4th February 2016

What items have passengers left in taxis?

Try all you want to deny it, but us humans are a forgetful bunch! It’s not uncommon for any passenger to accidentally leave one or two personal possessions when travelling. From the odd umbrella left on a train to a stray wallet on the bus, countless cases of lost property are a regular thing… and it’s no different for taxis.

Items get left behind surprisingly more often than you’d expect. Passengers often distracted by phone calls, contending with shopping bag or just rolling home at the end of the night will most likely end up leaving something behind. We’ve scoured the news archives to find out what items people have accidentally neglected, and they range from the everyday to the downright odd!

Mobile phones

left-items-01phoneThe item that most passengers are likely to neglect is their mobile phone. It’s understandable considering that virtually everybody owns one, taking it with them wherever they go.

When not being distracted on an actual call, it’s all too easy for a phone to slip out of a passenger’s pocket or be set down on the seat as they sort out paying their fare. Like most lost property reports, phones have a tendency to go missing in taxis at night-time. It’s often a good idea to put on your interior light at the end of a journey and remind passengers to make sure nothing’s left on the seat… especially if they’re returning from a night out!

Keys/Bags

left-items-02bagAnother common culprit for going missing in the dark is the ever-faithful bunch of keys. Most of us never leave home without them, that is, once we remember where we left them! So why do they often go missing in taxis? Probably because – similarly with phones – they can easily slip out of pockets or bags, or in some cases, remain in a bag that also gets left behind.

Bags, in particular handbags, are so easily left along with all the items inside. Keys, purses, wallets, make-up and jewellery have all been discovered by countless cabbies in the past. Usually, with some form of identification inside, passengers are generally reunited with their possessions quite quickly, but it just begs the question: “how did they forget an entire bag in the first place?”

Important documents

left-items-03docWe’ve all heard the stories of politicians and government officials mislaying important documents and data on buses and trains, and taxis are no different. Back in 2009, the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown was left red-faced after one of his advisers left private notes in the back of a London taxi.

A year later, as party leaders prepared for the General Election, one of Nick Clegg’s aides got out of his cab without a certain document. It later emerged that it contained the Lib Dem leader’s strategy for the upcoming TV debate. Hardly scandalous, but pretty embarrassing all the same.

Lots of cash

left-items-04cashLast year, Middlesbrough taxi firm Boro Taxis unveiled a list of its strangest lost property cases. Two instances that made the top ten included some pretty hefty wads of cash. When one cabbie dropped off an elderly woman at the post office, he noticed a brown envelope left on the back seat. Checking its contents, he discovered £1,000 in cash! The driver promptly ran into the post office to return it to the stunned passenger.

Going back to neglected baggage, one car cleaner stumbled upon a bag containing £6,000 cash in a mixture of Sterling and US Dollars at the end of a shift. Fortunately, the bag also contained contact details for the owner, a Middlesbrough businessman who was quickly reunited with the cash.

A baby

left-items-05babyYep. As in, an actual human baby!

Right at the top of that Boro Taxis list, this particular case is a bit of a head scratcher! Few details have emerged on it, other than the fact that one passenger managed to forget they had a baby with them.

When the passenger didn’t realise their mistake, the driver took the infant – believed to be no more than a year old at the time – directly to the local police station. No solid details have been confirmed on this but we’re willing to bet that it wasn’t too long before the youngster was reunited with their parents!


Have you ever noticed any strange items left behind by any passengers? Or just had a bizarre occurrence during a particular fare? Why not share your story with us on our Confessions page? Check it out below.

Confessions of a Cabbie

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