Although Hackney carriages (taxis) can be hailed in the street, private hire vehicles must be pre-booked. If a private hire vehicle is travelling along a road, looking for customers, they are acting illegally, are uninsured and are potentially dangerous.
Please plan your journey and take a taxi or private hire vehicle you can trust by following these rules:
- Make sure you only ever use a licensed vehicle and know the difference between a Hackney carriage and a private hire vehicle
- Pre-book your journey wherever possible – especially if you are travelling alone
- Wait for your booked vehicle to arrive – never get into another vehicle if it arrives in advance of your booked vehicle
- Know where the local taxi ranks are
- Always check a driver’s ID badge – a driver should always wear this or have it clearly displayed, which confirms they are licensed
- Ride with friends where possible – sharing a vehicle is a great idea and always sit in the back seats
- Only enter a vehicle when you are sure – if you have any doubts, don’t get in and order another vehicle
- Check you are paying the right fare
The difference between a Hackney carriage and private hire vehicle
Hackney carriages (taxis) can be booked in advance from an office or hired from a taxi rank.
A licensed taxi will have a top light and can be recognised by a white plate on the back of the vehicle with the council’s logo.
Private hire vehicles must be booked in advance from an office and can’t pick you up from taxi ranks or be hailed from the street.
They can be recognised by a yellow plate on the back of the vehicle with the council’s logo.