Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Licensing

The following information is relevant to all existing licence holders and new applicants:

The purpose of licensing drivers, vehicles and operators is to provide the travelling public with a safe, comfortable journey in cars that are maintained to a high standard and driven by competent trustworthy and medically fit drivers who always behave in a civil and orderly manner.

Vehicles that are offered for hire or reward - with the services of a driver included - are generally required to have a licence issued by the local Council. There are two types of licence available - dependant upon how the vehicle is to be used. These are: -

Hackney Carriage (commonly referred to as a 'Taxi') - In Hartlepool all Hackney Carriages must be painted yellow and must have a payment meter installed that measures the distance of any journey travelled and calculates the fare. Hackney Carriages may be 'flagged down' or be found plying for hire at a designated Taxi Rank. In addition Hackney Carriages may be booked in advance but any fare agreed must be no more than the cost calculated by the meter - unless the journey ends outside the borough of Hartlepool.

Private Hire - All private hire vehicles must be booked in advance through a private hire operator. In Hartlepool they may be any colour other than yellow and must display round stickers on each front door stating 'This vehicle must be pre-booked'. Private hire vehicles do not use meters to calculate the cost of the journey but instead the cost should be agreed between the company/driver and the passenger - ideally at the time of booking.

Driver - If you want to drive a hackney carriage (HC) or private hire (PH) vehicle licensed by Hartlepool Borough Council then you must hold a HC/PH driver licence issued by this Council. It's a criminal offence to drive a licensed vehicle without this licence.