Their drivers may want to know a little more about your life than is really comfortable - and they always seem to have just taken someone really famous for a ride - but it seems London's taxis are still the best in the world.
Hotels.com - one of the world's leading providers of online accommodation bookings - released its annual taxi report August 23 and the results show that despite being voted as the world's most expensive, London's cabs were also voted the best - pulling in 28 percent of the votes to leave their rivals stalling in the shade.
Behind London came New York (nine percent of votes), and then the Asian cities of Hong Kong and Tokyo, which were tied with seven percent of the vote.
London's cabbies' verbal mannerisms obviously don't leave their Korean customers smiling though, with 37 percent of respondents from that country saying they hated "chatty drivers," as did 30 percent of Germans.
No matter, says Hotels.com's director of communications, Alison Couper. "Taxi drivers are often the first people a traveller will meet on entering a country and their experience can set the tone of their holiday. After four years at number one, London taxi drivers are clearly leading the way, providing travelers with a reliable and safe experience," she said in a statement announcing the results.
Here in Hong Kong - a city where the taxis are known to stalk pedestrians like sharks - the locals polled voted their local cabs the best for safety, friendliness, cleanliness, quality of driving, knowledge of the area, value for money and availability.
Some of the other findings saw New York's cabs winning "best availability" (32 percent of respondents), but also having the worst local knowledge (11 percent). Best value overall was to be found in Bangkok, according to the poll, with the city's taxis voted cheapest by 30 percent of those surveyed. However those cab drivers were also voted the worst in terms of quality of driving by almost a third of those in the survey.
This year's taxi survey polled, via the web, around 5,000 travelers from 23 countries August 8-16 on a collection of cab-passenger experiences.
Hotels.com also found that travelling by taxi remained the most popular mode of transport for those heading from airport to hotel, with 54 percent of the vote, in front of train (16 percent), bus (16 percent) and walking (two percent).
How they finished ...
The world's best taxis:
1. London - 28 percent
2. New York - 9 percent
3. Hong Kong, Tokyo - 7 percent
5. Singapore, Bangkok - 6 percent
7. Berlin, Helsinki, Dublin, Madrid - 4 percent.
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