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What is the difference between a taxi as a public vehicle and VTC in relation to the transportation of children?

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre taxi como vehículo público y VTC en lo que respecta al transporte de niños?

21/02/2020

Taxis and VTC have very clear differences from each other, although both are vehicles for the transport of people. The main ones are how they are hired (VTCs use a prepaid service, while taxis operate with a fee that is paid at the end of the journey); the hiring process (VTCs can only be hired through a smartphone application); and most importantly, licenses.

Another difference is that taxis provide a public service, which means that they are subject to a series of regulations and more stringent and specific conditions than VTCs. These do not have such specific regulations because they are subject to general transport regulations and to the protection of consumer and user rights.

What differences exist in the transportation of children?

To start, we must remember that, according to the regulations in force in Spain, minors who are less than or equal to 135 cm in height must travel in the rear seats and always use an approved SRI, adapted to their size, weight and physical conditions.  There are several exceptions:

Young children under 15 months old must travel in arear-facing CRS (R-129), and the recommendation is that you keep the seat facing backwards up to the age of 4 given that it is the safest position.

However, according to the law, a child under 1.35 cm can travel by taxi without a child restraint system as long as it is is driving within the city and the child is seated in the rear seats. 

If the taxi leaves the road, it is mandatory that the child is seated in a suitable seat. Responsibility always sits with the guardian of the minor (or the accompanying adult). Bit by bit, taxi companies are starting to offer car seats as part of their service. To use the service, it is enough to indicate in your request that you are travelling with a minor and that you want a seat.

Currently, the regulations establish that parents or adults accompanying minors on a trip are responsible for their safety inside the vehicle, and as such taxis and other public transport services are not required to carry child seats.

In the case of VTCs, the type of service offered depends to a degree on the company. For example, in Cabify we can clearly read on its website that:

  • They have Child Retention Systems (SRI) according to the size and weight of the child (groups 0, 1, 2 or 3). Simply request it from the driver at the same time the order is placed.
  • The first chair requested does not increase the price of the trip, but successive ones do. It is necessary to request child seats well in advance to ensure  that they are provided.

In general, it is sufficient to inform customer service in advance and request a child seat. In addition, in some cases it will be possible to use your own car seat, as happens with some taxis.

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