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Home > Business > Licensing > Private hire & Hackney Carriage Licensing

Private hire and hackney carriage - introduction to licensing

Last Modified June 25, 2019

In Hertsmere there are two types of vehicle licence: Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Vehicle.

Hackney carriages are all-purpose built London-style, or black cabs. Private hire vehicles are usually saloon-type vehicles but include minibuses with up to, and including, eight passenger seats.

The basic difference between the two types of vehicle is that Hackney carriages can be flagged down off the street or on a rank and private hire vehicles must be pre-booked through an operator. If a private hire driver accepts a fare off the street without it being pre-booked, he is liable for prosecution. In addition, anyone taking a journey in a private hire vehicle which has been flagged down is not insured for the journey.

Each type of vehicle can only be driven by a licensed Hackney carriage/ private hire driver and all vehicles and drivers must be licensed before they can carry passengers for hire and reward. Operators must comply with specific regulations and drivers of all types of vehicles must pass a police check, medical, knowledge test and DVLA driving test. In addition all vehicles must meet specific criteria and safety standards.

All vehicles must display a Hertsmere plate on the outside of the vehicle to the rear, and private hire vehicles must also display a small badge inside the car on the windscreen. These plates display the details of the car, together with an identification number and a date when the plate expires. Drivers must also display an identity badge that bears their photograph, licence number and when the licence expires.

All vehicles that are wheelchair accesible are driven by drivers who have undertaken training in the safe carriage of wheelchair users. Hertsmere Borough Council have put together a designated list of these drivers who can assist wheelchair users.

Contact list for drivers of wheelchair accesible vehicles 

To complain about hackney carriage. private hire drivers their vehicles and operators licensed by Hertsmere Borough Council then use the complaints form. For the matter to be reported to the Council's Licensing Committee or for the invididual concerned to be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court, you may be asked to give evidence.

Hackney Carriage, Private Hire and Operator complaint form.

For more information:

For further information on licensing please contact us at the address below or email licensing@hertsmere.gov.uk

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