Frequently asked questions

How can I tell the difference between a Hackney Carriage and a Private Hire vehicle?

  • Hackney Carriages are white vehicles with green stripes and crests and a ‘Taxi’ sign on the roof.
  • Private Hire vehicles are any colour, except white, and are also distinguishable by their windscreen visors and door stickers

Can I hail any cab I see?

  • You can hail a Hackney Carriage who can ply for Hire, they can also wait on Taxi Ranks
  • Private Hire cannot ply for hire or respond to being hailed – they must be pre-booked, also they cannot wait on Taxi Ranks

If when I'm looking for a cab I see a Private Hire vehicle dropping someone off, can I use it?

  • No, that is considered 'Plying for hire' and is illegal

Is it true that using a Private Hire vehicle which hasn't been booked is uninsured for the journey?

  • Yes, Private Hire vehicles are uninsured for any journey which hasn't been pre-booked

What is the cost of using a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Vehicle?

  • Hackney Carriage journey prices are paid according to the amount displayed on the taxi meter at the end of the journey (Council Controlled).
  • Private Hire journey prices should be agreed when ringing the base to book the journey, or agreed with the driver before commencement.

Who employs the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers?

  • Hackney Carriage Drivers work for themselves, not for an Operator.
  • Private Hire vehicles work for an Operator and must display windscreen visors and door stickers showing the name and telephone number of the firm.

Can Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles use Bus Lanes?

  • Hackney Cabs can use lanes stating Bus/Taxi
  • Private Hire Vehicles must not use Bus/Taxi Lanes

I received really good service who do I contact to let them know?

I am unhappy with the service I have received from a taxi / private hire driver, who can I contact about this?

  • It is always important to let the Private Hire Company know about any complaint you have. You should contact the Private Hire company and ask for them to deal with any issues. If they do not help you please let us know by using our Compliment or Complaint form.

Why won't the driver use his horn to let me know he's arrived?

  • Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles must not use horns to let you know that they have arrived.

Who do I contact for more information?

If there's anything you're not sure of please contact us for further help and information.