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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Taxi or Minicab?

What's the difference between a hackney carriage and a private hire vehicle?

Hackney carriages (or 'taxis')

Hackney carriages are public transport vehicles which are licensed to "ply for hire".

They can:
  • carry passengers for hire or reward;
  • be hailed by prospective passengers in the street; and
  • park on a rank to await the approach of passengers.

A hackney carriage must be driven by a driver who holds a hackney carriage driver's licence.

Hackney carriage vehicles can be found at the ranks around Clitheroe and they can be hailed in the street. These vehicles have a roof light with the word TAXI on them. They have a blue plate affixed to the rear and a smaller version affixed to the windscreen which carry details of the expiry date, licence number and vehicle registration.

For more information see Hackney Carriage Information.

Private hire vehicles (or 'minicabs')

Private hire vehicles (or minicabs) are public transport vehicles. However, a private hire vehicle cannot ply for hire or stand in a rank. It must be pre-booked with a private hire operator i.e. through the operator usually via telephone.

The vehicles have door signs which state "Advanced bookings only". They have a yellow plate affixed to the rear and a smaller version affixed to the windscreen which carry details of the expiry date, licence number and vehicle registration. These vehicles are not insured to ply for hire.

For more information see Private Hire Vehicle Information.

Both taxis and private hire vehicles have a maximum of eight passenger seats.