Taxi or private hire?

What's the difference between a taxi and a private hire?

For everyone’s safety it is important to check that a current 'plate' issued by Eastleigh Borough Council is attached to the back of the car and the driver is wearing a valid photo-identity badge.  If the car does not have these, for your own safety, our advice is not to get into the car.  Plates on the back of the vehicle will be orange for Hackney Carriages and green for private hire. The plate will also display the number of passengers the vehicle is licensed to carry and show when the licence for that vehicle expires.

A taxi, (legal term: Hackney Carriage) will have a sign, often illuminated on the roof which says, 'Taxi' or 'For Hire' whereas a private hire vehicle is not permitted to display a roof sign of any kind.

A hackney carriage can be hired from the rank or hailed in the street, whereas a private hire car can only be pre-booked by online, by phone or by visiting the firm’s offices.  Most private hire cars will have the wording on the side of the car, 'No Booking No Ride'.

A private hire vehicle driver can charge what they like, or what has been agreed as the amount due between yourself and the operator who took the telephone booking. Therefore it is always worth agreeing the cost of the fare before you start the journey. A private hire vehicle can refuse a fare, or pick and choose the more profitable journey.

Make a complaint about a taxi or private hire driver