Airport Transfers BUSINESS SERVICES

The Difference Between Private Hire and Taxi

Private Hire and Taxi
Written by realblog

 

Private Hire and Taxi, the taxi industry and private hire vehicles (PHVs) operate in very different ways. Taxis can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi stands, and they operate on a metered fare system that varies in price based on distance travelled.

Private hire cars need to be pre-booked, either through an app or over the phone. Private Hire and Taxi, they also follow a set of standards, which vary in professionalism depending on their operator.

Accessibility and availability

It’s easy to assume that all vehicles you hail or book via app are taxis, but it’s important to understand the distinctions between these two types of passenger vehicles. Private Hire and Taxi, not only do they differ in appearance, but both require different licences and follow a unique set of rules and regulations when it comes to passenger safety and customer service.

st andrews taxis

st andrews taxis

Taxis are often recognisable by their distinct colour schemes and signage, with vehicles featuring meters that calculate fares based on distance and time. Private Hire and Taxi, they’re available in most areas, and can be flagged down on the street or at designated taxi ranks. Taxi drivers are required to follow a code of conduct, ensuring they offer a high level of service and adhere to strict local regulations.

Private hire vehicles, on the other hand, cannot be hailed on the street and must be pre-booked through an operator or ride-hail app. Private Hire and Taxi, while this can limit their availability in crowded urban settings, it makes them ideal for suburban and sparsely populated locations. Licensed drivers must also meet strict requirements, including having a specific driver’s license and going through extensive background checks.

Essential Tools For Taxi

Essential Tools For Taxi

Despite the differences, both taxis and PHVs are available in many different vehicle shapes and sizes, with customers able to choose the ride that suits their needs. In fact, many people who use taxis or PHVs prefer the flexibility and customisation offered by these services, especially when travelling as a group.

With both options providing convenience and a safe way to travel, it’s essential that passengers take the time to consider their unique needs and circumstances when choosing between these two transportation services. For example, a Taxi may be a more suitable option if you want the convenience of booking via an app, or are travelling in a crowded urban setting. Private hire, on the other hand, is better suited for those seeking a more affordable and reliable alternative. Private Hire and Taxi, regardless of your preferences, both can help you reach your destination safely and efficiently.

Vehicles

Although it may seem that private hire and taxis serve the same purpose – to transport passengers from point A to B – the two services have their own distinct differences, including operational models and service standards. Understanding these disparities can help you to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing which transportation option is best for you.

st andrews taxi

st andrews taxi

Taxis are known for their immediate availability and the convenience of being able to be flagged down on the street or at taxi ranks, although the quality of this experience can vary based on driver attitude and vehicle condition, as well as adherence to professional standards. In contrast, Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) can only be pre-booked through a designated process, usually an app, phone call or website, and are not permitted to accept any passengers who are not already booked in advance.

Private Hire and Taxi

PHVs also operate on different pricing systems, with some incorporating a fixed fare system and others using a metered pricing structure that calculates the journey cost based on the distance travelled. In recent years, ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt have revolutionised the PHV industry by connecting drivers and passengers through an easy-to-use platform. However, drivers operating through these platforms must still comply with private hire regulations and have the appropriate insurance cover.

Both taxi and PHV drivers are required to undergo rigorous checks, possess specific licences and adhere to strict local regulations to ensure passenger safety and service standards. The exact requirements can differ between regions and local authorities, but both types of drivers must undergo background checks, submit to regular medical examinations, and carry public liability insurance.

St ANdrews Taxis

St ANdrews Taxis

In addition, the vehicles used by both taxi and PHV drivers must be fully insured with a minimum third party insurance level of £25 million. In some cases, vehicles are owned by the driver themselves rather than by a taxi or PHV operator and must be declared to the relevant authorities when applying for a licence.

Fares

Taxis typically use a metered fare system that calculates the fee on a combination of distance and time. This provides transparency for passengers and helps to ensure that they are not being overcharged. Additionally, taxis often follow regulations set by the local government in order to safeguard passenger safety. Private hire vehicles, on the other hand, don’t adhere to a regulated fare structure. Instead, they can be pre-booked through an app or via phone call, allowing passengers to choose the type of vehicle and pick up point that suits them best.

In terms of accessibility and availability, private hire services are a better option if you prefer to travel in a suburban or sparsely populated area. As these vehicles do not have to adhere to any regulations, they may be more easily available in areas that are not as crowded. Additionally, they often have a wider variety of vehicles to choose from, and their booking process requires less effort than that of a taxi.

St Andrews Private Hire

The appearance of the two types of vehicles also differs between taxis and private hire. While taxis are known as hackney carriages, taxicabs, or black cabs and are recognizable by their colour scheme and the word ‘taxi’ on their roof, private hire vehicles can be identified by their operator or ride-hailing platform name (Uber or Bolt) or their licence details displayed in the car. Private hire vehicles also can’t ‘ply for hire’ and can only accept fares that have been booked in advance or ‘flagged down’ on the street.

St Andrews Taxi

St Andrews Taxi

However, it is important to note that if a taxi driver accepts a fare on the street without prior booking, this can lead to the suspension or revocation of their taxi licence and could invalidate their motor insurance. To avoid this, most taxi drivers work through a central dispatch office, and they will only take street fares if the office assigns them the trip via radio or telephone. Some areas also have a mix of both systems, with taxis being assigned to passengers by the office and then picking up those who hail them on the street.

Booking

Regardless of which service you choose, your personal situation and preferences will play a role in the decision-making process. For example, you may prefer a private hire driver if you value the convenience of booking via an app, are looking for a potentially cheaper option or want to avoid paying extra fees like commission. Similarly, taxi drivers might be more your choice if you want a dependable and professional ride in an urban environment, appreciate the option to hail vehicles on the street or at designated taxi ranks, or prefer to pay fixed rates based on distance and time.

Taxi drivers need special licences, undergo strict background checks and must abide by local regulations to operate their vehicles and provide services. They typically use purpose-built vehicles and are recognisable by their distinctive colours and signage, as well as features such as meters that calculate fares based on distance and time. Taxi drivers also often work on a fixed fare basis, which means that you’ll know the cost of your journey before getting in the car, and it’s unlikely that the driver will try to charge more than agreed upon.

St Andrews Taxi

Private hire vehicles must be pre-booked through a licensed operator, which can be done through a phone or app. This makes them less readily available than Taxis, particularly in busy urban areas or during periods of high demand. PHVs are more likely to be found in suburban and sparsely populated areas.

Both taxis and private hire drivers must have a valid licence to drive their vehicles, however, the licensing processes differ from one to the other. Taxis are required to carry a green and yellow badge displayed in the vehicle, which shows that the driver is licensed to operate a taxi. They must also display a white plate on the rear of their vehicle, which includes the driver’s licence number and licence expiry date. Private hire vehicles must be licensed to carry up to four passengers and display a badge or sticker in their windscreen that identifies the driver and operating company.

About the author

realblog