Taxis & Private Hire Vehicles

1 April 2022 – 2 Minute Read

What’s the difference between a taxi and a private hire vehicle?

The difference between a taxi and a private hire vehicle in the UK is how they operate. A taxi is licensed to pick up people from the side of the road. Private hire vehicles are only licensed to pick up people through pre-arranged bookings. The latter is still often informally referred to as a taxi.

Do taxi companies have car seats?

Neither taxi companies nor private hire vehicle companies are required by law to offer car seats for infants and children, but many do have them available. It is always advisable to check with a vehicle company and pre-book in the case you have any car seat requirement.

Can taxi companies charge card processing fees?

It has been illegal for all companies in the UK to pass on the cost of card processing fees to customers since January 2018.

Can taxi company rates be governed by the council?

How much taxis are able to charge is regulated by the local authority they are registered to; however, private hire vehicles are not subject to the same regulations and can charge as much as they choose.

Can you ask for a quote from a taxi company?

Any taxi company or private hire vehicle firm can be approached for a quote upfront before a booking is made, and to do so is now fairly common practice. In the case of a taxi running on a meter, there is no guarantee of the quote being accurate.

Can you claim compensation for taxi companies being late?

Whether you can claim compensation for a taxi or private hire vehicle being late and causing onward disruption depends on any such agreement being made before the journey takes place. If you have a tight time constraint, make sure this is made clear to the taxi or private hire vehicle company ahead of time.

Do all taxi companies provide receipts in the UK?

Although taxi companies are not legally obligated to offer a paper receipt as standard, most will do it when requested, although often this will be handwritten.

Do taxi companies charge VAT?

Taxi companies in the UK charge VAT at the standard rate. This is the same for private hire vehicles unless there are more than 12 passengers at any one time.

Do taxi companies have to be registered?

Both taxi and private hire vehicle companies need to be registered with their local authority for a relevant license. Most display their license on the number plate but if not, will be able to provide a copy of it upon request.

Do taxi companies keep records?

Taxi and private hire vehicle companies are required to keep records of all journeys. Where customer data is held, this must be managed in accordance with GDPR and other legal data standards. Some vehicles have tracking devices and CCTV fitted in order to keep journey records while others log each job through a central call handler, who allocates out routes to drivers.