Actions that drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles can take to protect against Coronavirus 10 December 2021
Updated Government guidance has been produced in response to the Omicron variant. 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. Passengers must wear face masks unless they are exempt or have a reasonable excuse.
Advice for the public when taking a taxi
In light of the Omicron Covid variant, the Department for Transport has produced a useful poster to remind members of the public to take extra care when using a taxi or a private hire vehicle.
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
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 update
Following comments received during the consultation on the updated Private Hire and Hackney Carriage policy to make it mandatory for every vehicle to provide facilities for card payments to be taken, the Licensing committee have approved the policy amendment.
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
Our licence fees are listed in the 2021/22 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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
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 email@example.com 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:
Phone: 01252 622122
Post: Shared Licensing Service, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Civic Offices, London Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4AH