What’s The Difference Between Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles

The differences between taxi and private hire vehicles?

There is not a lot of differences between a taxi and private hire vehicle, as both are equally considered as passenger vehicles.  However, the one significant difference between taxi and private hire vehicles is when hiring. 

In order to distinguish between taxi and private hire vehicles, taxis have a sign on the roof of the vehicle (TAXI) and the taxi licence plate attached on the behind of the vehicle and the badge displayed on front of the vehicle.

As for the private hire vehicle, the vehicle licence badge must be clearly displayed on the front and back of the vehicle for customer to see with ease.

Taxi – this is known as Hackney Carriages.  Taxis can be easily flagged on the road, hired at a tax stand book it in advance.  When a customer uses a taxi, the fare is controlled by the meter which is set by the local council and the rate is per mile.

Private hire vehicles – this is known as minicab or PCO. When hiring a private hire vehicle, customers must re-book through licensed PCO or private hire vehicle operators or rideshare apps such as Uber, First Now and Bolt. Unlike taxi fares, Private hire vehicle fares are already arranged in advance and before the journey customers get the price of their journey.  PCO or private hire driver are unable to change fares once agreed.

Importance of having the accurate taxi and private hire vehicle insurance

It is a legal requirement for taxi and private hire drivers insures their vehicle.  Therefore, as part of the overall process, having the right insurance, whether it is for taxi or private hire vehicle is vital.  

Taxi Insurance – this is a specialist insurance policy intended to cover public or private hire usage and sometimes includes public liability insurance. The public liability insurance safeguards drivers against any claims made the customer during their journey.  Taxi insurance is expensive than regular or private hire insurance as taxis can drive through congested areas and drive on bus lanes.  Therefore, due to the high risk of accidents is insurances are higher.

Private hire vehicles – equivalent to taxi insurance, private hire vehicles must have private hire insurance.  It a legal requirement as PCO or private hire drivers will be carrying customers.  The are various types of private hire insurances and it covers similar risks as taxi insurances.  The only difference is that private hire insurance is tailored for PCO and private hire drivers who work with pre-booked journeys and the price of the insurance depends on the age, driving record, model of vehicle and past claims history.


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