It really depends on who the driver is, the time of day (or night) and where I am. If the driver is female or a friendly (not flirty, though) male I'll usually sit in the front and chat with them. Similarly, when I visit my Mum who lives in country NSW, I always sit in the front as country people usually love a chat. However if it's night and the driver seems a bit reserved, I'll sit in the back seat.
I always prefer to sit in the back seat.
I'm not really sure why, I just sit there without even thinking.. It must be a safety thing and I don't feel like I have to sit there and make conversation with them.
I'm glad most of our readers share my thoughts. In India and here, I've always occupied the front seat, because I also feel it is considered impolite by most decent drivers.
There is of course a few rare instances when I've chosen to sit in the back, like when I've to continue working on my PC or have to attend frequent calls. Or on occasions when I find that the taxi appears okay on the outside but is driven by someone with unkempt clothes and not-so-pleasant appearance. I know I cannot define that but it's a perception.
But largely, I'm glad that I haven't had the need to do that!
When I was young this question came up and at my all girls school too. So with that I asked my elders in the family and so it went on. I asked and listened. The answer was etiquette but most of all SAFETY. I was given reasons of etiquette "ladies always sit in the back of a taxi and men can sit in the front if they like". If you sit in the back seat you are totally in control. You can talk or you can choose not too. However, in the newspaper just yesterday a drunk woman sat in the front seat of a taxi and the driver assaulted her. Stupid him tho it was recorded by his cab camera. This isn't the first time nor will be the last but ladies especially need to take care of themselves rather than thinking the taxi driver "looks" Ok as you don't ever assume. After all you're paying them and they in essence are doing their job as a chauffeur. Sure there are lots of fantastic cabbies but I have still sat in the back. One who drove me on a round trip was sensational. I took his phone number to use again if needed. So sit in the back seat always to protect yourself and wellbeing rather than tempt fate. SAFETY FIRST!
I generally sit in the back however will occasionally sit in the front depending on the look of the driver!
On typing this, I realise this is quite stupid as how can you tell a person by his/her looks!
I dont often catch a cab anyway and it is probably 5 years since I last did. I do not like catching one to the airport as I worry that the house will get robbed while I am away, so a friend always takes me.