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LOST PROPERTY IN LONDON TAXIS: What to do when you leave items behind

Image credit: DALL.E (AI Generated)

Losing possessions while travelling can be highly inconvenient, particularly in the hustle and bustle of London. However, not all is lost if you find yourself in this predicament after travelling in a black cab.

If you have a receipt from your journey, your first step should be to check it. For card payments, the receipt will show the number of the card payment provider, who can give you information about your lost items. The receipt will also list the driver's licence number, otherwise known as their badge number, enabling the provider to identify the driver who served you.

For journeys booked via an app, contacting the operator directly will allow them to liaise with the driver on your behalf.

If you paid by cash and have no receipt, your search might need to be broader. Start by contacting Transport for London (TfL) to register your lost item. Provide them with details of the item and your contact information; they will use these to match any items handed in. Additionally, it's advisable to contact the police regarding your lost property.

Following a move from central to east London, the TfL lost property office has seen most taxi drivers now drop found items at the nearest police station as soon as possible. Keep in mind that finding your item might not be immediate, particularly if your loss occurred late at night or you were the last fare before the driver's break.

TfL holds unclaimed items for up to three months from the date they were lost. For money, except that found in black cabs, the claim period extends up to 12 months.

Should TfL locate your property, they will notify you about collection procedures. Typically, items must be collected within two weeks. TfL may also offer courier delivery for an extra fee. They charge a handling fee to cover the costs of storing and managing lost property and require valid identification before releasing any items. For property found in taxis, an additional fee is payable directly to the driver as a reward for their honesty.

If no one claims the items within three months, TfL takes ownership and will securely destroy any personal data. These items may then be donated to charity or recycled.

If immediate efforts to recover your property from TfL are unsuccessful, it may be beneficial to check social media. Taxi drivers in London often use platforms like Facebook and Twitter, where lost items frequently surface.

While losing items in a taxi can disrupt your day, London's structured approach to lost property means recovery is often possible. Remember to keep your taxi receipts and act promptly to increase your chances of reclaiming your belongings.


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