” or not?

Of course, we CAN quote you a “Private Hire” price but what we prefer to do is this: we do the trip on the meter, so at the end you can see the “exact and correct” price for the journey. If you follow our Friendly Cabs FaceBook page you are automatically entitled to a 10% discount off that price, which we then deduct before you pay. Now you can be absolutely sure that any trip you take with us is 10% below the price you should have paid and always a great deal. 👍

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