Skip to main content | Accessibility
You are Here : Business  >  Licences and Permits  >  Taxi and Private Hire
Saturday , March , 17 2018

Taxi and Private Hire

Taxis (Hackney Carriages) and Private Hire Vehicles are licensed to ensure that they are suitable and safe for you to travel in.

The plate on the rear of the vehicle identifies the type of licence it holds. The plates clearly state the licence type, licence number (beginning with H or P) along with the registration, description and maximum number of passengers.

The laws covering Hackney Carriages and Private Hire vehicles are quite different. In brief, a Hackney can:

  • stand on a rank
  • be flagged down in the street
  • be booked through a licensed operator.

A Private Hire vehicle can only accept pre-booked calls.

If a Private Hire driver picks up from a rank or from being flagged down, not only are they committing an offence, but their insurance may be also be invalid.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

We maintain a designated list of wheelchair accessible taxis and private hire vehicles that we licence (see Downloadable Documents). The list contains details of the vehicle and contact numbers, where available, and is provided for the purposes of Section 165 of the Equality Act 2010. 

Whilst we cannot guarantee the availability of the listed vehicles at any given time, we hope that providing this list will help those in need of such a vehicle to book one more easily.

Taxi Rank provision

Taxi ranks are provided on-street for use by hackney carriages and not by private hire vehicles. They are provided where a demand has been identified, such as near railway and bus stations or in areas with numerous entertainment or leisure venues.

Ranks can operate full time or during restricted hours at times of heightened demand. They are normally located so that passengers can board or alight from the taxi onto a footway on the nearside of the vehicle.

Private hire vehicles may not pick up passengers from Taxi Ranks. Not only is this an offence, but they may not be insured either.

  Licensing - Taxis and Private Hire - FAQ

Hackney Carriage (Taxi) Licences

Taxis (Hackney Carriages) are licensed by us to make sure they are suitable and safe to travel in.

The laws covering taxis and private hire vehicles are quite different. In brief, a taxi can:

  • stand on a rank
  • be flagged down in the street
  • be booked through a licensed operator.

A private hire vehicle can only accept pre-booked calls.

Taxis must be of a certain standard before and whilst licensed. At 12 months of age, taxis must have an MOT certificate. All vehicles under five years old must pass an inspection every six months. Vehicles over five years old are inspected every four months.

Taxis must be clean, comfortable and carry safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher, first aid kit and a spare wheel.

We publish the current Hackney Carriage maximum fares and a Public Register of licences.

Carlisle City Council sets the licence fees for licences, permits and registrations to cover administration, inspection and enforcement costs. The following table shows the cost of issuing Hackney Carriage licences

* Subject to increases in test fees from Community Services being passed on.

This A to Z of services list provides links to service pages alphabetically