Sven Bakker, Digital Marketer

What Makes Taxis and Private Hire Different?

5 minutes

Taxis and private hire – two terms that are often interchanged but they are not the same. These two modes of transportation have been serving people for years and are still in operation, but they vary in several ways. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between the taxi industry and private hire services.

Visual Differences

One of the most apparent differences between taxis and private hire services is their appearance. Taxis are typically distinct in their color scheme, with most of them having a yellow or black design. They also bear the word β€œtaxi” on the top of the vehicle, which makes it easily recognizable. In contrast, private hire cars have a more subtle appearance, with no distinguishable color or signage. These cars can look like regular vehicles, which is appealed to many passengers looking for a more discreet way to travel.

Requirements for Carrying Out Journeys

Another way that taxis and private hire services differ is in their requirements for carrying out journeys. Taxi drivers are required to have a taxi driver’s license which has some strict criteria, including being over 21 years old, having no criminal record, and passing a thorough background check. On the other hand, private hire drivers are expected to fulfill a wider set of requirements. Some requirements include obtaining a private hire driver’s license, having a minimum of one-year driving experience, having passed a medical examination as well as having a Basic Safety Test Certificate.


When it comes to fares, taxis follow regulations set by local authorities. They use meters to determine the fare, which is regulated by the city or town to ensure that passengers are not overcharged. In contrast, private hire services don’t follow this regulatory structure. Private hire car companies set their prices, which are often cheaper than that of taxis. Some factors that affect the price are distance, pickup time, and service type. Private hire services also offer different vehicle types to cater to the needs of the passengers.


One significant difference between the taxi industry and private hire services is availability. Taxis can be found at taxi ranks in most cities and towns, and they can also be hailed on the street. However, taxi availability may vary depending on the location and the time of day. One disadvantage of taxis is that not all areas have taxi ranks, and hailing a taxi during peak hours can be difficult. Private hire services, on the other hand, have a different way of working. Passengers need to pre-book a private hire service through an application, phone call or online platform. This allows passengers to specify details, such as their destination and pickup time, giving flexibility to travelers.


Lastly, taxis and private hire services have different regulatory environments. Taxi regulations are set by local authorities that determine the rates, rules, and regulations taxi drivers have to follow. They are regularly inspected to check that the cars are fit to operate, and that drivers have the correct licensing. Private hire services are regulated differently, and they do not operate under the same strict guidelines as taxis. However, they still need to follow some regulations set by the government, such as obtaining a private hire driver’s license and buying the right insurance.

In conclusion, while both taxis and private hire industry services offer transportation to their passengers, they vary in several ways. Taxis are distinctive in appearance, have stricter requirements for drivers, follow set fares and are regulated, and have limited availability in some areas. Private hire services are more subtle in appearance, have fewer requirements for drivers, offer flexibility in fares and service types, require pre-booking, and have less strict regulations overall.

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This blog was created using AI technology. Whilst taking reasonable efforts to make sure all information in this blog is complete and accurate, we make no representation as to the completeness, accuracy, correctness, suitability, or validity thereof. The contents of this blog are not to be considered advice or an offer of any kind. Please let us know if you believe we should amend or remove any of the contents of this blog by contacting us.