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Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, how to get help, support your community, advice and grants for employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

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  2. Business and licensing
  3. Apply or renew business licences and permits
  4. Taxi and private hire licensing
  5. Taxi passengers

Taxi passengers

The government have published guidance on travelling safely during Covid-19.

Make sure your taxi or private hire vehicle is safe and legal:

  • A licensed vehicle will display a licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.
  • A licensed driver will wear or display an identity badge with the driver’s licence number and licensing authority details.

Face masks

The Secretary of State for Transport’s announcement that from 15 June face coverings will be required while using public transport in England does not cover taxis and private hire vehicles. Taxi drivers are already able to refuse carriage to passengers where it is reasonable to do so, this might include those that are able but refuse to wear a face mask. Private hire vehicle operators can make wearing a face mask a condition of hiring.

Staying safe

  • Sit in the back of the vehicle
  • Keep your mobile phone where it is easily accessible
  • If you feel uneasy, make a note of the number plate and driver’s licence number and text them to a friend or family member

Report any concerns

Call the Licensing Team on 01993 861000 or email ers@westocon.gov.uk.

The different sorts of taxis explained

There are two types of vehicle which carry fare paying passengers, Hackney Carriages (Taxis) and Private Hire Vehicles, both of which must be licensed.

Taxi type Hackney Carriages Private hire vehicles
Booking Can be found on taxi ranks. Booking not required. Must be booked in advance.Do not use a vehicle if you feel unsafe or the vehicle is in a state of disrepair.
Meter Yes No
Fares Set fare scales displayed in the vehicle.  The precise fare is calculated by a meter. Fare should be agreed before journey begins.
Meter Yes - fitted in the vehicle. No
Licence colour Blue Yellow