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Operating hackney carriage vehicles

When driving or operating hackney carriage vehicles, there are certain rules that you must follow.


If you are driving a hackney carriage vehicle then it must have a meter in it that is in proper working order and calibrated to the council's current fares table. This should be displayed inside the vehicle in a place where passengers will see it. You may charge less than the set fare but may never charge more as this is an offence. 

A hackney carriage may be used for private hire, but journeys must be pre-booked in accordance with the private hire conditions set out in our new taxi licensing policy.

Conditions of hire

Responsibilities to other drivers

As a hackney carriage driver you can stand at any one of the ranks in the borough, ply for hire and pick up people flagging you down in the street. You must not ply for hire or stand at a rank outside the borough.

You must not authorise another licensed driver to drive your vehicle without the consent of the proprietor of the vehicle.

Responsibilities to passengers

If two people who are unconnected wish to travel to the same destination in your vehicle that is acceptable. However, if you already have a customer in your vehicle and another approaches you, you must obtain the first hirer's consent to accept the second hiring. You must not impose a fellow passenger on him or her.

You should never prolong a journey unnecessarily either by time or distance. To do so is an offence.

You must remember that the comfort and safety of passengers is the council's foremost concern and drivers are expected to assist with luggage etc. when required.

Displaying licence plates

You must make sure that your white licence plates are attached to the front and rear of the vehicle. They should be fully visible at all times when you are working. 

These plates are the property of the council and can be removed under certain circumstances; for example, if the vehicle is unsafe).

Code of conduct

As you are in contact with members of the public, you are expected to keep yourself and the vehicle smart, clean and presentable. The conditions attached to the licence go into these requirements in more detail.

You should always conduct yourself in an orderly manner on the council's ranks. The ranks operate on a first come, first served basis, you should never obstruct or hinder another driver on the rank.

Drivers must not attempt to persuade a member of the public to travel in their vehicle when they have obviously decided to approach another driver. Disorderly and discourteous conduct on the rank will not be tolerated.

Breaking the rules

The issue of a hackney carriage licence is a serious business carrying with it certain duties and responsibilities. If you break the rules this could have consequences, which may affect your livelihood and reputation.

The above summary is not comprehensive. Copies of the Act or Parliament, the bye-laws and the conditions the council has attached to drivers' licences, are available on request from the council's licensing office.

Failure to observe these rules can result in penalty points being added to your licence, suspension or revocation of your licence, and in severe cases, prosecution.