Londonist has always considered Black Cabs a quintessential part of the London experience, right down to the door locks clicking on and off everyone time you stop at the lights; but in April they're going to get a little touch of Bangkok.
This doesn't mean they're going to start shooting ping ping balls out of their exhaust pipes but it does mean that passengers will be able to haggle for their fares prior to the journey.
This is due to the fact that fares are set to raise by 6% in what Lynne Featherstone, Lib-Dem chairwoman of the London Assembly transport committee called "...Ken Livingstone trying to bleed more cash out of Londoners."
We're sceptical. A lot of Londoners have a hard time complaining if the waiter brings a severed finger in their main course, how they'll cope with bartering with hard bitten East London taxi drivers remains to be seen.
The only time we've agreed fares up front has been the classic "He looks a lot worse than he is, here's 20 quid, can you take him Kennington, nah he's all puked out already, you'll be fine."
Also a little known Hackney Cab fact is that if you leg it without paying your fare, as long as you shout "Yoink!" when exiting, the driver won't track you down and kick your head in.