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UK cab trade debate and advice
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:52 am 
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I wonder if members could help me. I’m thinking of buying a 2016 or 2017 Seat Alhambra Xcellence MPV or Ford Galaxy Titanium to use as a family car and as a Hackney vehicle as these models have got sunroofs and heated leather seats.

However I’m not keen on the electric sliding doors on the Seat Alhambra because I plan on using it as a taxi. Do you think it would be sensible to get the Alhambra with the electric sliding doors as I’m worried about passengers damaging the electric mechanisms when opening and closing them (especially when they are drunk). Are the electric doors reliable and easy and fairly inexpensive to repair? I would appreciate your advice regarding these matters.

I don’t want to get the lower spec Alhambra models with manual sliding doors because they don’t come with leather seats or sunroof, and they have lower specced radio etc.

Otherwise I’m thinking of the Ford Galaxy or maybe even a Hyundai Santa Fe.

For the foreseeable future the vehicle would be mainly used for family because as you all know there’s hardly any taxi work because of this Coronavirus pandemic.

Your advice and opinions would be really appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:21 pm 
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Can't really help as regards reliability etc, but there's a guy who's worked the ranks in St Andrews with a white Alhambra with sliding doors. Don't really know him, and he's not fulltime, and obviously haven't seen him much for the last year or so.

But always meant to ask him how he was getting on with the doors. Never saw him having any particular problems, but I think he keeps an eye out for passengers approaching, and to that degree prevents any problems.

However, it's the kind of thing I wouldn't touch with a bargepole, and you've obviously forseen the kind of problems that might arise. And if you've been in pole for 45 mins it must be difficult to keep an eye out for people approaching.

So personally I would give them a body swerve, in fact I'd avoid any type of sliding door if I could, but luckily I've got a saloon HC.

Maybe if you're doing just airport runs, or similar, or very occasional HC work, like the chap in St Andrews. But for full time hackney work I'd avoid.

Of course, they may be ultra-reliable and not a problem at all, so that's just my opinion. Sometimes these things aren't as bad as you imagine they might be.

But to me it just feels like it's so potentially problematic that it wouldn't be worth the risk.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:24 pm 
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StuartW, thanks for your thoughts. Very much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:54 pm 
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You're welcome, and obviously these vehicle are quite rare on the road generally, never mind in the trade, so I suspect it's unlikely that anyone with direct experience of using them for hackney work will respond to your question.

And if you haven't used sliding doors (never mind the electric issue) maybe others on here have something to say in that regard. But, of course, they can be problematic. And when I see things like the whole car shake when a passenger closes a sliding door, or the driver has to get out to close it properly, that's what puts me off the thought of sliding doors, and one reason I've preferred to keep the saloon. (We're either/or here, but since it's purely optional we've got a surprisingly high proportion of bigger vehicles here in St Andrews. I'm guessing maybe a third or more of the fleet have more than four seats. But, of course, not all of them have sliding doors.)

Thinking about it earlier on, and in fact I think the chap with the Alhambra here does mainly airport stuff with his brother (or actually has another job), so to that degree maybe some occasional rank work is tolerable.

But I remember first time I saw the Alhambra on the ranks, and realising it had electric sliding doors, and thinking 'OMG, that's not going to work'. But whether I was overreacting I'm not sure, but I wouldn't take the chance, personally :?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:30 pm 
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I had electric sliding doors on a Citroen C8 i bought new years ago.........thought it would be a nice touch on airport runs, however being as the other 75% of my work involved Highschool aged Pupils and Drunken revellers it proved to be a mistake, they kept trying to slam them shut before they had the time to close by themselves...same when they opened them, they were like savages.

Leather seats are nice touch but not at the aditional price....a decent set of hard wearing Nylon seat covers that can be wiped clean easily and that can be removed and washed are much more practical.

No..save your money on Luxuries as 95% of your punters won't appreciate the extra cost you incurred, they just want to get where they are going.

At the End of the day this will be 90% a working vehicle and only 10% a family car...you should be buying what best suits the job rather than what you'd like out of a family car.

Quality Wise I had an Earlier model of the Seat Alhambra and it was bullet proof and cheap to maintain...couldnt fault it, just as youd expevt from VAG .


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:48 pm 
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Bloodknock wrote:
they kept trying to slam them shut before they had the time to close by themselves...same when they opened them, they were like savages.

:shock:

Yes, it's just the *thought* of stuff like that that puts me off, even if they proved to be completely reliable.

