In Paris, is it Better to Travel by Taxi or Uber?

Regular taxi or Uber? In Paris, just like in other big cities in the world, the question is valid. 

Which one is the cheapest? The safest? The most convenient?

To help you make your choice, we made this article where we will analyze several elements.

Taxi Uber
Uber vs Taxis in Paris, I’ll explain it all (Credits: Nucléo Editorial sous Creative Commons 2.0)

 

How Is the Price of a Parisian Taxi Ride Counted?

Prices of Parisian taxis may vary according to the time, the length of the ride, and how dense the traffic will be. To understand all of this better, here are 4 points to keep in mind.

  • Pick-up fee: It is written on the taxi meter when you get in the car. This fee is set at 2€60, regardless of the destination.
  • Meet-up fee: If you reserve a cab via a taxi kiosk or a phone, you’ll have to pay an extra fee. French law sets this fare to 4€ if the taxi was called to pick you up immediately, and 7 euros if the taxi was called in advance to pick you up sometime later during the day or on another day, regardless of the distance between your pick-up point and the car.
  • Price per kilometer: It follows an official price scale, which applies to all Parisian taxis. It can fluctuate, however, depending on the day and the hour, but also on the area (inside the city, in the suburban area, or in the faraway, less populated areas).
  • Price per hour: Following the same price scale, this price grid lets the numbers on the meter rise even if you’re stuck in traffic. The mileage meter will switch back to price by kilometer when the intensity of traffic lightens.
Horodateur
Credits: Henry Salomé / Wikimedia Commons sous Creative Commons 3.0

Please note that extra fees can be added in some specific situations. If you book a taxi but you’re not there on time, waiting fees (following the price per hour scale) are added. If you’re traveling with more than 4 passengers, an additional fee of 4€ per person is also added.

Finally, a taxi ride in Paris cannot cost less than 7.30 €, even if the ride is very short.

 

Official Price Scale per Hour and per Kilometer

Rate A Rate B Rate C
Price per Kilometer 1,09€ 1,38€ 1,61€
Price per hour 33,48€ 42,41€ 35,99€

 

All three price rates are applied according to the following conditions:

Rate A Rate B Rate C
Within Paris 10am to 5pm (except on Sundays) 5pm to 10am

On Sundays from 7am to midnight.

Holidays

On Sundays from midnight to 7am
Suburban area of Paris Non-applicable 7am to 7pm 7pm to 7am
Far areas Non-applicable Non-applicable Everyday

 

The limits of the city are defined by the ring road around it. Airports are counted as being in the suburban areas, but knowing which neighboring cities are part of those areas can be a little tricky. To better understand how these works, refer to the map below: the blue zone represents the suburban area.

Carte des zones de Paris
© Paris Police Prefecture

 

Exception for Roissy (CDG) and Orly (ORY) airports

For a trip to or from the Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports, you won’t have to do any calculations since the prices are fixed all year long. Moreover, all airports are now equipped with taxi kiosks.

To Paris – Left bank of the Seine river To Paris – Right bank of the Seine river
Roissy Airport (CDG)
58€ 53€
Orly Airport (ORY)
32€ 37€

 

Quick Overview of Existing Taxi Companies

There are quite a few taxi companies in Paris, but only two of them are noteworthy and can actually stand their ground with Uber and other similar services.

 

Lumineux sur le toit d'un taxi
Credits: Jean Pierre-Gallot sous Creative Commons 2.0

 

G7 Taxis

G7 taxis is the biggest taxi network in Europe. Merely in Paris, the company counts for about 9,000 taxis. In an effort to face its concurrent Uber, it also merged in 2017 with the famous taxi company “Les taxis Bleus” (“the blue cabs”).

With diversified options, G7 taxis targets multiple kinds of customers -regular or not- such as families or businesspeople.

Thanks to the mobile app, you can also track the route your cab follows in real-time until you arrive at your destination. You can even pay for your ride directly through the app.

