About private hire and hackney carriage licences
Hackney carriages (taxis) and private hire vehicle offer similar services, but operate in a different way.
Hackney carriage is the official term used for a taxi.
Hackney carriages can:
- carry passengers for hire or reward
- be hailed by prospective passengers in the street
- park on a rank to await the approach of passengers
You can only drive a hackney carriage if you have a hackney carriage driver's licence.
A private hire vehicle (minicab) is:
- a motor vehicle built or adapted to seat fewer than nine passengers, which is not a hackney carriage or public service vehicle
- carries passengers for hire or reward by prior booking
You can only drive a private hire vehicle if you have a private hire driver's licence.
Private hire vehicles can only take bookings through a licenced private hire operator.