Taxis

Guidance for Step 4

The majority of Covid restrictions ended on 19 July. The Government emphasises caution and the expectation for a gradual easing of restrictions based on informed choice and personal responsibility

The Council recommends drivers of licensed vehicles continue to operate cautiously to protect themselves and customers, and to limit the spread of the virus. Please remember, wherever possible, to maintain social distancing, personal hygiene and vehicle cleanliness.

Courier fraud

There has been an increase in the use of courier fraud in Hampshire and the police have released a courier fraud leaflet for your information. If you have any concerns about a suspect fare you have been given, please contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency

Licences

Our Taxi licence policy sets out how we carry out the licensing and control of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire trade within our district and the our expectations of applicants and licensees.

Hart District Council Taxi Policy 

Hart District Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Policy Implementation Plan

Further information for Hackney carriage drivers is supplied in our Hackney Carriage Byelaws document.

Policy amendment consultation

Following comments received during the consultation on the updated Private Hire and Hackney Carriage policy to include the DfT Statutory Guidance, the Licensing committee have approved the below policy amendment. This amendments makes it mandatory for every licensed vehicle to provide the facilities for card payments to be taken. The policy amendment includes the proposed wording for the policy and a set of guidelines on the card payment facilities.

Comments on the proposed change to the vehicle specification can be submitted to the licensing team via email on license@hart.gov.uk or by post to:

Hart Licensing Team
Civic Offices
London Street
Basingstoke
RG21 4AH

This consultation will run from Monday 7 June until Monday 23 August 2021.

Becoming a driver

Before becoming a taxi driver - whether private hire or hackney carriage please ensure that you have read our policy and applied for any necessary licences.

The following document sets out the legal requirements for becoming a Hackney carriage or private hire driver within Hart District Council.  The document describes the  different types of licences required, and the application process:

How to become a Taxi Driver

Safeguarding Information and Training

Fees

Our licence fees are listed in the 2020/21 All Fees and Charges document on our Council Finances webpage and can be paid online

Hackney Carriage licence

All Hackney carriage vehicles often referred to as taxis require a licence. They may ply for hire, be flagged down or hired at a taxi rank. These vehicles have a roof sign and display a yellow plate on the rear of the vehicle. Hackney carriage drivers must also wear an ID badge issued by the Council, which includes his/her photograph.

Private Hire vehicle licence

Private hire vehicles also require a licence and must display a blue plate on the rear and a smaller internal plate. Roof signs are permitted but must not use the words 'cab' or 'taxi'. Private Hire drivers must also wear an ID badge issued by the Council, which includes his/her photograph.

Private hire vehicles must only operate on a pre-booked basis. They may not ply for hire in the street or wait for customers at a taxi rank. Journeys must be pre-booked, normally by phone or in person at a private hire operators office.  

Private Hire operator licence

All private hire vehicles and drivers must be booked through a licensed private hire operator. They will usually operate from a business address or may operate a small number of vehicles from their domestic address.

Conditions are included on the licence in respect of record keeping and other matters. The licensed operator may only operate vehicles and drivers licensed by the same Authority who issues the operator licence.

Bookings made may be sub contracted to other licensed operators. However, the operator receiving the initial booking remains responsible for that booking and ensuring that any sub contracted bookings are undertaken using only a licensed operator and licensed vehicles and drivers.

Licence exemption

The Council can allow some vehicles to be exempt from the requirement to display the licence plate on licensed vehicles.

Our Exempt Vehicle Policy  sets out our approach to granting exemptions from displaying the licence plate, which should be read before making an application for an exemption.

Any vehicle granted an exemption will be restricted to the type of private hire service and vehicles outlined in the revised policy. No other private hire work will be permitted in exempt vehicles.

Licence extensions and renewals

Renewal fees can be paid in two equal instalments until 11 December 2020. The first instalment must be paid with the application and the vehicle licence holder will receive a reminder to pay the outstanding fee three months from that date.  

Taxi fares

A list of fares for Hackney carriages is below:

Taxi Tariff for hackney carriage vehicles

The council does not regulate fares for private hire vehicles. The cost of a journey will normally be based on a rate per mile. It is recommended that fares are agreed at the time of booking and recorded.

MOT certificates

Our primary purpose is to promote and ensure public safety. For this reason we will only licence vehicles that have passed an MOT and garage test.  

There are some changes to MOT tests because of coronavirus (COVID-19). How this affects you depends on when your MOT is due to expire. For more information please see guidance from GOV.UK

Refusing journey requests

Hackney carriages

Hackney carriage drivers can only refuse a hiring for a journey within the district if they have a reasonable excuse (section 53 Town Police Clauses Act 1847). A taxi driver can also legitimately refuse to take any hiring which would be for a destination outside the district.  

Private hire

Private hire operators don't have to provide a vehicle for anybody, but a refusal cannot be based on a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 (section 4 - age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation). Once bookings are accepted, a contract is in place to provide a vehicle and driver for that hiring.  

Wheelchair accessible vehicles

The Council has a duty to publish a list of all wheelchair accessible vehicles across the district.

Here you can view a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles and their contact details. 

Taxi trade newsletters

The Licensing Team produces newsletters for the taxi and private hire trade. The aim is to keep licensees informed about latest news and advice. It will also update you on changes to legislation and other matters or issues relevant to their licences.

Newsletter - Summer 2021

Newsletter - Autumn 2020

The Licensing Team frequently consults on taxi and private hire matters. As these matters directly affect the licensed trade, we strongly encourage you to read consultation exercises and any proposed changes. You can provide your views or any feedback to consultation exercises in writing. You can do this by email to licence@hart.gov.uk or by post to the Civic Offices within consultation periods. Your views can then be considered as part of our review into these areas.

If you would like any taxi and private hire related topics to be featured in future newsletters please email us.

How to contact Licensing:

Email: licence@hart.gov.uk  

Phone: 01252 622122