Here are the different options offered by G7 :

  • The G7: Cheap and simple, we recommend this one for occasional trips.
  • G7 Green: created in 2007, this line of service only offers 100% electric or hybrid cabs, for a more environmental-friendly journey.
  • G7 Van: this option allows you to get picked up by a van instead of a car, which is perfect for families, or travelers with a lot of luggage. Up to 7 people can ride in the car.
  • G7 VIP: Get picked up in a Mercedes or Audi sedans for a private and luxurious trip.
  • Shared G7: share a taxi with other people towards train stations and airports to divide the cost of the ride. On a side note, this line of service is only available if booked ahead of time

Except for “G7s” and “Shared G7s”, all cabs are equipped with a Wifi connexion.

Taxis hybrides
Credits: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz / Wikimedia Commons sous Creative Commons 3.0

G7 VIP offers 3 membership options, specifically aimed at businesspeople. The goal is to provide them with a priority access for their business trips, in the comfort of G7 VIP’s luxury sedans. The Club Premium G7 membership option is the most expensive one out of the three. It includes a personalized welcome from the driver and ensures to protect any forgotten belongings for 48 hours.

Good to know: people with impaired mobility are not set aside! There is a special phone number dedicated to them, and they can also use G7’s website to describe their needs. Close to 150 cabs are equipped with an access ramp, and the drivers are trained to help the customer if necessary.

You can also choose from a variety of free options such as:

  • baby seats
  • A cab with a special registration for medically required trips, so you won’t have to pay for any additional cost.
  • Pet-friendly cabs
  • An English speaking driver

At the CDG airport, you’ll be able to find a taxi kiosk in the luggage room, from which you can call a cab to take you anywhere in Paris. Don’t worry about being late, there is a fixed fee included in the price of the ride which already covers this possibility.

What we like:

  • A large variety of services and options to choose from
  • A special profile to better answer the needs of people with impaired mobility.
  • Some attractive membership offers for business people
  • A taxi kiosk to place your order at the CDG airport
  • An app, which also allows you to pay for your ride…

What we don’t:

  • …too bad the app doesn’t work well.

Lien de l’application : Android, iPhone

 

Alpha Taxis

Taxi Mercedes
Credits: Jaime de la Fuente sous Creative Commons 2.0

This company is a 40-year-old cooperative of Parisian taxis, with 90% of their drivers being self-employed under the French status of “artisan”.

The big advantage with Alpha Taxis is the absence of extra fees for the options they offer and their phone line.

Their mobile app also allows you to track the cab as it comes to meet you, and to pay for the ride easily.

As you book your cab, you can choose among three types of vehicles:

  • The “break”: classic cab
  • The “monospace”: a minivan
  • The “high end”: for people wanting extra comfort

You can ask for an English-speaking driver and indicate if you’re going to carry a heavy package or if you’re traveling with a dog. This way, the company can send you a cab that fits your needs.

Alpha Taxis is also the first company of registered taxis for medical transport, therefore, do not hesitate to contact them for your medically required trips. This cooperative is also part of a program called PAM (whose aim is to help people with impaired mobility move through Paris). Unfortunately, these services are not clearly presented on the website or the app, and you will have to call to enjoy these options.

Lastly, a small text can be sent to the driver, which is quite useful if you need to get picked up from a train station or the airport: the driver can hold a sign with your name, for a more simple experience.

What we like:

  • easy and performant app to find a cab
  • trustworthy and personalized service
  • no extra fees for a phone call

What we don’t:

  • number of passengers fixed to a maximum of 5, regardless of the size of the car.

App link: Android, iPhone

 

Uber, the peer-to-peer giant

Uber driver
© Flickr

In a similar way to G7 taxis, Uber has their own price scales for the duration of the trip and the distance. It is way cheaper than their concurrents.

