This web page answers questions that you, as a customer, may have in relation to Charnwood licensed Taxis.

There are two types of licensed vehicles. Hackney Carriages (commonly known as Taxis) and Private Hire vehicles.

The Government has provided information in relation to safer travel guidance for passengers during the coronavirus pandemic. A section of this advice covers 'Advice for passengers when using taxis and private hire vehicles'. Visit Gov.uk to read the guidance.

What is the difference between a Hackney Carriage and a Private Hire vehicle?

  • Hackney Carriages can pick up from taxi ranks and can be flagged down in the street.
  • Private Hire vehicles have to be pre-booked and cannot be flagged down in the street. It is illegal for a Private Hire vehicle to take a journey which has not been pre-booked or to accept a fare by being hailed.

How do I know I am in a licensed vehicle?

Any one driving a licensed vehicle must also be licensed as a driver by the same local authority. Charnwood licensed drivers are issued with 2 identification badges both display a photo of the driver, an identification number and an expiry date. One of these badges must be worn at all times whilst the driver is working. The other badge must be displayed on the dashboard of the licensed vehicle.

A Charnwood licensed Hackney Carriage (Taxi) vehicle:

  • Must display a top sign on the roof
  • Must have a taximeter calibrated to the Council’s approved hackney tariffs (charges)
  • Must display a white front and rear plate
  • Must display two white door signs (ovals)
  • Do not need an operator
  • Can ‘ply for hire’ on a Charnwood Borough Council rank
  • Can pick up off the street, e.g. be flagged down by a customer.

A Charnwood licensed Private Hire vehicle:

  • Must work for a Private Hire Operator who takes the bookings
  • Cannot ply for hire
  • Cannot pick up from the street
  • Cannot park or pick up on a Hackney Carriage rank
  • Cannot display a top sign
  • May or may not have a meter in the vehicle 
  • A Private Hire Operator can set the tariffs for the vehicles that work for them
  • Must display a yellow front and rear plate
  • Must display two yellow door signs (ovals)

How will the fare be calculated?

Charnwood licensed Hackney Carriage (Taxi)

Each Hackney Carriage MUST be fitted with a calibrated meter, which must be switched on at the start of the journey. The Hackney Carriage Fare Card is displayed or available inside each vehicle.  The tariff is set by Charnwood Borough Council.

For journeys within the Borough of Charnwood the cost of the journey is calculated by the meter.  

A Hackney Carriage cannot charge more than the metered fare for a journey within the borough irrespective of how that was arranged (rank, hailed or pre-booked).  Before the start of a hiring for a journey which ends outside the district, agreement can be made to pay an amount which is more than the metered fare, but if no agreement is made only the metered fare can be charged.

Hackney Carriage drivers, can when working, offer a discount on the metered fare (within or outside the district) as long as it is less than the hackney tariff displayed.

Charnwood licensed Private Hire vehicle

Private Hire Operators may set their own fares. A Private Hire vehicle may or may not have a meter, if a meter is used the current fare chart must be displayed or be available in each vehicle, so that it is easily visible to all hirers.

For Private Hire vehicles without meters, the passenger cannot be charged more than the fare agreed between the passenger and Operator before the vehicle was hired.

Can animals be carried in Private Hire vehicles and Hackney Carriage vehicles?

Under the Equality Act 2010, licensed drivers are under a legal duty to carry guide, hearing and other prescribed assistance dogs in their vehicle, and allow it to remain under the physical control of the owner without additional charge.

Therefore, if you travel with an assistance dog they MUST be allowed in the Hackney Carriage or Private Hire vehicle, unless the driver has an exemption certificate. An exemption certificate can be issued if the licensed driver has a medical condition made worse by contact with dogs.

The notice of exemption must be displayed in the vehicle by fixing it facing outwards either on the windscreen or in a prominent position on the dashboard.

It is an offence for any Private Hire Operator or licensed driver to refuse to carry assistance dogs.

Is there any charge for carrying an assistance dog and or a wheelchair?

There is no extra charge for assistance dogs, wheelchairs or mobility aids.

Drivers may carry any animal belonging to a passenger (e.g.pets) at their own discretion anywhere in the vehicle and they shall ensure, where necessary, that such animals are suitably restrained/contained so as not to present a nuisance or hazard to the occupants of the vehicle.

How do I make a comment or a complaint?

Overcharging and time keeping

If your complaint is about over charging or pre-booked Hackney Carriage and Private Hire vehicles not turning up on time you should take your complaint up with the driver or their Operator, quoting the drivers badge number, vehicle plate number and or vehicle registration number.

Obstructions

If your complaint is about where Hackney Carriages or Private Hire vehicles are parked or causing an obstruction:

  • on a private car park or private land - contact the owner of the car park or land
  • on a council car park, double yellow lines or zebra crossing, contact Street Management at Charnwood Borough Council on 01509 634564 or email street.management@charnwood.gov.uk.
  • If causing an obstruction or a danger contact Leicestershire Police on 101.

Road traffic offences

If your complaint is about a road traffic offence, (example: unsafe or erratic driving, a driver using a hand held mobile phone) in the first instance you will need to contact Leicestershire Police on telephone number 101.

Complaints we can investigate

The types of complaints that we are able to investigate are (this is not an exhaustive list);

  • equality and diversity issues
  • inappropriate behaviour
  • over charging
  • refusing to carry passengers in the Borough of Charnwood without good reason
  • vehicle defects, including cleanliness
  • safeguarding issues
  • drivers smoking in licensed vehicles
  • incorrect use of meters
  • drivers taking an extended route without good reason

All Charnwood licensed vehicles are required to display a notice on how a customer may make a complaint about a vehicle or driver. Any such complaint is required in writing to ensure details obtained are correct.  You may wish to contact us by email at , giving as much information as possible, such as  date and time, pick up and drop off points, vehicle licence plate number, vehicle registration and details of the driver.

What happens to lost property that is left in licensed vehicles?

Any property left in a licensed vehicle must be handed in to the nearest Police Station within 24 hours.

Can out of town Hackney Carriages work in Charnwood?

Once a vehicle has been licensed as a Hackney Carriage it is a Hackney Carriage for the duration of that licence and can be used for pre-booked purposes in any district in England and Wales except London. It is not an offence for a licensed Private Hire Operator in Charnwood to take bookings, and then dispatch a Hackney Carriage vehicle, licensed by another district to undertake your journey. A Hackney Carriage can lawfully be used to carry out pre-booked work as a Private Hire vehicle outside its own district.

Useful Information

  • An out of town Hackney Carriage cannot be hailed on the street or wait on Charnwood hackney ranks.
  • Only Charnwood Borough licensed Hackney Carriages can wait on Charnwood Borough ranks.
  • The hackney ranks cannot be used by Private Hire vehicles to drop off or pick up passengers.
  • The drivers may charge you a ‘soiling fee’ if you soil or dirty the vehicle.
  • Private Hire vehicles and Hackney Carriage vehicles are not required to carry child safety seats.
  • Hackney Carriage drivers are exempt from wearing seat belts; however Private Hire drivers should wear seat belts unless they are carrying passengers.

Last updated: Wed 16th February, 2022 @ 16:06