“Can I bring my budgie?”

. . . and other bizarre requests made of London Cabbies

Cabbies in London get to see all walks of life. In fact, you never quite know who you’ll get in the back of your cab or how they’ll be behave.

Some passengers ask very little of you as a taxi driver, just to be taken from A to B safely and within good time. However, there are others that are just a little more demanding or at times, outright bizarre.

[L]eading taxi insurance broker, insureTAXI asked 220 London cabbies to reveal the strangest requests they’ve ever got from passengers and they came up with these fantastic tales. From transporting budgies to visiting the crematorium at midnight, these taxi drivers truly went beyond the call of duty.

Can I bring my budgie?
“Had a customer ask me if she could bring her budgie, told her that she could as long as she kept hold of it. Well…she didn’t and when I broke hard for a car that pulled out in front of me the cage went flying. The door flew open and the bird was flying around my car with her daughter screaming her head off!! The customer had to climb in the back to try and catch it.” Steve (St Albans, Hertfordshire)

I need my charger . . . it’s in my car!
“Had a lad ask me to take him on a 40 mile round trip just to collect his phone charger from his car. This was a £50 fare from the bar he had been drinking at! When I explained the cost he insisted that it was important and that he didn’t mind. I’m sure he could have waited to make some other arrangement the next day” Ali (Central London)

Quick! I’m live on air in 9 minutes . . .
“I once was asked to take an MP to a TV broadcast 9 minutes before he was live on air with Paxton on Newsnight! No pressure I thought. We made it with less than a few seconds to spare.” Anonymous (Central London)

I want a divorce!
“I once took a couple of arguing newlyweds home from their night do and the bride asked to be dropped off at her parents as she did not want to go home with her new husband and wanted a divorce.” Tahir (Croydon, East London)

Secret midnight cremation
“Back in the 80s I was asked to take a male and a female, dressed in Gothic fashion to the local Crematorium late at Night. I said, hesitantly, “what actually inside the grounds?!”I mean I’m sorry to ask but why do want to go there this late at night?” “Yes!” she said. Nervously, I drove into the grounds of the Crematorium, shaking, fearing I was going to face some ritualistic ceremony…it was getting darker and darker until suddenly I saw the lights of a house and breathed a great sigh of relief. The female passenger explained they’d been in a time piece having a laugh and been invited to a friends’ party whose house happened to be inside the grounds of the crematorium. The man, whose identity is still a complete mystery, paid the fare, and wrote “thank you for a great ride, love Alf” in my notebook.” Rasheed (Chelmsford, Essex)

Think you can beat these? Follow @insuretaxi on twitter and let them know about the most bizarre request you’ve ever got as a taxi driver (your story might get published on the website!) You’ll also be able to look out for details about the next taxi driver survey and will be kept updated on other industry news.

This is a Guest Post by Tim Crighton director of taxi insurance specialists Taxi-Insure.

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