Fee
Cost
Pick up fee 1,20 €
Price per kilometer 1,05 €
Price per minute 0,30 €

Unlike Parisian taxis, Uber’s price scales are not publicized. There are some evident differences between the two, such as the A, B and C price scale system, used by Parisian taxis: Uber doesn’t operate this way. Nothing is indicated about meeting fees.

However, several people reported on the company’s forums that a driver will deduct meeting fees when he will have taken more than 11 minutes to meet you. The calculation of this fee can vary between different cities, but don’t worry: you will be notified on the app if this happens. You will also be able to know the exact cost. Indeed, the cost can vary based on factors such as the city, supply and demand, and others. The price of a fare can even change from a day to another

Uber’s implantation in Paris hit the cab market like a bomb. This American company landed a new concept, consisting of innovating services at much lower prices. Consequently, taxi companies had to find an alternative or develop those new services too, in order to be able to compete with Uber.

Uber offers numerous lines of service, able to satisfy all kinds of potential clients.

  • UberX: the classic Uber cab
  • UberVan: For families or people with a lot of luggage
  • UberSelect: High-end cars
  • UberBlack et UberBlack SUV: Comfy sedans
  • UberLux: Professional drivers and luxury sedans

On top of that, you can choose from a few free options.

  • UberPOOL: Searching for the cheapest trip available? Then you will love this service. The concept is very simple, you will take a cab with other people with roughly the same destination as yours. The price of the ride is divided between all the passengers, and you get to save up some money.
  • UberAccess: available to handicapped people. Drivers of this service will follow a special training to learn how to care for travelers with different types of handicaps.
  • UberGreen: this line of service only uses hybrid or electric cars. In this case, Uber was the one to follow the lead of its competitor, as G7 launched a very similar service back in 2017. With Uber, however, the Green option is the same price as a basic UberX ride, which makes it an easy choice.
Chauffeur Uber
Credits: Alex Torrenegra sous Creative Commons 2.0

Right after the launch of Uber, fake Uber drivers saw the opportunity to make easy money. Since then, the company has made a few changes to protect its customers, by making sure they get into the right car. You can now check the driver’s profile, see their picture, and read their reviews. There’s even an optional feature to check if you’re taking the right cab through a code you’ll have to give your driver to confirm the ride. You can also contact emergency services directly through the app.

What we like:

  • How fast the service is
  • The UberPOOL line, easy and economical.
  • The company’s efforts to protect its clients
  • A wide range of vehicles

What we don’t:

  • Uber drivers can’t use the taxi lanes.

Lien de l’application : Android, iPhone

 

Taxis vs Uber: What’s the Difference in Price?

Course 1 Course 2 Course 3 Course 4 Course 5 Course 6 Course 7
Details about the course Gare de Lyon → Grande Arche de la Défense (22km/ 13.6 miles) Châtelet – Les Halles → Paris-CDG Airport (25 km/ 15.5 miles) Gare de l’Est → Paris-Orly Airport (25 km/ 15.5 miles) Place d’Italie → Paris-Orly Airport (11 km/ 6.8 miles) Place des Fêtes → Paris- CDG Airport (24 km/ 14.9 miles) Gare Montparnasse → Paris- CDG Airport (37 km/ 23 miles) Place de Clichy → Paris-Orly Airport (19 km/ 11.8 miles)
Uber 35-47€ 37-50€ 31-42€ 18-25€ 33-45€ 47-63€ 38-51€
Taxi G7 33-39€ 57€ 41€ 36€ 57€ 62€ 41€
Alpha Taxis 32-40€ 54€ 39€ 34€ 54€ 59€ 39€

 

We can see that prices sometimes even out. Uber is cheaper than taxis in some cases, and vice-versa. But because of Uber’s dynamic pricing, prices can vary by a lot within one day. This is what we observed once for a ride between Place d’Italie and the Orly Airport, where the price could fluctuate between 33€ and 40€.

