I called Dalkey Taxi service to be faced with staff that was not only rude, but also incapable of finding a street with more than 10 shops and 3 bus stops in the middle of Dun Laoghaire. I have never been treated in such an unprofessional manner. They should hire staff that can read a road map. Very disappointing.
The problem with Dublin taxis is that there are nothing like enough of them. every time the Irish government wants to introduce new taxi licenses to increase the supply, existing taxi drivers take to the streets in protest. Why? The mind boggles. In the mean time, a common sight in Dublin is the extra-long taxi queue, because with the way things are at the moment, and with Dublin's public transport shutting down pathetically early, demand for taxis far outweighs demand. So if you want an 'official' taxi, complete with roof sign, be prepared to wait in line for anything up to 3 hours on a weekend night. Alternatively, you could try an unofficial taxi, or 'hackney', which 'proper' taxi drivers would have us believe are unreliable, untrustworthy, and unhelpful. On the contrary, my experience with hackneys has been that they are generally cheaper than taxis, that their prices are negotiable, and that the drivers are as likely to be friendly and knowledgeable as any taxi driver is likely to be. And what's more, there's plenty of them. At the moment, I would recommend a hackney over a taxi any day. It would be preferable to hire a taxi with a distinguishable license and number in case of complaint, but the simple fact is that the service is just not good enough. Until the Dublin taxi drivers wake up to the major deficiencies in their service, the hackneys will continue to be the only option.
As a taxi-driver here in Dublin's "Fair City" for the past seven years, I'd like to give intending visitors and tourists some advice about getting about in the city. On arrival at the airport you will be faced with a trip of about 8 miles into the city centre. Your options are a taxi or a recently introduced "Air Coach" service. To date, Dublin has no rail link from the city to the airport. The coach is only really an option if you are staying at one of the hotels on its drop route, otherwise you will end up having to get a taxi anyway at the other end. Also, if there is more than one person in your group, a taxi will prove the most economical alternative. There are ordinary saloon cars, and also people carriers which can take up to 8 passengers plus luggage, at no extra cost in relation to an ordinary car. All taxis are metered, so don't be tempted to negotiate a price with the driver. Not only is this illegal, but you will invariably end up paying more for your journey. I won't go into the meter rates here as they are fairly complex, with many "extra" charges, but a trip into a city centre location should not cost you any more than about £20 Irish Punts. (About £15 Sterling)) Do try to engage the driver in conversation on the trip in, as we taxi guys and gals are VERY knowledgeable about our city, and we will be only too glad to give you some ideas for your trip, advise on good accommodation, restaurants, night spots, etc, and also to point out some of the outstanding features of our city. Be wary at night time of going too far from your hotel or hostel, as ALL public transport stops in Dublin at 11.30P.M., with the exception of taxis. So as you can imagine the demand for taxis after this time far outweighs the supply, and you could very easily end up stranded with a very long walk back to your hotel if you are not careful. Luckily, Dublin is a fairly compact City, especially if you are staying around the centre, and walking is an option. Be wary also of "hackneys". These are private hire vehicles who like to think of themselves as taxis. They have no "roof sign", only a small plaque on the front and back of their vehicles, and are NOT licensed or insured to pick up passengers from the street or taxi ranks. Also, they are not metered, and can charge you whatever they think they can get away with. As far as tipping is concerned, a good rule of thumb would be about 15% of the metered fare, although obviously this is up to your own discretion. If you have a problem with a taxi, be sure to note the "roof sign" license number, and also the driver's badge number, and report him to any police station. (Please God, that won't be necessary) During the day the Public Transport system is not bad, with both city buses and a light rail system called the "DART". There is a very good City Tour Bus, which picks up at most of the major hotels. You can get of at a tourist location, look round for as long as you like, and then hop on the next bus when it takes your fancy. The "DART" service is excellent, and it terminates in two lovely villages at either end. Howth, in the north of the city, and Bray in the south (CO. Wicklow) Both are little hamlets on the Irish sea, and are worth a visit. The restaurants in Howth, in particular, are extremely good. We have a very young population here in Dublin (average age only 26) and a very lively, bustling, entertaining city for both young and old. Hope to see you in my taxi someday. Ken J. Taxi License No.579