You will of course get flagged down from time to time, and occasionally asked for directions which can cause a certain amount of confusion when you don't know the answer. Your cab will have a switch on the centre console that lets you lock the doors stopping people from just jumping in the cab when you are stopped at traffic lights. This is useful because if a drunk bloke falls into your cab at midnight, you're going to have a job explaining why you can't take him home.
The windscreen wipers are a bit crap. I've put longer blades in which make it a bit better, and have replaced the wiper module thingy that parks them properly when you switch them off.
Most cabbies seem a bit reluctant to spend money on their cabs, so you may want to tinker a bit with a few things. Mine had quite a lot of sticky tape holding the wiring together, but it is easy to sort out. The dashboard can be easily removed with a philips screwdriver and all the wiring will be there in front of you. Go to halfords and buy a crimper and a box of crimps, then just re-do any thing that looks flakey.
The mileometers often jam when they roll over through 200,000, 300,000 or 400,000 miles. There is a bloke called Malcolm Smith at London Vintage Taxi spares who can fix/overhaul them if yours has jammed. But the engines are usually good for half a million-ish if you service it regularly. Well that's what I've been told anyway. Bonkers mileages I know, but apparently quite possible. It's because the engine only revs 3500rpm full whack... Main thing is to keep an eye on rust, which is more likely to finish your cab off than anything else.
It seems that many Fairways let water in through the windscreen seal, where it works it's way down and drips on your feet. Can be fixed with a tube of silicone sealant from the hardware shop.
It can also come in as a result of a blockage in the heaterbox. A chap called Russ on the London Taxi Cabs forum explained ...
"Open the bonnet and look at the heater on the bulkhead, just below it you will see a pipe coming out and dropping down to the gearbox. Remove the rubber pipe and you will find the metal outlet is probably blocked with bits of broken glass and bitumastic body paint... What happens is that windscreens break and the bits fall into the air vent at the base of the screen between the wipers. They rattle around and chip the badly applied paint and when they repaint the cabs all the paint and junk goes in there and blocks the outlet. What you have is a sort of gulley behind the heater where the fan motor draws air in. Water will come in from the air inlet but this falls into the gully and should drain out to the roadway. Age and vibration corrode it and crap blocks it up, before long the inner wall of the dashboard rots through and in heavy or prolonged rain, water runs over your feet. Easiest way to check when buying a cab is to run a hosepipe into the vent and see if it runs out under the engine or trickles over the back of the radio. There is a repair for this I have developed, contact me if you wish and I will give you guidance... regards Russ"