Starting a Taxi/Private Hire Service Business

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: June 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Taxi/private hire services provide personal transport for individuals and groups of customers using vehicles that can seat up to eight passengers. Taxis (often referred to as hackney carriages) can either be booked in advance by passengers, or drivers can 'ply for trade' at taxi ranks and pick up passengers at the roadside. In contrast, private hire vehicles (also called minicabs) can only be booked for hire in advance and cannot be flagged down in the street. Some taxi services are run by self-employed owner-drivers with only one vehicle while others own a fleet of vehicles and employ a number of drivers.

Taxi/private hire services in the UK are strictly regulated in order to protect passenger safety. Licensing requirements vary across the UK between licensing bodies, which are typically local authorities. Depending on the type of service and location, the driver, the vehicle and the operator of the service will require a licence.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a taxi/private hire service. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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