Hackney Carriage & Private Hire Enforcement

By law, you must have a licence to operate a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle for business.

All drivers must have a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence before they can operate.

All vehicles must also have a vehicle licence before they can operate. Private hire vehicles must always be pre-booked. The operator must have a private hire operator licence.

What are licence holder offences?

We can take action against hackney carriage or private hire drivers who:

  • breach any of the licence conditions or legislation
  • fail to report accidents to the Taxi Licensing Unit
  • fail to report their change of address, or the transfer of their plates
  • drive without insurance
  • allow their vehicle to be driven by unlicensed drivers
  • refuse to carry assistance dogs or try to charge extra
  • obstruct authorised officers or police officers
  • Fail to comply with a request from authorised officers or police officers

Private hire drivers who:

  • illegally seek out or try to engage new customers, known as ‘ply for hire’

Hackney carriage drivers who:

  • fail to set their meters
  • refuse to carry wheelchairs (even if their vehicle is designed to do so) or try to charge extra

What happens if you commit an offence?

We can take action against you if you commit any of these offences.

Drivers caught breaking the law or behaving in an unacceptable manner may be reported to the Licensing Committee. The committee may suspend or revoke your licence.

We may report you to the committee even if you commit an offence just once. We will send a letter to your home address informing you of the offence and inviting you to the committee hearing.

We conduct covert operations targeting ply for hire and failure to set meters.

We also deal with complaints from members of the public, drivers and other agencies.

Vehicle stop checks are also conducted with enforcement agencies.

Where a licence is revoked or suspended, licence holders have the right to appeal to the magistrates court.