Most well-known taxis in India

Team CARS24
Team CARS24

Updated on: 23rd November, 2023 IST

Most well-known taxis in India

Doubtlessly, the world is slowly but surely moving towards app based cab services like Ola, Uber, and Meru. However, we cannot ignore the charm of traditional taxis that still remain intact. Travelling in a traditional cab or taxi gives you an insight into the local culture of that particular place. Let’s discuss about the local cabs or taxis in India which are still prevalent in major Indian cities.

Mumbai’s black and yellow taxis

A decade ago, if you were standing at Churchgate station or just in front of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, a cab would mean riding on the quintessential ‘kaali-peeli’ Mumbai’s Padmini Fiat Taxi. Introduced in 1911, Mumbai’s iconic, non-air-conditioned, ‘kaali-peeli’ Fiat taxis were ubiquitous across Mumbai. To anyone who has ever visited the city of dreams, a decade ago, must have enjoyed a ride in this. Sleek yet a sturdy body, low ceiling, colourful interiors, and door handles turning upwards instead of down. The iconic taxi has been a part of significant Bollywood movies like Taxi Taxie (1977), Gaman (1978), and Taxi No.9211 (2006) to name a few. However, with the arrival of more efficient cars, the Fiat Taxi lost its position. Big players like Hyundai’s Santro and Maruti Suzuki’s Wagon-R replaced it as Taxi. Commuters are embracing the change and preferring the newer, less- shaky taxis. They are definitely one the iconic taxis in India.

Taxis in India - hyundai santro taxi in mumbai

Kolkata Yellow Cabs

Kolkata is popularly known as the city of joy. As soon as your enter Howrah or Sealdah railway stations, you will see a fleet of yellow cabs waiting for passengers. They are ready to drop you to your desired destination with utmost responsibility. They yellow cabs have enjoyed monopoly for years as the only confortable public transport. However, the state government has decided to open the market to “more technologically advanced” vehicles, said Sabyasachi Bagchi, vice-chairman of the Regional Transport Authority (RTA). Previously, vehicles like Wagon R and Tata Motors Ltd’s Indigo had been given the permit to get registered as metered taxis in West Bengal. But, none of them could surpass the stranglehold the yellow Ambassadors have in the market. When you talk about taxis in India, you can't afford to miss them.

Taxis in India

Delhi’s taxi

Are you are a Delhiwallah? And probably were born during the 80s or early 90s? Then, the black and yellow ambassador cabs must have been an integral part of your life. You must have seen most of the capital city roaming  in these with your family or friends. Those were the days when owning a private car was considered a luxury. But again, as years passed by, the commute scenario in Delhi changed. Increasing number of people started owning a vehicle. And, the rise of app based cabs, have had a drastic effect on the traditional taxis. At present, it is hard to spot them on the wide or narrow roads of the capital city. You can still get a glance of them on a lane in front of the railway station.  

Taxis in India

Simply Put

It is true that the traditional cabs in all the major cities of India are struggling to keep their feet intact. Be it changing government policies, environmental concerns, or influx of app based radio taxis or cabs, authorities should take steps to boost their presence. A little investment of time and money, is severely required. If not anything, they can be up-cycled and sold to the public. They can be used for the purpose of tourism and as a means of advertising as well. For information on used cars keep an eye on this space. If you want to sell your old car and know its resale value, visit right away.  

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