Ever thought... Why are black taxis black?


The iconic black taxi is synonymous with the yellow cabs of New York as the most recognisable cabs in the world. With around 18,000 taxis registered in the capital, and many more throughout the UK, just when and why did the black colour become iconic?


It all dates back to 1948 when the FX3 was first released by Carbodies in Coventry and became the first classically shaped taxi with an orange ‘for hire’ light on its roof.

For fleet owners at the time, often buying multiple vehicles at once, they wanted to keep costs as low as possible. Black was the standard and cheapest colour for the taxis produced at the time, so a large majority of FX3s on the capital’s roads were simply left to ply for hire in the standard factory black.


Since 2018 London’s licensed taxi drivers and fleets have invested nearly £200million into 3,500 zero-emission vehicles to clean up the capital’s poor air quality as requested by the Mayor of London. More green than black now!

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