What is the difference between a Hackney carriage and a Private hire vehicle?
A Hackney Carriage is often referred to as a taxi and can be hired by going to a taxi rank or waved down in public streets within the area, in which they are licensed to operate. Hackney Carriages do not need to be pre-booked.
Private Hire is when an operator takes bookings from customers and passes them on to licensed drivers and vehicles. Private Hire vehicles must always be pre-booked and should never be waived down in the street.
If you undertake a journey in a Private Hire vehicle, which has not been pre-booked, you would not be insured in the unfortunate event of the vehicle being involved in any incident.
- All hackney carriage and private hire drivers must display and wear their badge on the outer part of their clothing so it is clearly visible whilst driving.
- All vehicles should have a numbered plate displayed at the rear of the vehicle and hackney carriages should also have a fare card inside the vehicle.
Will they carry passengers who use wheelchairs?
All Hackney Carriages are wheelchair accessible.
Many private hire vehicles will carry wheelchairs but you need to check when making the booking.
How will the fare be calculated and how do I know how much to pay?
The Council sets hackney carriage fares and journeys must be charged using the meter in the hackney carriage, except for journeys where the fare is negotiated. The fare can be negotiated and anything less than the tariff can be charged, but more than the tariff can never be charged
Some private hire vehicles have tariff meters installed in them but the Council does not regulate these tariffs. These tariffs are set by the private hire operator and you are advised to negotiate a final fare prior to commencement of the journey.
How do I make a complaint?
All complaints must be sent in writing, by email or by using the Licensed activity complaints form. If this is not possible, please let us know and we will make arrangements to take your complaint by some other means.
Where possible you should include:
- Description of the incident driver's badge
- Plate number or registration number of the vehicle
- Date and time of the incident and journey details, (from and to)
- Other passengers present
- Private Hire Operator name
- Your contact details.
For those complaints, which may end up in court, we also require witness statements from all those present during the incident. If you do not wish to complete a witness statement, the complaint cannot go to court and will be dealt with in a less formal manner
Your complaint will be acknowledged within 10 working days, the response may take longer due to the investigation needed, this differs depending on the complaint.
If you are unhappy with your response you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by the Registration and Licensing Services Manager by email firstname.lastname@example.org