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Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing


It is the Council's aim to ensure public safety in all Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles. To achieve this all vehicles are tested twice yearly for roadworthiness, cleanliness and appearance.

The drivers of the vehicles are also required to be licensed to ensure they are fit and proper persons. 

Hackney Carriages

There are a mixture of Yellow Vehicles and Black Cabs. These vehicles carry a white plate on the rear of the car and also an internal white plate displaying the plate number. They can be hailed on the street by a prospective passenger, they can also park on a rank to await the approach of passengers. It must be driven by a driver who holds a current hackney carriage licence. There is currently no limit on the number of hackney carriages that can ply for hire in this area/zone, however any new licences issued will be for black wheelchair accessible vehicles only.

Hackney Carriage vehicles have a meter installed and tariff charges apply.  There is no difference in tariff charges whether you use a Yellow or Black Cab - the same tariff applies.

Private Hire

These vehicles carry a yellow plate on the rear of the vehicle and an internal plate displaying the plate number. A private hire vehicle cannot ply for hire or stand in a rank. It must be pre-booked with a private hire operator. The private hire operator takes the booking for a private hire vehicle and then dispatches the vehicle to fulfil that request. Again there is no limit on the number of private hire vehicles. Private hire vehicles cannot be yellow in colour.

Private hire vehicles are not subject to a tariff charge, you should negotiate the price before the journey takes place, usually at the point of making a booking. 

Equality Act 2010 - Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Requirements

The Equality Act 2010 can be accessed here

Sections 160 to 173 of the Equality Act 2010 are directly applicable to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire drivers and vehicles and cover matters such as passengers in wheelchairs and assistance dogs.

Section 166 of the Act permits the Council to exempt drivers from the duties to assist passengers in wheelchairs if they are satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on medical grounds or because the driver's physical condition makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for him or her to comply with the duties.

We accept applications from drivers for an exemption under Section 166. Any driver wishing to obtain an exemption from any obligation under the Act will be required to request an exemption in writing and provide a letter from their own GP outlining the medical reasons they are seeking an exemption. Any exemption will last until the current licence expires and requires renewal with each renewal of the licence.

Where exemptions to carry guide or assistance dogs etc have already been made by the Council under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, these will continue to have effect as though they had been made under the Equality Act 2010.

Section 167 of the Act states that Licensing Authorities may maintain a list of wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

The Council  provides this information on the public register of licensed vehicles which can be found at the following links:

Last updated: 29/03/2021