Reminds me of my electric windows in the back, which I've got disabled to stop punters putting them up and down during the *entire* journey :evil:

So you can sometimes hear them pulling and pushing at the switch, and it sounds like it's about to break [-X

Sometimes I'll ask if they want the window down, sometimes they'll ask, or nothing will be said - it all depends on the circumstances.

And sometimes I'll turn the windows back on (there's a switch in the driver's door) or just use the individual switch in the driver's door to put them up and down, which at least leaves me in control.

But it's a pain, and the kind of thing that just rings alarm bells when thinking about electric doors [-(


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:26 pm 
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Location: 1066 Country
Sliding doors are the bane of the multi-seater cab trade.

In short keep well away unless you have no choice.

_________________
IDFIMH


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:46 pm 
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bloodnock wrote:
I had electric sliding doors on a Citroen C8 i bought new years ago.........thought it would be a nice touch on airport runs, however being as the other 75% of my work involved Highschool aged Pupils and Drunken revellers it proved to be a mistake, they kept trying to slam them shut before they had the time to close by themselves...same when they opened them, they were like savages.

Leather seats are nice touch but not at the aditional price....a decent set of hard wearing Nylon seat covers that can be wiped clean easily and that can be removed and washed are much more practical.

No..save your money on Luxuries as 95% of your punters won't appreciate the extra cost you incurred, they just want to get where they are going.

At the End of the day this will be 90% a working vehicle and only 10% a family car...you should be buying what best suits the job rather than what you'd like out of a family car.

Quality Wise I had an Earlier model of the Seat Alhambra and it was bullet proof and cheap to maintain...couldnt fault it, just as youd expevt from VAG .


Great input bloodnock. Really appreciate this advice.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:20 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Sliding doors are the bane of the multi-seater cab trade.

In short keep well away unless you have no choice.


Oh, I thought manual sliding doors would be better than electric ones. I thought that with sliding doors there would be no chance of passengers opening doors and hitting them onto other cars or objects.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:35 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Bloodknock wrote:
they kept trying to slam them shut before they had the time to close by themselves...same when they opened them, they were like savages.

:shock:

Yes, it's just the *thought* of stuff like that that puts me off, even if they proved to be completely reliable.

Reminds me of my electric windows in the back, which I've got disabled to stop punters putting them up and down during the *entire* journey :evil:

So you can sometimes hear them pulling and pushing at the switch, and it sounds like it's about to break [-X

Sometimes I'll ask if they want the window down, sometimes they'll ask, or nothing will be said - it all depends on the circumstances.

And sometimes I'll turn the windows back on (there's a switch in the driver's door) or just use the individual switch in the driver's door to put them up and down, which at least leaves me in control.

But it's a pain, and the kind of thing that just rings alarm bells when thinking about electric doors [-(


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:41 pm 
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JAnders81 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Sliding doors are the bane of the multi-seater cab trade.

In short keep well away unless you have no choice.


Oh, I thought manual sliding doors would be better than electric ones. I thought that with sliding doors there would be no chance of passengers opening doors and hitting them onto other cars or objects.


Manual sliding doors are better than Leccy ones for jobbing drivers, but in the hands of a drunk passenger they can be as much of a problem as swing doors but in different ways.....in short the problem is never the door and always the punter.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:49 pm 
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I much prefer sliding doors to ‘hinged’ but the electric doors on my Vito are a right pain in the rear with Passengers that don’t understand ‘leave the door, it’s electric’ add a drunk into the mix and I’ve been close to smacking someone a few times! :x


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:08 am 
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x-ray wrote:
I much prefer sliding doors to ‘hinged’ but the electric doors on my Vito are a right pain in the rear with Passengers that don’t understand ‘leave the door, it’s electric’ add a drunk into the mix and I’ve been close to smacking someone a few times! :x


I thought as much, and you’ve just confirmed my hesitations about the electric sliding doors. Thanks for your input.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:12 am 
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After all everyone’s opinions and suggestions I think I may go with Ford Galaxy instead. But saying that the Hyundai SUV looks quite nice although a hit out of my price range and the fuel economy isn’t very good either. And I think there’d be problems for some elderly or disabled people getting in and out of the SUV.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:34 am 
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x-ray wrote:
I much prefer sliding doors to ‘hinged’ but the electric doors on my Vito are a right pain in the rear with Passengers that don’t understand ‘leave the door, it’s electric’ add a drunk into the mix and I’ve been close to smacking someone a few times! :x


I feel your pain.. :badgrin:


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