How to talk to cabbies

Because after reading this you’ll totally know how to do it

How small should the small talk be? Is it fair game to change the radio station? How loudly do you talk in the backseat?

Up until now millions of helplessly awkward Brits have never known exactly the right etiquette to adopt with the taxi driver; often some of the friendliest/maddest members of the public you come into contact with on a regular basis.

Here’s a collated step-by-step guide to ensuring you never get fined, verbally abused or dropped off early by your man in the metal carriage.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Before even getting in the cab, ascertain to yourself what kind of state you’re in. Is this a simple question of an early afternoon trip to the train station, or is this the organisation of 30 wasted basic bitches after a netball club pres got out of hand.

From this, even in your potentially inebriated state, you should be able to work out how this journey is going to go down.

Yes mate…

Know your enemy

You wouldn’t usually strike up a conversation with a complete stranger in the real world without something or someone that connects the two of you. But in the strange parallel universe that is the taxi, this is deemed perfectly normal.

However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t try and Sherlock him and look for any clues about what this guy’s deal is and whether you can create a conversation out of them.

Look out in particular for any tattoos of football clubs or women’s names, flags, comical air fresheners or any specialist taste in fashion.

Don’t be a hero

Cannot stress this highly enough. There will always be one brave soul who is either cringey or battered to a certain level where they will think it is their job to man the taxi operation by taking the front seat.

You should never be this person out of choice. If you don’t know anyone that enjoys being this person, it’s probably you. Sorry.

This person will always feel the need to talk to the driver as he or she is the main link between you and your new friend. Most of the chat will go through this person and it is this person that starts to feel the horrible maternal sensation of counting everyone into the cab. Never a good person to be.

“Omg, freshas best year of my lyf!!!!”

Topics of conversation

This should be easy. You’ve all made smalltalk before. But it quickly can become a nightmare if you don’t stay on the right kind of subjects.

Girls can obviously get away with a lot more in these situations but they should still err on the side of caution when it comes to a couple of these:

Yes: Weather, Recent football results, Other student taxi anecdotes, Length of journey, Traffic, Weather, Other national and international taxi stories, Weather.

Girly topics xoxox: Driver’s family, Pets, Passenger’s Ex BF problems, Favourite late night destination for chips, Social media differences, Popular Culture, Difference in musical taste.

Just don’t (all of which have been heard before): Driver’s sex life, Driver’s sexual tendencies, Driver’s political allegiance, Reason for large plaster on Driver’s arm, Reason for driver’s low speed, Unmarked cab kidnap anecdotes.

Shrapnel collection

In short, who the fuck normally carries £1.75 in exact change just in case they have to grab a cab a short notice? The answer? Some people.

The rest of the no-change-no-hopers instantly become the serfs of the microcosmic feudal system that is the cab, begging their rich landowners for money in return for services such as “I’ll buy you a drink inside” and “I swear you owe me though…”

Hopefully though if your friend group is of a certain ilk then some absolute Bertie Big Bollocks, get rich or die trying character will pipe up from the back, informing the cohort that he’s harbouring a tenner.

He now becomes the Lord of shrapnel as it flows through the various rows of seating and then back to the driver. He now owns you.

Gang sign$

The handover

An often tricky manoeuvre, made all the more difficult by people failing to complete step 5 in time for arrival at the destination. The amount of tipping that should be done is a potentially sticky issue as well.

If you’re in the company of a lovely young female, as a man it’s imperative to show her that “money really ain’t a thang” so an up to £2 tip is applicable here. On one’s own and in large groups it is often the case of of rounding up to the nearest pound so everyone can leave with a smile on their face.