Advice for customers
The Council's Licensing Team set the policies and standards that all drivers, owners and operators have to meet to satisfy their licence conditions. These are designed to ensure that customers of these services are:
- safely transported as required, at all times of the day and night
- confident that the drivers and vehicles have been checked and reach the high standards set by the team.
There are key differences between taxis (hackney carriages) and private hire vehicles:
On this page
Taxis (Hackney Carriages)
These vehicles generally look like London style cabs and all have an illuminated TAXI sign on the roof. Taxis can be hailed in the street or they can be hired at any taxi rank in the borough. All hackney carriages are wheelchair accessible vehicles, although drivers may not be able to carry all types of wheelchair. Drivers will perform a risk assessment for less standard wheelchairs to establish if they are able to transport them safely.
The driver of a hackney carriage vehicle cannot charge the hirer a fare higher than the fare on the meter. The fare chart prescribed by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council must be on display in all Hackney Carriage vehicles.
Private Hire vehicles
Private hire vehicles operate in a similar way to taxis in that they are used as a form of public transport. These are commonly referred to as 'taxis' or 'cabs' by the public. They are very different in the way they are permitted to operate and the way they look. They are commonly saloon or estate style cars and must not resemble a taxi (Hackney Carriage) in any way. All private hire cars must be pre-booked through a licensed operator.
Operators are responsible for a booking once made and any issues should be taken up with the operator. If it is an issue affecting their suitability to hold a licence, you should talk to the council's Licensing Officer.
All potential taxi or private hire customers should read the Safety Guide below.
A register of all licensed Hackney Carriage can be seen here.
A register of all Private Hire drivers can be seen here.
Limousines and other special vehicles used for hire and reward
We require all stretch limousines and other vehicles such as converted fire engines with eight or less passenger seats that carry out private hire work to be fully licensed as private hire vehicles. This does not apply if the vehicle is only providing transport for weddings. Work such as proms, hen nights or race days is classed as private hire and vehicles, drivers and operators must be licensed.
If you are a prospective hirer of a limousine, always ask if the company, vehicles and drivers are properly licensed by the council and ask to see the licences. You can then be sure the vehicle is fully safety tested and the drivers have undergone strict vetting procedures. These include police checks and medical examinations to ensure they are fit and proper to carry passengers of all ages. If they are not licensed, there is a strong chance the service offered will not be insured or safe.
If you are unsure about a company, contact the Licensing Team who can confirm whether a company is properly licensed.
If you experience driving issues, poor vehicle standards or conduct, which may be a breach of licence conditions, then please complete a Taxi Complaint Form. We will need full details so we can investigate and identify the driver or vehicle that may be at fault. We will also need your details to respond and/or ask further questions.