The best solution would be to check Uber’s prices yourself before ordering a cab since Parisians taxis’ tariffs follow guidelines, and their price for a ride to or from the airport cannot change.

 

Comparison of Taxi Services

confort

Quality of service often depends on your driver more than the company, yet we can point out a few trends.

First of all, you’re more likely to have less waiting time with an uber. Regarding the quality of service during the ride, people tend to appreciate how professional taxi drivers can be, though it may depend on the driver. Uber drivers sometimes provide water bottles or phone chargers, something that is quite unlikely to happen when you take a regular taxi.

As for how fast you will get to your destination point, taxis probably win this round. They have a lane just for them (shared with buses), which can help a lot in case of heavy traffic.

Another detail to take into account: an internet connexion is necessary to order and Uber. If you don’t have good coverage or you don’t have enough roaming data left, maybe you should take a cab instead.

Uber had a great idea, which G7 copied later on, with the drivers’ reviews and grading through the app. You can now immediately what previous users thought of the drivers. This also prompts the drivers to be on their best behavior with all passengers.

To better compare the services, we made you a double-entry table.

 

Table comparing Uber, G7 and Alpha Taxis’ offers

Uber G7 Taxis Alpha Taxis
Booking means App or website only Taxi kiosks, phone, website or app Taxi kiosks, phone, website or app
Maximum number of passengers 6 7 5
Drivers’ average grade 4,8 / 5 4,8 / 5 No grading service
Meet up fees None Yes Yes
Airport ride fares Varies Fixed-price Fixed-price
Family car UberVan and UberBlack SUV G7 Van None
Hybrids/ electric cars UberGreen G7 Green None
Sedans Uber Black et UberLux G7 VIP High-end vehicles
Access for handicapped people UberAccess Option available + dedicated phone line Option available when booked by phone
Carpooling Shared G7 under limited booking conditions, for transport to train stations and airports None
Access to taxi lanes No Yes Yes
Medically registered taxis No Yes Yes, if booked by phone call
On-board wifi connexion No Yes, except for the basic G7 line of service No
Airport or train station personalized pick-up No Yes Yes
English speaking driver option No Yes Yes
Pets allowed Depends on the driver Bookable option Bookable option
Memberships None Business Pass G7 and Club G7 Available

 

 

Quick Overview of Uber’s Competitors

While Uber is clearly a leader in the market, it does have a few competitors which should not be ignored. Here are some of the most noteworthy.

SIXT ride: redefines the concept of a private driver using a premium service.

LeCab: The price of the rides is scaled and does not depend on hours or any other factors. Quite useful to plan your trips.

Marcel: Early booking gives you access to discount prices.

SnapCar: Cheaper during less busy hours.

 

Renting a Car, a Good Option

Rental cars

If driving in a big city doesn’t scare you, renting a car is an option that will give you a lot of freedom. You’d be able to visit Paris but also the surroundings. It’s easier, for instance, to get to the Versailles Palace by car, or the Château de Fontainebleau, or even up to the Loire Valley Castles and the Mont-Saint-Michel.

If you’re staying for at least a few days, it’s a very good alternative. Besides, with comparison tools like this one, you can find rental from €30/day only.

On this topic: Is it Necessary to Rent a Car in Paris or is it Better to Use Public Transport?

 

In Short

The choice of a Uber or a taxi depends on personal preferences, and it would be difficult to determine a “winner” or any kind of general precise rules.

On another note, we can observe a change in taxis’ offered services, in an attempt to adapt to the market now that it’s been transformed by Uber.

Taxis now offer more lines of service, options… With time, we might observe a homogenization of those services, inspired by both types of private transportation.

In the meantime, here is our advice:

  • If you prefer a cheaper trip and you have no problem sharing a car with other people, the practical and simple aspect of UberPOOL will seduce you.
  • If you’d rather go fast, maybe in a situation where arriving early is a key factor, we recommend you take a taxi.