Compared: Stansted Airport Taxi vs Stansted Express

Getting a taxi to Stansted airport

Stansted airport is the third busiest airport in the UK and is a major hub of transportation for a number of European budget airlines. Open every day of the year, Stansted sees more than 20 million visitors passing through its terminals every year. Although classed as a London airport, Stansted is in fact located 30 miles to the north of the city centre in the county of Essex, and is located some distance from any villages or towns, meaning it can be a time consuming process to get to the airport if you need to catch a flight.
For many travellers, the decision between taking a taxi to Stansted airport or using the Stansted Express train service will depend on a number of factors including running times and costs, and can be somewhat confusing for the first time traveller to this UK airport.

Where are you travelling from?

If your journey begins in central London, then the Stansted Express can be a fairly convenient option. Travelling from either Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale, the express has good connections with tube lines running from major travel interchanges such as Paddington, Euston and Waterloo. However, if you are travelling from north of London, Cambridge or other nearby areas, getting a Stansted airport taxi to the terminal can work out cheaper and quicker than journeying into central London just to journey out again.

Comparing the cost of a Stansted airport taxi

The Stansted Express costs a standard £23.40 for a one way adult fare, and £32.80 for a return. Occasionally there are reduced or promotional fares available, so it’s worth checking at the time of travel what is on offer. The cost of a taxi will depend on where you are travelling from, but as a guideline a Liverpool Street station taxi journey to the airport will normally cost in the region of £80 to £100, but you can save money with an online quotes service like ubiCabs. Travelling from Cambridge, as a second example, would cost around £60.
Some taxi operators charge extra for antisocial hours, so make sure you get a formal quote before making a booking. For a family or group of four travellers, therefore, a taxi offers a much more cost effective option than booking return tickets on the Stansted Express.

Time planning

A taxi to Stansted airport will run at the times you ask, which can be a big bonus for many travellers who are trying to minimise hanging about at the airport or maximise the time they have in London before they go. The journey will take around 1 hour and 10 minutes depending on traffic.

The Stansted Express only runs at certain times, which are from 5.30am to 11.45pm from the airport, or from London services start at 3.40am on a Monday, 4.10 Tuesday to Friday and 4.40 at the weekend. The last train to the airport is at 11.25pm. The journey takes around 45 minutes from Liverpool Street and runs every 15 minutes. It is worth noting, however, that the first trains depart before the underground starts working, and that the last trains arrive when the underground is already closed.

Booking a taxi to Stansted airport

Booking either the express or a Liverpool Street Station taxi is a straightforward process that can be done in advance of your journey. The Express can be booked online through the Transport for London (TfL) website, and a taxi to Stansted airport can either be booked over the phone or using an online booking service. Some online booking services build in a comparison tool, such as the service available at, where one journey request can generate quotes from many Stansted airport taxi services, letting you find the best value service for your needs.