We licence vehicles, drivers and operators and work to ensure that they meet the specific conditions that are placed upon their licence.
Hackney carriage vehicles
Taxis (Hackney carriages) are often referred to as black cabs, although these days come in a variety of colours. These vehicles are identified by a taxi sign and be fitted with a meter. They can ply for hire, be flagged down [i.e. hailed in street by the public] or hired at a taxi rank.
Private hire vehicles
A Private Hire Vehicle may be used to respond to bookings made through a licensed operator. The driver is not allowed to make or take his or her own bookings.
Anyone who accepts or invites bookings for private hire vehicles must have a private hire operator's licence.
Once you have been granted an operator's licence you can then employ any number of licensed vehicles and drivers, a licensed private hire driver is not allowed to accept a booking unless they hold a an operator licence or work for a licensed private hire operator.
A licensed private hire driver cannot accept a fare unless it has been booked through a licensed operator.
An operator is required to keep a register of all bookings taken, these may be inspected by the Police or the Council at any time.