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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Information

General information about the licensing of Taxis, Private Hire Vehicles, their drivers and operators.

The licensing of taxis and private hire vehicles and drivers is in place to ensure that the public are transported by vehicles and individuals that are suitable and safe. There are two different types of vehicles that are licensed by us.

Hackney Carriages

These are generally known as taxis. They can wait on taxi ranks, they can be flagged-down on the street and they use a taxi meter to calculate the fare. Only Hackney Carriages are allowed to use the word "Taxi" on the vehicle.

Private Hire Vehicles

These are vehicles which must be booked in advance through an operator. They are not permitted to stand on taxi ranks and they are not permitted to pick up people who try to flag them down on the street. The fare must be agreed when the booking is made.

The Council requires a high standard of licensed vehicles and drivers so that the public can use licensed Hackney Carriages and Private Hire Vehicles and be confident that they will be safe. However, users should ensure that the vehicles are licensed. Before getting into a vehicle, passengers should check that the correct licence plates are displayed on the vehicle and that the driver is wearing his/her Driver's ID Badge.

Hackney carriage Vehicle plates have green print with a large 'H' followed by details of the plate number, vehicle details and an expiry date. Private Hire plates carry the same details but have blue print with a large "P".  Driver's badges use the same colour schemes for Hackney and Private Hire vehicles. Examples of vehicle plates and driver badges can be found below.

If you have concerns that the vehicle or driver is not licensed, you should not get into the vehicle. If possible, take details of the taxi plate, registration number and the driver and forward them to the Licensing Unit.

Attention all drivers - Warning of enforcement action

Listed below are some of the offences that officers have found on occasions when out in the District.  Failure to comply with the Council's policy may result in points being issued on your hackney carriage/private hire driver's licence.  Please ensure that you adhere to the Council policy, legislation and understand the driver conditions and the penalty point scheme.  For further information please read the current Taxi Licensing policy.

  • Smoking in a private hire or hackney carriage vehicle (including electronic cigarette)
  • Using mobile phone whilst driving
  • Parking in a loading bay
  • Private hire vehicles parking on a rank
  • Unsuitable dress when working
  • Display of Drivers Id badges  and Vehicle plates
  • Leaving a hackney carriage vehicle unattended on the rank

Sample Plates

Hackney Carrage Sample Plate

private hire sample plate


Sample Badges

hackney carriage sample badge

private hire sample badge

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pdf Taxi Licensing Policy 2017 [341.95KB] pdf DBS Mandate [97.45KB] pdf Drivers Conditions [267.88KB] pdf Vehicle Application Form July 2016 [209.82KB] pdf Vehicle Conditions [258.13KB] pdf Hackney Fares [177.74KB] pdf Private Hire Operators Licence July 2016 [102.21KB] pdf Operator Conditions [219.28KB] pdf 2017 March DVSA driving test alternatives [90.27KB] pdf Taxi Fees 2018 - 2019 [205.65KB] pdf SDC Medical July 2018 [212.49KB] pdf 2018 Drivers Licence [236.77KB]