Taxi and private hire vehicles

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What is the difference between taxis and private hire?

We are responsible for the licensing of hackney carriage (taxi) and private hire vehicles, drivers and operators that operate in the Tewkesbury Borough area.

Private hire is a business set up by an operator using licensed drivers and vehicles which provides a service to members of the public who want to be driven from A to B.  The journey must be pre-booked and private hire vehicles cannot wait for a fare on taxi ranks or be flagged down in the street. Private hire vehicles must only be driven by a licensed private hire driver.

Taxis are sometimes known as 'black cabs', and are often associated with taxi travel in London, but they are also available for hire elsewhere in the country. This type of vehicle must only be driven by a licensed hackney carriage (taxi) driver.

They must have a calibrated taxi meter on board, and a roof light which, when lit, advertises the fact that the vehicle is available for hire. Taxis can be flagged down in the street, or wait for a fare on a designated taxi rank.


Driver Licensing

You will need a licence from us if you want to be able to drive hackney carriage or private hire vehicle.

We have adopted a policies on the licensing of hackney carriage and private hire drivers. It is very important that you read these policies before making an application for a driver's licence.

Please be aware that Tewkesbury Borough Council's Hackney carriage (Taxi) and private hire policy requires all drivers licenced by the council to have completed an approved safeguarding course. In the case of new applicants this training must be completed within 6 months from the date of issue of the licence. Failure to complete the training will result in the suspension of the licence until such time as training is completed.

Applying for a hackney carriage driver's licence

If you want to apply for a hackney carriage driver's licence you must first complete our local knowledge test.

Once you have passed the knowledge test, you will need to complete the relevant forms which can be downloaded below.

Due to the identification requirements connected with applying for a criminal record check, you need to attend in person when making your application. You should therefore complete the relevant forms and then contact us on 01684 272167 or by email at licensing@tewkesbury.gov.uk in order to make an appointment to visit our offices to make your application.

Once licensed as a hackney carriage driver you must comply with our adopted hackney carriage byelaws.
 

Applying for a private hire driver's licence

In order to apply for a licence to drive private hire vehicles, you will need to complete the relevant forms which can be downloaded below.

Due to the identification requirements connected with applying for a criminal record check, you need to attend in person when making your application. You should therefore complete the relevant forms and then contact us on 01684 272167 or by email at licensing@tewkesbury.gov.uk in order to make an appointment to visit our offices to make your application.

Once licensed as a private hire driver, you must comply with our standard private hire driver licence conditions.


Operator licensing

Anyone who invites and accept bookings for private hire vehicles are deemed to be a private hire operators. If you are acting as private hire operator in our area, you need to hold a licence granted by us.
 

Applications

To apply for a private hire operator licence, you will need to complete the following application form and return with the relevant fee.

Once licensed as a private hire operator you must comply with our standard private hire operator licence conditions.


Vehicle licensing

Hackney carriage vehicles

Information on the criteria that must be met by any vehicle to be used as a hackney carriage is contained in our hackney carriage vehicle licensing policy. This policy also contains information on how to apply for a licence to use a vehicle as a hackney carriage.

Private hire vehicles

Information on the criteria that must be met by any vehicle to be used as a private hire vehicle is contained in our private hire vehicle licensing policy. This policy also contains information on how to apply for a licence to use a vehicle as a private hire vehicle.


Designated wheelchair accessible vehicles

The Equality Act 2010 imposes certain duties upon drivers of designated taxi or private hire vehicles which have been hired either by or for a disabled person who is in a wheelchair, or by another person who wishes to be accompanied by a disabled person who is in a wheelchair.

The duties are:

  • to carry the passenger while in the wheelchair.
  • not to make any additional charge for doing so.
  • if the passenger chooses to sit in a passenger seat, to carry the wheelchair.
  • to take such steps as are necessary to ensure that the passenger is carried in safety and reasonable comfort.
  • to give the passenger such mobility assistance as is reasonably required.
     

Mobility assistance is defined as assistance:

  • to enable the passenger to get into or out of the vehicle.
  • if the passenger wishes to remain in the wheelchair, to enable the passenger to get into and out of the vehicle while in the wheelchair.
  • to load the passenger's luggage into or out of the vehicle
  • if the passenger does not wish to remain in the wheelchair, to load the wheelchair into or out of the vehicle.

Please note that a driver of a designated taxi or designated private hire vehicle commits an offence by failing to comply with a duty imposed on the driver by this section unless the holder of an Exemption Certificate issued by the Local Authority under section 165 of The Act The Designated List (in line with S.167 of the Act).

Further information on the Equality Act 2010 and specifically S.165 can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/165.


Prevention of fraud

This authority is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you provide on application forms for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.