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.
Types of Taxi and activities
Activity Hackney Carriage Private Hire
Can be flagged down Yes No - Uninsured if not pre-booked
Can be pre-booked Yes Yes
Use a Taxi rank Yes No
Taxi meter required Yes No
Fare rates set by council Yes No
Booked through a licensed operator No Yes

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.

Differences in the two types of vehicles
Hackney Carriage Private 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.