Why yellow taxis?

I know there are exceptions, but as a rule,

Why are taxis yellow?

My search engine is hosed, so I apologize in advance if this topic has been previously addressed.


My guess is so they’ll be easy to spot. Yes, there are yellow vehicles out there, but very few have that distinctive “taxi-cab” yellow coloring.


The yello and black combination is proven to be the most eye-catching colour combination there is - it has maximum contrast and brightness. That’s why you see the combination a lot in advertising in supermarkets.

“Waheeey! ‘Duck!’ Get it?”
“Errr… No…”
“Duck! Sounds almost exactly like fu-”

I won’t even begin to try the search engine there, Chief, but Senor Adams done covered that one in the First Book.

To summarize, a chap named “Hertz” in turn-of-the-century Chicago started the cab business, chose yellow acc. to the marketing science of the day, expanded into franchising, and the rest is history.

Smooth sailing.

Yo! You’re confused! The search engine for Cecil’s columns works just fine - it’s the engine for the message board database that’s whacked out.

Thank you, Sirs Jorge and Nicky. Could be my damned satellite hookup too.

So you can see them coming in the rain, wave frantically at them, and then watch them zip past and continue on for many, many blocks.

Eddie Cantor joke, c1929: “I was so depressed I wanted to kill myself. So I went into the street and threw myself in front of a taxi and said, ‘hit me! go on, hit me!’ But it was yellow.”

Noting, of course, that taxis in London are black.

The search engine for Cecil’s columns is working fine. The column in question is at:


I stand corrected about the search engine; sorry Nick.

(BTW, to pile on the foreign taxis, they’re usually grey in Philippines & Greece; same for El Salvador IIRC…)

If your comp is called Yellow cab shouldnt your cabs be yellow?

red cab, red.

Not all taxis are yellow. Some are white.

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, there are several cab companies due to the multiple operating areas (St. Paul only, north suburbs only, Airport to downtown Mpls only), and they come in just about every color of the rainbow. Red & white, blue & white, orange, green & white, black & white, and yes yellow too.

I see next to nothing in supermarkets that is yellow and black. That combo is also yucky. Nobody wants to eat yucky stuff or stuff in yucky packages. Well, maybe if you’re blind.

Ray (Call me a taxi. I’m yellow. Well, maybe also checkered.)

yellow and black? Those colors remind people of post food processing…