Purbeck private hire / Hackney Carriage licensing
Any car or small minibus that is used to carry passengers for hire or reward is required by law to be licensed by the council.
However, there are two classes of licence issued; Hackney Carriage and Private Hire. Taxis and private hire cars may only be driven by persons who are licensed by the council to drive these vehicles. The two types of vehicle are similar, in that they both transport members of the public to a specific destination upon request, in exchange for payment of a fare.
Hackney carriages or taxis
Licensed taxis are clearly identifiable as such with an illuminated sign on the roof and other markings. Taxis are permitted to ply for hire on any street within Purbeck District, where they can be hailed by any prospective passenger. Taxis can also park on a rank approved by the council, to await the approach of passengers.
Each hackney carriage must be fitted with a taximeter, which is calibrated to show the fare to be charged. Fares are controlled by the council and it is against the law to charge more than is displayed on a meter.
Private hire cars
A private hire vehicle differs from a Hackney carriage in that it cannot ply for hire or stand on a rank. It must be pre-booked with a private hire operator. In practice such firms usually also operate Hackney carriages. The only markings permitted on a private hire car will be the council's licence plate on the rear of the vehicle.
The council does not control fares for private hire cars. The cost of a journey will therefore be a matter for prior arrangement between the operator and the customer. Please download the application forms on the right of this page and return them to the Licensing Department.