Know the difference between taxis & private hire vehicles

Cardiff Council is raising awareness about the differences between hackney carriage (taxis) and private hire vehicles.

Although both types of vehicle are licensed by the Council and are driven by licensed drivers, they look and operate very differently.

Taxis are either black with a white bonnet or are ‘London taxi type vehicles' which display a roof sign which is lit when it is available for hire.

These taxis can be hailed in the street or picked up on a taxi rank and drivers' must use the meter to calculate the fare - providing the fare begins and ends in the Cardiff boundary.

Those that wish to travel outside the Cardiff boundary have to negotiate with the driver on the cost of the fare, the driver doesn't have to use the meter and payment can be asked for up front. This is a contract between the driver and the customer.

It is an offence for a driver of a taxi to refuse a fare that starts and ends within the Cardiff boundary without reasonable excuse e.g. the customer is drunk or abusive.

Private hire vehicles are allowed to refuse fares. This is perfectly legal and it is an offence for a private hire driver to pick up a fare without prior booking through a licensed operator. The company are not insured to carry you unless the journey is pre-booked. 

Private hire vehicles do not have a roof sign but have a yellow licence plate on the rear of the vehicle. They can be any colour other than black with a white bonnet.

If a Hackney Carriage driver has refused to take you because the fare is too short, or if the driver/vehicle (hackney carriage or private hire) does not meet your expectations, you can report this to the Licensing Section of Cardiff Council. We ask all those who wish to report these matters to be willing to give evidence at Committee.

A spokesman for the Council said: "We ask everyone who wants to make a complaint against a driver and is willing to give their evidence to committee, to contact us so we can take action.

"We do need some details, such as the driver number (on the badge on the windscreen), or the license plate, the registration plate - try and get a photo of the registration plate if you have a smart phone, the date, time and where the incident happened and report it to

"If the Licensing Section does not receive sufficient information they are unable to take any action, so please report these incidents as soon as possible."