Losing any of your possessions whilst travelling can be frustrating, but it’s not all lost if you’ve misplaced an item in a London black cab.
There are several ways you can try to look for lost property in a taxi. First up, check your receipt. If you paid by card there will be a number for the card payment solution provider to call. On the same receipt you’ll also find a number that references the taxi driver who was serving you. The card payment operator should provide you with more information as to where your possessions are currently located.
Similarly if you booked your cab via an app, get in touch with the operator who’ll be able to contact the driver on your behalf.
If you paid by cash and have no receipt, this is when you may have to call round and search in a few places.
First up, contact Transport for London (TfL) and register an enquiry with them. They will take details of the lost item along with personal details and use them to match up items handed in to them.
Most cabbies will head to the TfL Lost Property offices to hand in items as soon as it's possible. Sometimes the item might not be found immediately, especially if it’s a dark late night or you were the final fare for the cabbie who now isn’t working for a few days!
TfL keep unclaimed items for a maximum of 3 months from the date of loss. Money (except for that found in Black Cabs) can be claimed up to 12 months from the date of loss.
Once TfL confirm that they have found your property, they will let you know how you can reclaim it. TfL usually ask people to collect their items within two weeks.
It’s also worth remembering the following:
Items may be collected from the TfL office, or couriered to you for an additional cost.
TfL charge a fee to help cover the cost of collecting and storing your property.
TfL require valid identification before they release goods for collection or delivery.
Property found in taxis is subject to an additional fee based on the value of the item. This award is given directly to the driver in recognition of their actions.
If you want someone else to collect the property on your behalf, you need to provide a signed letter or authorisation email.
And what happens to the items which remain unclaimed after 3 months from the date of loss?
Well, after that period the item becomes the property of TfL who will remove and securely destroy any personal data. Then, the transport regulator will donate the property to charity or recycle, dispose of or sell it.
If you have no immediate success with TfL Lost Property it’s then worthwhile logging on to social media. Taxi drivers in the capital are well connected, especially on Facebook and Twitter platforms. On Twitter head for @BC_Lostproperty to search whether your item has been found or to post up an item to alert drivers.
Finally, as a last ditch attempt, it’s always worth contacting the Met Police to see whether they hold your item lost item.
TfL Lost Property contact details and opening hours
Online: Use the TfL enquiry form.
Collection point: 63-81 Pelham St, London SW7 2NJ (closest Tube: South Kensington). This office is for pre-booked visits only and wait until TfL have told you that your property is ready to collect, as items may be stored in different locations.
Opening hours: 08:30 - 16:00 Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).