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Types of Taxi

There are two types of vehicles that can be licensed and operate as taxis in East Herts, Hackney Carriages and Private Hire and there are differences in what they are allowed to do.

ActivityHackney CarriagePrivate Hire
Can be flagged downYesNo - Uninsured if not pre-booked
Can be pre-bookedYesYes
Use a Taxi rankYesNo
Taxi meter requiredYesNo
Fare rates set by councilYesNo
Booked through a licensed operatorNoYes

The main difference that you should be aware of is that if you take a journey in a Private Hire vehicle that has not been pre-booked through a licensed operator the vehicle is NOT INSURED. Hackney Carriages can be hailed in the street and pick up passengers anywhere within East Herts, including from taxi ranks, without having to be pre-booked.

Unless you have pre-booked a vehicle with an operator located outside of East Herts you should only get into a vehicle displaying an East Herts Licence plate.

How can you tell the two types of vehicle apart?

Hackney CarriagePrivate Hire
  • Must have a roof light
  • Must have a white plate on the rear of the vehicle with a number started with an 'H'
  • Must have a meter fitted (calibrated to the council set rate)
  • Must have a 'For Hire' sign in the front windscreen
  • Must not have a roof light
  • Must have a yellow plate on the rear of the vehicle with a number starting with a 'P'

The council puts checks in place to ensure that people licensed to drive taxis and operate private hire vehicles within East Herts are 'fit and proper' as required by law.